VBS (Vacation Bible School, or you summer event) is a great time to invite your community to bring their families for a low-key, casual visit to your church.
Because these summers events often happen during the week, there are 3 steps you need to take to ensure your guests find you.
Unlike a Sunday when they can just park and probably find their way by following the crowd before service, your VBS may not have a full parking lot and greeting team, but it can still be clear that your visitors have found the right spot, are using the right door, and create an environment for your guests once they’re inside.
Here are some banner and signage options to help fill all 3 of those checkpoints with your VBS guests:
1. VBS BANNERS to let guests know they’ve found the right building
You may not be the only church building on your street, and if you are, there may be other buildings that someone could mistake for your church (especially with the variety of architecture and styles of churches), so grab attention and let your guests know “Over Here! You’ve Found Us!”
Yard banners and flag banners are a great way to grab attention and let people know they’ve found the right place, and both have their distinct benefits.
Yard Banners will provide information leading up to VBS. This could be an indication of the theme, dates for VBS, ages and how to register. Keep this information to a minimum since people will be driving past while reading:
Use a background image to convey the theme. Give a title. Dates and registration info.
Flag Banners are purely for attention. There’s no need to put these up before VBS, but along with grabbing attention when parents and care-givers are dropping off their students on the day of VBS, the movement naturally creates excitement for those students.
Consider the flags waving outside the parking lot of an amusement park, or the movement of a parade. Movement naturally creates attention and excitement, especially when it is in the style of your VBS theme.
If you want to focus your budget in other ways, then use your usual “Welcome” flags or logo flags from weekend services and put them up during VBS.
The flags you use during VBS don’t have to say “VBS” or match your theme, but your standard weekend ones will still do the trick to capture attention. (Check out our Outer Space, Jungle, Beach and Camp themed bundles so all of your signage will match!)
2. Use a sign so your VBS guests know which door to use.
In many cases, your VBS guests may not know which door to use at your church – If you have multiple entrances, even your church members may not know which door is the VBS entrance this year.
If you have multiple entrances, choose one to be your “VBS Entrance” – Decorate that entrance in a big way with your theme, go all out, have your registration tables concentrated in one area rather than spread out across multiple entrances.
Have your team there ready to greet the kids and build excitement.
At your “VBS Entrance” use a sandwich board, or flag banners to let people know that this is the entrance! (You’ll want a spike base on you flag if you have landscaping or grass to stake it, and a stand base if the flag will be on concrete).
As with the other flag designs, if you’re looking for flags that will serve multiple purposes outside of VBS, then use a “Check In Here” sign, but consider going all-out and choosing flag designs that match your VBS theme.
For the entrances that you’re not planning to use for your official “VBS Entrance” have a sandwich board that can point people to the direction of the proper entrance.
This sandwich board design may be as simple as an arrow that says “Entrance” pointing toward your main doors in the style of your VBS theme.
Sandwich boards will serve your guests much better than a piece of paper stuck to the door that says “please use other entrance” because of the sheer size.
Visitors who are walking across your parking lot will be able to see the arrow and move toward the proper door far before they have to get close enough to the door to read the paper that has been printed and taped on.
Sandwich boards are also weather resistant, easy to move, fold, store and the graphical insert can be switched out for a fraction of the cost of replacing the entire sign.
3. Create your VBS environment once they are inside
More than anything, we want our students to remember VBS and the lessons they’ve learned.
Ask a student what their favorite restaurant is. You’ll probably get an answer that’s more about the experience than it is about a restaurant’s food. “That one where they made my dad wear a funny hat for his birthday” or ” the one where you can play pinball machines while you’re waiting for your food to arrive.”
Kids are experiential. They live their life based on experiences, so create a “Wow” moment when they walk into your church for VBS.
What creates a ‘wow’ moment for a VBS student?
Colorful, energetic, over-sized and interactive are the tricks that theme parks use to get kids to remember an experience, but your signage is only part of that.
Consider taking photos in front of your VBS sign while the students arrive. Have a volunteer take the photos (Their phone will do perfectly well) and then while you’re having VBS, email the photos to the parents.
Have your team dressed up in costumes as they’re welcoming the kids.
Have a puppet stage with a teacher in the area where the kids will be walking in so they can interact with the teacher and the puppets that they’ll meet during their lessons.
Use washable markers and paint on the front windows for the week of VBS.
If you’re doing a jungle theme, have all of your team being in potted plants or fake plants from home to decorate the entrance.
If you’re doing a camp theme, setup a tent and have your team bring in stuffed animals that would live in the woods.
If you’re doing a beach theme, have lawn chairs and umbrellas and beach balls throughout your space.
Coupled with your signage, create an experiential environment that creates and experience for your students.