As the days of summer set in, you’re probably already thinking about the transition into the busy season ahead. Your summer calendars are most likely getting a nice break from constant activity, but now is the time to get your fall event schedules in order.

Here’s how to prepare for back-to-school and other fall events:

Step No. 1: Review the Church Calendar

Hopefully, church leadership has already decided which events to host this fall. If not, here are a few factors to consider when deciding what events will make the final cut.

·Have the events currently on the calendar been formally approved? If not, discuss whether those events will happen or not.

·Are there any additional events we should consider? What are they and when should we host them?

·Remember that white space on the calendar isn’t a bad thing. Don’t pack the schedule so tightly that you risk wearing out staff and volunteers in the process.

Step No. 2: Assign an Event Planner to Each Event

Once the event calendar is approved, assign someone to be the point person for each event. This role involves working with the hosting ministry department to clarify the purpose and goals for the event, gathering task information from each group that needs to be involved (facilities, communication, security, childcare, etc.), coordinating tasks, and keeping leadership up-to-date on the team’s progress.

Here’s a more detailed description of the role and value of an event planner.

Step No. 3: Create a Plan

In the same way a business plan is important to the success of a new business, an event plan is important to the success of an event. Experienced event planners know this and will be able to create a plan of execution not only for your event on the day it happens but for the entire planning process leading up to it.

This plan will include things like when to have meetings with the planning team, who will be in charge of certain items, and deadlines for all tasks.

Step No. 4: Invite Volunteers to Join the Team

What’s one of the necessary ingredients to pulling off a great church event? Volunteers. It is so crucial to recruit volunteers to support in planning, setup, and day-of efforts.

This will not only give your members an opportunity to get involved with church functions, making them more connected, but also help your event planner to stay within budget due to little or no labor costs.

One thing to consider when inviting volunteers to join your planning team is getting them committed early. Don’t wait until a few weeks or days before the event. Get on their schedules well in advance to avoid a last-minute scramble, which can lead to high volunteer turnover.

Step No. 5: Work the Plan

Though it may seem obvious, the final step to preparing for back-to-school and other fall events is to work the plan you’ve put in place. This is where the planning team will complete tasks assigned to them in order to prepare for a successful event day.

The event planner should be checking in periodically throughout this process to make sure everyone is on track with executing tasks and meeting deadlines.

The fall season is an exciting time for churches. With a new school year comes anticipation and renewed energy. If your congregation has lacked proper event planning processes in the past, make it your goal this summer to develop a more organized system for a smoother transition into the fall months to come.