There are 2 main purposes to using banners for your church’s outreach: Information and Attention.
We’re talking specifically about a community event, either on your property or at another location your community where you invite non-churched people from your city to come to an event and, in turn, learn about your church.
Outreaches can range from car shows to trunk or treat, Easter egg hunts, fairs, community service at a local food bank, or Sunday night worship services in the park. In each of these cases, banners can serve to provide information or to grab attention.
Ways to use Banners at your Outreach for ATTENTION:
1) Flag Banners:
Made of brightly-colored material and flapping in even the slightest breeze, flag banners grab and keep attention from far away, right up to your location.
Flag banners are even more helpful if your event is set back from the road, or in a building.
Easily put up the day of your event and taken down when you’re finished, flags are light-weight and easy to store and reuse.
Choose a design that’s generic enough to reuse for multiple events, and it’s clear to see why flags are a popular attention-grabbing solution.
2) Registation / Ticket Location / Starting Point
Maybe it’s to sign up their kids for the Easter egg hunt, or get their tickets for the bouncy house. Maybe parking is around back or they simply need to get to the opening in the gate to get to the event.
Since you’re hoping to bring in guests that may never have been to your church before, they may now know where the Lobby Entrance is, or the gate to the backyard, or (even your members may now know) where you’ve setup the registration table for that event.
Depending on your location, consider something higher than eye level, so that in a crowd, or across a parking lot, it’s easy to find the “Starting Point” with a tall banner (like a 13′ flag banner) or a wide banner (like an outdoor vinyl hung up high).
For your design, consider a bright-colored background with bold, text, rather than a white or light colored banner that may not stand out against the sky across a parking lot.
Be sure to order enough banners to cover multiple registration locations or parking lot entrances. The last thing you’d want is for a guest to not be able to find the starting point for your event.
3) Handheld Signs
Clearly by their name, these signs need to be held by people on your team, but more than holding a sign to grab attention, happy faces and welcoming smiles set the tone for the rest of your event.
For some people, even just coming to your church parking lot may be a big step for them. Break the ice early, so they can let down their guard and enjoy your event.
In your mind, if may be just some bouncy houses and a petting zoo, so why would anyone have concerns about that, but remember, for your guests, they may not have any context to understand what it means to visit a church – even an event outside a church, or an event put on by a church.
Like your feather banners, you may choose to get some designs that can be reused for other events – generic messages like “We’re glad you’re here” or “It’s great to see you” or “Welcome home” are great for being reusable for other events, and weekend service times, but mix in a few that are specific for you event, so the guest knows they’ve found the right place.
More specific options might be “Welcome to Camp” or “The fair is here” or “Hotdog or Hamburger?”
Banners can also be used to provide information at your outreach:
4) Sandwich Boards
Wouldn’t it be great if every location was so perfect that you wouldn’t need to give people directions? We all know that would be great, and also come to terms with the fact that it’s not the case, so a sandwich board is a simple and flexible way to provide directions.
Once you have the frame, you can switch out and keep the inserts to accommodate multiple events.
Initially, we recommend designing a few frames specific to events (like mid-week youth entrance, or VBS checkin) but also invest in a few signs that are simply your logo with an arrow.
You’ll be amazed how many times the need comes up for a way to point directions.
While they don’t need to include too much information, sandwich boards often serve well in areas where zoning restrictions may not allow larger or more permanent signage. A simple direction arrow or logo confirms for a guest that they’re at the right location.
5) Outdoor Announcement Banners
On this banner, you’ll want to find an important balance of information. Too much information and people driving by won’t be able to retain it all. Too little information and there isn’t much of a reason to have the banner in the first place.
We recommend an event title, Date and time, and website address.
If you’re hosting a fair, a good amount of information would be “FREE Summer Fair. July 5 & 6 – 9am-Noon – examplechurch.com/fair” Consider using a background image to enhance your message – maybe a picture of a petting zoo, or a kid riding a pony from last year.
Too much information: “Popcorn! Cotton Candy! Free Rides! Games! Fun for the whole family! 2 days only!” (you get the picture… now imagine trying to read that while driving past your church at 45 mph.)
Keep the information simple, and offer your website address for more details. Be sure your website is updated with the information when the sign goes up.
These 5 signage and banner ideas will bring more attention and information to your next outreach event.