The holidays are a busy time, and while most people think of Thanksgiving as the start of holidays, in Church world, we know we’re planning ahead WAY before Thanksgiving, and we’re not actually thinking of taking a real “holiday” until January.
In light of that, we’ve put together a calendar to help start planning your “to-do” list.
This calendar isn’t going to be all inclusive, and your church will have specifics that may or may not be included here, so we’re creating a list to jump-start your creativity, and act as a reminder to hopefully help reduce the last minute “Oh no! We forgot about…” moments.
(Disclaimer: We cannot guarantee this list will completely remove the “Oh no! We forgot about…” moments. Let’s be honest. We work in churches and those moments are going to happen!)
September: Fall decorations and Harvest banners ordered.
Late September, Trunk or Treat Promo material:
Because Trunk or Treat, Harvest Celebration, October 31 Part (or your version of a Halloween event) is often geared as an invite opportunity for your community consider 3 pieces to your promotion:
- Outdoor signage: As your community is driving past, have a sign that matches your other promotional pieces so they start to recognize the design and know where to go for that event.
- Something to give your members as handouts to invite friends, neighbors, and relatives.
- Social Media promotion – Do a selfie video as an invite, an Instagram story about the event and create an actual event on facebook to invite people to. Plan out what your October strategy will look like to promote the event and which pieces of promo material will be published on which days. Consider boosting your post for “people who like your page and their friends” to gain exposure in your community.
We can turn around and ship your Trunk or Treat promo within a few weeks (usually less) but you need to have your promotional material in place 2 – 3 weeks before your actual event to allow people to see it, notice it and be able to hand it out to invite friends.
First week of October
Now is the time to get your Thanksgiving designs and Christmas banner designs in order. It’s not necessary to get them printed yet, although, we have lots of churches who are planning this far ahead. The next few weeks are going to get very busy, and you don’t want to be caught off guard when it comes to your Christmas theme or invitation strategy when people are planning to attend!
Take each week from October – Mid January and plan out what your one big promotion item is for each week. This will help give a focus in your decorations, social media, announcements, bulletin and email newsletter.
Here is what your October – December Promotional calendar could look like:
October 1-8: Planning October – January promotions. First draft of Christmas banner Design / Theme ideas in place.
October 8-15: Revisions to Christmas Banner Designs and decide on a final color scheme and theme.
October 15-22: Find ways to remind your current members to invite someone to October 31 party.
October 22-31: Community promotions on facebook and with handout cards to invite people to the October 31 Party.
November 1-5: Let your members know about your holiday schedule. (Service changes, additions – like Christmas Eve services or New Year’s Eve, concert times, Advent, etc.) and send an email to everyone who came to your October 31 Party about what’s going on this Christmas at your church.
November 5: Finalize your Thanksgiving & Christmas designs and get your promotional & decorative materials ordered from ChurchBanners.com
November 12-19: Decorate for Thanksgiving
November 19-26: Relax and enjoy Thanksgiving with your family and friends. (Remind your church members that seeing their family is a great time to invite them to your church this Christmas).
November 26 – December 3: Christmas Decorating! Put out your promotional material for Christmas services / Christmas Eve, provide handouts to your members to start inviting guests, post your times on Social Media and create a facebook event to invite people to those services.
December 3 – 10: Use Social Media video to promote your Christmas events. Have a selfie video invite from your pastor, a video clip of your band practicing Christmas music, invite your members to create a quick video inviting people to Christmas events, give a video tour of your decorated building on facebook live, etc.
December 10-17: Take your decorations up a notch, specifically ones that can be seen in the community. Get solar-powered lights to shine on your signs, put out a large Christmas tree that is weather resistant and light it up every night, change the bulbs in the lights that shine in your parking lot to red and green, or decorate your entrances with solar powered icicle lights.
People love seeing and talking about Christmas lights, and they will notice them at your church!
December 17-24: Think of every way to talk about your Christmas Services and promote them. Go big! This is the time when people are WANTING to find a church to go to, while they are hearing music about our Lord and Savior through the speakers at every store they visit. Make this year a big deal!
December 27-31: Have a New Year’s Eve event? Since you’ve been talking about that already, take a few days and reinforce it on Social Media. Send out an email to all of your guests from Christmas inviting them to church on January 6 for a special gift for guests.
December 31-January 6: Many people make a “New Year’s Resolution” to start attending church more often. Have a special gift this day for guests, and use your announcement time to focus on ways that new people can get connected – maybe a membership class or “meet the pastor” event or the opportunity to join a small group.
Help people feel comfortable making church part of their routine, but giving out handouts so people can invite their friends to come to church with them too.