Have you ever been to an event that has exceeded your expectations? Have you been to an event where everything looked perfectly in place, well laid out and everything flowed smoothly? Sometimes in the rush to get our events ready we overlook the presentation of the event to focus on the content. Whilst content is important, bad presentation spoils content every time. For example, imagine a poorly designed website which may have great content but you can’t find it.
Last night I went to a youth ministry event by Mustard that exceeded my expectations. Mustard is a ministry that runs events in schools here in Melbourne and were hosting a Roundtable event for Parents and Youth Leaders. After almost 20 years in youth ministry I have seen all types of events from well-done presentations to complete train wrecks. This event was above the average events I attend, even many of the good events that I have been to. There were just a few things that caught my eye that were better than standard events that I go to.
Here are a few little things that made the overall presentation at the event better than other youth ministry events I have attended:
- Welcome signs – as the event was on a large church campus with many rooms there were signs directing me from the car park to location of the event. Often event coordinators assume that people will follow the crowd or look for where the lights are on to know where the event is being held. As an event coordinator help participants find the right room with a few welcome signs.
- Greeter – at the main foyer there was a person who greeted me and directed me along the hallway to the sign up desk. At the sign up desk there was a person greeting people in front of the desk and several people behind the desk taking registrations.
- Name tags – I am used to writing my name on a name badge with a marker but these name tags had my name printed on the tag as well as the event logo.
- Event logo – The team hosting the event had designed a logo for the event and printed the logo on the registration form, name tags, PowerPoint slides and handouts.
- Button Badge – each team member had a button badge with the ministry name on it. It was that extra step that impressed me. Each of the team members were smartly dressed rather than dressing like young people because it was a youth ministry event.
- Stage set up – there were a few props on stage that got the crowd talking as they entered the room. These props were then used at a point within the event to explain a key message.
- Skype call to Guest – there aren’t many events that attempt a live feed of a guest from another country. Mustard had a live feed of special guest Cheryl Crawford from Azuza Pacific University and Fuller Youth Institute in the USA. This isn’t a multi million dollar ministry either; they were just using skype but had done their homework on how to get working well. Cheryl had been prepared ahead of time and they had a plan for drop outs, which did happen, to keep things moving.
- Hospitality – the coffee and tea were laid out really well and there were nice cupcakes to go with the drinks. Whilst we drank our tea and coffee there were team members connecting with the crowd. There was a musician creating atmosphere with some live music. There were also large posters of other ministry events on art easel’s to create atmosphere.
Whilst the ministry team had gone to all this effort to get the overall presentation correct, the content delivered as well. As we connected over coffee and tea the participants were talking about the content of the talks. If you are interested in the content of the night you hear an audio copy of the event on a special website, click here, which again is above average for many events I go to.
Presentation should enhance the content of an event rather than dominate it. Yet sometimes we rush our preparation, setup and layout to focus on the content and we overlook how important presentation is. Take the examples about as a guide of how you might exceed people expectations at your next youth ministry event.
Please add a comment about events that you have attended where the presentation exceeded your expectations.
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