Write On: A Sample Pre-Event Communication to Your Attendees

Sending out an email, letter or packet to those who register for your event is an excellent idea.  It allows you to provide them with necessary details and to communicate your event purpose and personality.  Here is a sample of what such a letter might include:

Dear Thomas,

We have received your registration for the 2012 Pastor’s Training Event on March 15, 2013 in Asheville, NC.  We are looking forward to providing you with encouragement and tools that will enable you to better teach, inspire, comfort, train and pray for your congregation when you return home.


March 15 2013
3 pm    Registration, Rollings Conference Hall
5 pm    Dinner in Ballroom
6:30     Large Group Worship, Rollings Room 500

March 16 2013
7 am    Breakfast, Dining Hall
8 am    Large Group Worship Rollings Room 500
10 am  Break out Sessions (see attached sheet for details, no reservations needed)
12 noon Lunch, Dining Hall
3 pm    Final Large Group Worship, Rollings Room 500

Included in this packet you will find recommendations on lodgings, all of which provide an airport shuttle to the Rollings Conference Center.  The average temperature in Asheville, NC in March is 43 degrees Fahrenheit, the locals dress in layers and wear a good coat outside!  During this time of training, encouragement and worship, please feel free to dress casually.  We encourage you to bring your Bible, and participants in the past have told us they benefit greatly by bringing a notebook and business cards.  Wireless internet access will be provided in the conference hall, but we ask that computers not be used during the large group worship sessions.  If you have any questions, please contact Jeremy Tyler, Event Support Leader at 828.669.1234 or jeremy.tyler@pte.com


David Grouper
Pastor’s Training Event

A letter like the one above communicates care, organization and intentionality.  The attendee now knows where to make reservations, what to pack, and what the main purpose of his time in Asheville will be.  Detailed packing lists are needed only when younger participants are involved or the situation will be out of the ordinary (like camping).  Think carefully through what information it is important your participants have before arriving, and also what questions they might have.  Addressing these in a pre-conference communication will save you lots of time and phone calls!

4 Things You Should Be Doing During Your Event

We have spent a great deal of time on this blog talking about critical tasks such as budgeting, planning and marketing your event. Hopefully you have found those posts to be helpful! But, what do you do during your event?

Chances are you will spend weeks, if not months, planning your event. Once the big day arrives and your event begins, you can kick back and take it easy…right? WRONG! Your job as the event planner is to make sure everything runs smoothly as planned…or as close to the plan as possible. This is easier said than done, but here are 4 things you can do during your event to help make sure this happens:

  • Always carry a copy of the schedule – You and your team put a lot of work into the schedule. What speakers are presenting, what breakouts/activities you’re offering and when, which meals are at what times, etc. Every person at the event should have one of these schedules and, while it may not run exactly on time, it’s your job to ensure the whole show runs smoothly and as close to on time as possible.
  • Always have a backup plan – Everyone assumes that some speakers or activities will run longer than expected, but please don’t forget that some may fall short. I once saw a speaker get off stage with an hour left in his time slot. What did the event planner do? He had an impromptu Q&A panel that went on without a hitch. Having backups is important at events because, no matter how rigorously you plan, thing can still go awry.
  •  Continually and clearly express your main message – What is the main theme or message you want to get across during your meeting? Think about why you’re having the conference and what it is about, and use those clues to write up a statement about your main message. If it’s a simple one like, “I want everyone to learn team building strategies,” that should be easy to convey. But if you have a more specific message, pay attention to ensure that it’s clear and precise, and expressed just enough that it sticks in your attendees’ brains.
  • Constantly evaluate – To determine if your event was a success or not, you must first define what success means to you. It could mean that everyone had fun, everyone learned the main message, or simply that most people showed up and everyone stayed until the end. However, don’t just wait until after the event to evaluate how things went. Try to constantly evaluate during the event (attendees’ body language and actions, as well as talking with guests) to get a great overall view of your project in motion.

As a planner, what are some other things you focus on during your event?