I’m learning so much about large scale event planning. So far, my (what seems like) endless energy has come in handy. The best way for me to work out event details is by writing a Q&A. So, here is what we have so far!
1.How is the event described?
Spiritual Structures: Open Doors Event (ODE)
May 5th 2013
12 P.M.- 3:00 P.M.
ODE is a multigenerational, 6 block downtown Evansville pilot walking tour celebrating the city’s heritage, diversity and community. The 3 hour event will feature a staggered schedule including musical demonstrations, guided mini tours, and children’s activities at the following downtown churches: Trinity United Methodist, First Baptist, and St. Marys.
2.What is a staggered schedule?
A staggered schedule allows participants to enjoy every activity at every structure without having to rush. It also eliminates competition between structures (i.e. I can hear the organ demonstration at every church, instead of having to choose).
3.How does the staggered schedule work?
Each church will start with a different activity. The duration of the each activity will last 15 minutes followed by a 10 minute break. The suggested number of activities per structure is 3. After the 3 activities occur with breaks, the schedule will repeat. There will be 3 repeats of the activity sets.
Example: Trinity may start with activity 1, First Baptist 2, and St. Mary’s with 3. The next round Trinity may start with activity 2, First Baptist 3, and St. Marys with 4, etc.
4.What will/should/can the activities include?
Examples of activities:
This might be an organ, choir, bell choir, or trumpet demonstration. Your congregation may choose to combine musical elements or do a single element during each rotation (maximum of 4). We want congregations to share what they feel most pride in, what they’re passionate about and what they would like to showcase music wise.
Guided Mini Tour
Themes for this may include history, stained glass, general architecture, or art tour. You may choose to combine elements or have separate themes. There is an effort to recruit, via Dennis Au, volunteers to help script the 15 minute tours. My goal is to not re-create the wheel! However, I do know from personal experience that many members know a great deal about their structures and if that is the case within your congregation—go for it! Otherwise, help is on the way in the form of a great script!
Because this tour is multigenerational, it is important that we have a dedicated activity block for youth. It was suggested that youth ministers collaborate to develop a music session, simple craft session or game to engage youth. The activities should focus on architecture, music and/or shared interfaith community values.
Bell Ringing and Refreshments
I believe the title is pretty descriptive on this one! They do not necessarily have to be scheduled, unless DMA wants to make it a standard (so there’s no competition between cheesecakes—despite how exciting this might be!) A chamber contact suggested I remind DMA of the following considerations: need for indoor trash receptacles, strict policy to keep refreshments out of sanctuary, put refreshments indoors in order to bring people in. The bells (or trumpet, etc.) may be rung at this time.
5. When should our congregation’s activity choices be final?
The sooner the better. I hope by mid-March we have a working schedule. . I really am excited to hear what congregations want to share. If there are other ideas, do not hesitate to let us know.
6.What about our faith related collateral/message?
A chamber contact suggested that congregations take a non-solicitation approach to advertising services, etc. It would be great if everyone had a well-marked table with information and a friendly volunteer to answer questions when approached by visitors who were looking for something more than a stained glass tour.
7.Is there official collateral for the event? What will it look like it?
There will be two pieces of collateral for the event : one for adults and one for children. A half page, 6-page color booklet. Both will include churches listed alphabetically with one exterior and one interior photograph along with a brief history. There will also be quick information such as date established and architectural style classification. The children’s piece will include more interactive activities (like “draw your own structure!”, “find the steeple!”, “number stained glass coloring page” ). In addition to the booklets there will also be: separate map & separate schedule (insert), posters, flyers and way finding signs.We’ve also been talking about bulletin inserts for sister churches and web design.
8. Are there any other volunteers?
Hopefully yes! Church members are encouraged to participate in welcoming the community. We are also reaching out to religious life groups. We’ve just started to ask, as there will not only be a need not only for tour guides, but also for set-up and take-down.
9. Is there one central location?
It’s recommended we select a common location for commencement. The facility chosen must have a large capacity and it would be great if equipped with sound (in case anyone important speaks at the event!).
10. Wait, what’s this SSP book?
A photographic book with structure photos. I am overjoyed to state that ALL proceeds will funnel back into the project. This way, we can support a new tradition.