Getting People to the Event
In the School
Get in your student’s schools with your speaker/band before the event for a 45 minute assembly at each school. This step is imperative. On the day of the event, or the day before, get your speaker/band in the schools. When you are negotiating with your speaker or band, talk with them about the possibility of getting into your communities schools. Most speakers and bands will be willing to do this, because they have hearts for evangelism.
Have the assemblies be FREE for the students, and invite all of the students. Get in the middle schools, the high schools, as many as you can. If you have a lot of schools in your area, you may have to consider going to multi-day events, because you can’t expect your speaker and band to do more than two school assemblies in a day and still be prepared to put on an amazing event at night. Another option would be to send your artist (speaker) to one school while simultaneously having your band go to another school.
Nothing builds interest in students’ minds more than actually seeing the people that you have been promoting. The number one benefit of a school assembly is that you start to build trust early with the students in the community. Think about it from their perspective. They are getting a FREE break from class to go see some crazy stuff. With the band, they get to see a free concert. With an artist such as an illusionist, BMX team, skateboarder, etc., they get to see something they have maybe never seen before. Think about this: some of these kids have never seen the world outside of their small community. You bring in something they’ve never seen before, and they want to see more of it, so they come to your event that night. At the event, they hear the Gospel.
Most bands and speakers have a public school friendly positive message they can share with the students during the assembly: ie. Make good choices, stay in school, don’t do drugs etc.
From the stage your speaker or band needs to make your event sound like it’s the only thing in town. Instill the idea that there isn’t a lot that goes on in town, but tonight is something different. Tonight you are going to see something that you have never seen before. Basically, make the students feel like they will be missing out if they don’t come to the event. Naturally there should already be a buzz created through social media, word of mouth, posters, banners, ads. etc. When you start mentioning the name of the event during the school assembly, it jogs the memory of the students who have seen it on Facebook, Twitter, bulletin boards, sidewalks etc. This makes the event larger in scale and scope, and instills its importance in the minds of the audience.
It’s all in the Name
One thing that I definitely recommend from personal experience is that you name your event something that is “Public School Friendly.” What does that even mean? We were promoting an event in Arkansas last year that had the word “God” in the title. Some places this wouldn’t be a problem at all, but one administrator refused to allow the event’s name to be mentioned at all. She said that we were not allowed to use the event’s name because it said God (if you look at any legal precedent by the way, she was way out of line, but you don’t step on the toes of the ones who allow you in).So from that I gathered– if students don’t know the name of the event….then how are they going to show up. Make it something catchy, not corny. Seriously. Not corny.