Event planning can be a logistical nightmare, or it can be an enjoyable experience. What it turns out to be for you has a lot to do with when and how you start planning.
Begin by determining the purpose of your VBS. Purpose answers the who, what, and why of an event. Who is the event designed for (the target audience)? What are the hope-for results of the event? Why this event instead of another event that might have the same or similar results?
Once determined, purpose becomes the motivation and driving force of planning, budgeting, enlisting, and promoting.
Spend some time creating a written purpose statement. The process will help refine the way you sell your event to others - especially potential workers.
Next comes the details - which is where a lot of people want to start. Details answers the when, where, and how of the event. When (date and time) will the event be held? Where is the best location for the event? How will everything be accomplished?
Details include creating a budget, an actions calendar (starting with the dates of the event and working backwards), and one or more checklist.
The initial phase of planning may be a one-person task, but a successful event requires a team. Enlist team members with responsibilities in mind. Instead of gathering a group of people and randomly assigning responsibilities, create a list of responsibilities first and enlist people based on the needs.
The first team member needed is a detail person. You might be that person, but if not, make sure you enlist someone who is. I have a friend who is the detail person for a group of creatives. She says her job is much like herding cats, but without her the creatives' work would never be accomplished.
When creating a team make sure to delegate authority as well as responsibility. No one enjoys being held responsible for a task but not having the authority to make the needed decisions.
Instead of enlisting the same planning team year after year, consider enlarging the camp of potential workers. God has placed some incredibly gifted and resourceful people in your congregation. Take advantage of it.
Stay tuned for Event Planning 101 (Part 2)
In the meantime, make plans today to join LifeWay's VBS team in January for Preview.