Planning ahead is one of my pet peeves. It literally drives me up the wall to do something on the fly. So if you are a spontaneous kind of person this post may not be for you.
Our church did an event last fall that (to my view) was done on the fly. The idea was floated in late summer and we produced the event the fall. Three months may be enough time for some events, but for this one it was not. Parts of the event were still being put together as attendees arrived! Thankfully, it turned out well and we have decided to do it again in 2017. Whew! Now we have more than three months to plan!
Why did we do something that quickly? It was (and still is) a great idea. It was an event that appealed to nearly 300 attendees – that’s right – 300, which was amazing as a first time. Yes, we’ve done something similar before, but not with the same focus. The event was just one among many in our community.
What was different? Our Fall Fest was a Halloween event – Trunk or Treat, dinner, games, hay rides, face painting. The difference was turning wheelchairs into Wow chairs. It was fabulous and met the needs of a population of the disabled who do not get to participate in Halloween in the same way other children do.
(That is a wheelchair under the ice cream ‘truck’)
So what were our lessons learned?
- We need creative spirits who can design and develop great ideas to make an event fun and unique.
- We need planners who are the ‘boots on the ground’ to pull it all together.
How do we get the two different types (creative and practical) to work together? This time we will try to:
- Have a planner on the creative team to help them get started early, stay on task, get enough help and finish on time.
- Have a ‘master’ planning team to handle anything that isn’t creative (volunteer sign ups, food, activities, communications, advertising, etc).
Hopefully this years event will be even better! Give it a try and let me know how your event comes out!