The big event you’ve been working on has just wrapped up. You and your team have spent months planning out every detail. You worked tirelessly to make sure everything was as excellent as possible. You successfully troubleshot every problem throughout the night. The lights are turned off, everyone’s left, you’ve locked up, and you’re heading home to reflect on a job well-done.
Much of our time in ministry is focused on getting ready for programs and events. We spend so much time beforehand thinking through all the details leading up to the event that we often forget to think through what actions we need to take following the event.
Marketing professional Cheryl Kopka says, “Just because your event is over doesn’t mean that the work is done!” A properly thought-out post event plan will ensure better results for your events and make planning for them easier and more effective.
Here are three crucial actions to take after your next event:
Rest is one of the best actions we can take immediately following a big event. We expend a lot of energy and emotions before and during. It’s important to our long-term health and success to recuperate. If we don’t we run the risk of burning-out of ministry and hurting ourselves.
If it’s an event on a Friday night, for example, sleeping in Saturday morning may be all the recoup time you need. If the event was bigger, like a VBS, Camp, Missions Trip, etc you may need something more: A couple of comp days, a family vacation a few weeks after the event, etc.
Sleep-in, nap, read a book, go to the beach, grab coffee or a meal with a friend, watch TV, take an extra day off (if the time you put in warrants that) or anything else that energizes you.
Remember: The bigger the event the more you’ll need to recuperate.
After you and your team have had some time to recoup, gather everyone together and evaluate the event. Here are the questions I lead my teams through to evaluate an event:
- What worked well?
- What didn’t work?
- What was missing?
I take these answers and record them in our planning form. Then I file the form away where it’s easily accessible when we plan the same event in the future.
Andy Stanley says, “Experience doesn’t make you wiser. Evaluated experience makes you wiser.”
Want to do ministry better? Take time to evaluate what you do and how you do it.
It’s easy in the pace of ministry to gloss over this one. Our natural tendency is to move on to the next thing on our calendar and task list. I know I’ve been guilty of that many times.
But it’s important for your ministry and your team to celebrate your wins. Collect and share stories of changed lives. Thank the people who helped make your event happen. Spotlight those individuals who went above and beyond. Email or text everyone who attended and let them know you’re glad they came.
Depending on the size and scope of the event you may want to do something more to celebrate like taking everyone out to dinner, passing out gift cards, or even creating a keepsake like a framed photo or a video recap of the event.
John Schnatter, founder of Papa John’s says, “What gets rewarded gets repeated.” If you want your team to continue to do good work for you, be sure to thank and reward them for what they’ve done.
Every event needs a solid post event plan. (Click to Tweet)
Putting on an event is hard work. It takes intentionality on both the front and back-end in to make it truly successful. Take some time before your next event to plan how you will recuperate, evaluate, and celebrate after it’s done.