The Future Church - A Church Communications Podcast
Church Media + Communications
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E047 - Easter Crowd Influx

 James: This week we've been talking all about Easter and today on the show we're gonna be talking a little bit about peak Sundays and just Sundays that are an influx of people we know that Easter can be really busy and a lot of non regular church attenders will come out on an Easter Sunday just because a part of their history or their heritage. And so we as the church communicators need to kind of figure out a way to plan and prepare ourselves for crowds of people coming through the door.

Joanna: When it comes to preparing for crowds of people at church we often talk at our church that facts are our friends. We want to look at the data of leading up to what we think will be a peak Sunday like Easter or Christmas and we want to see what are the trends of people coming to our church and we want to look at Easters of previous years for example to see how many people can we have a best guess estimate. You know if God you know does something crazy remarkable beyond that of course he can do anything. But when we're looking at the data of how many people came last year to Easter and what are is Sunday attend is looking like week over week this winter leading up to Easter we can have a good estimate approximately of how many people we think are going to come out on Easter Sunday. So that allows us to prepare for them. Particularly want to call the stats around when a room is full. And so when do you know you have to actually add an additional service because you're looking at those numbers and you're realizing you just don't even have enough room for them how do you know you don't have enough room? In North America a room feels full when it's 70 percent full. So if you're sitting in a room and there's 70 percent of the seats are full 70 percent of the parking lot is full it's going to have that full feeling vibe for you who sit in the seats. Now if a room is 80 percent full in North America the room is in fact full. And that's because in our culture we're used to having a little bit of space a little bit of breathing room around us. So a room is full when it's 80 percent full meaning there are gonna be some empty seats but at that point it's going to be really hard to jam more people into the parking lot its really hard to convince people to shuffle down to squeeze further in.

James: We always you know there's always those seats that are open in the middle of the row and no one wants to squeeze into the middle and people always tend to sit on the aisles and so you as a new person walking down the aisles often will not see those empty seats in the middle you see full people along the edges and you don't know anyone so it's uncomfortable say hey can you let me pass through.

Joanna: And when you come as a family and you haven't been church all year you come as a family and you can't sit together as a family because you all have to sit in those one random off seats in the middle of rows. It's a really negative experience. Trying to seat five or six can be really hard and you're already uncomfortable.

Joanna: Yeah you're already uncomfortable and now it's even worse because the room is how it will feel like the room is completely full to you. And so when we're looking at data and numbers of attendance from previous years and previous Sundays leading up to Easter that's helping us understand if we need to add an additional service time option for people on Easter. Another way to help with traffic flow like literally the people flow on Sundays is to consider is it time to do free ticketing for your special holiday events. So people don't have to pay for the tickets but if you force people, encourage people to quote unquote buy tickets for free on a website to different service times that you're offering you actually can understand who's coming to what services allows you to prepare kids program rooms, it allows you to prepare enough coffee, it allows you to have the right amount of parking spots available. And I would imagine that a lot of those people aren't refusing people at the door who are guests and have showed up for the first time and didn't know they had to get these free tickets but for the people who call this church their home. If you consider doing a ticketing for these peak Sundays these packed out Sundays. It allows you to manage traffic and manage a positive experience especially for guests.