Monday, March 1, 2010

What I've Learned About Planning An Outreach Pt. 1

Over the next few days I'm gonna blog about youth outreaches that we have done and what I have learned from them.

The first outreach I did for Epic was in end of April of 2008. We did an 80's Hip Hop Cram Night. Kids dressed up in 80's, we played 80's hip hop music, had inflatables, free pizza, had giveaways (food gift cards), 3 on 3 bball, a break dancing contest and gave away 2 Ipod touches. One ipod touch was given to the student who brought the most friends that month and another was given away to a visitor. We promoted the Cram Night with a mailer and invitations.

At that time we had around 70-80 students attending Epic and at the Cram Night we had around 250 students show up! It was a record attending night! It was a huge win. The next Wednesday OKC was hit with a few tornadoes around 5-6 pm and we only had 20 students. It was another record attending night, haha. We went from a huge high to a huge low. The next week we were back to normal attendance of 70-80 students.

Here is what I learned:

1. Inflatables and free food have always been a win for us.
2. End of April is a bad time to do an outreach because we then hit May which features graduation, end of school and then the summer. Very bad timing because for us May has always been a slow month for our youth ministry. We now do outreaches in February and September.
3. Our follow calls were not very aggressive.
4. 80's is a weird decade to dress up for. We didn't have a lot of dress up participation this night.

We put on a great outreach but our timing and follow up was not very good.