Vacation Bible School programs provide kids an educational yet fun and exciting experience they will be sure to remember. But in order to have a memorable experience, kids and their parents first need to be aware that there is an experience to be had!
Marketing a Vacation Bible School is a great way to appeal to parents and kids alike. The promotion can be as simple as putting a banner or sign outside of your church or placing flyers on the bulletin boards or windows of local shops. But to truly nab someone’s attention, consider these creative marketing ideas:
Hold a pre-event for kids a month or so before VBS. The event can be as small as an afternoon outing or as grand as day-long festivities. Whichever path you choose, holding any kind of pre-event will further stir the interest of parents. Plus, it’s a great way to raise community awareness of VBS. Giving parents a taste of VBS will surely nab their attention, so make sure to have sign-up sheets available and ready.
Make announcements on local radio stations. Most radio stations will make announcements for non-profit events. Choose radio stations that are both kid-friendly and news-heavy; these types of stations often boast the strongest listeners. In addition to having the event promoted on the air, most local stations post the list of events in the calendar section of their website.
Place an ad in a local community publication. Placing an ad in a city or county newspaper can be costly, but most small community publications run ads for non-profit events free of charge. These are the types of publications that are usually free themselves, and because they specifically promote local events, they will help you to market VBS weekly or monthly, depending on their time cycle.
Spread news of the event by word of mouth. This may not seem like the most original idea in marketing and promotion, but it is one of the most effective. Have the congregation invite their friends with children to see for themselves how exciting VBS can be. They will most likely express interest in joining the fun!
Pass out colorful, eye-catching flyers. Go to parks or door-to-door in neighborhoods near the church and hand parents a flyer for VBS. Passing out flyers is a great way of directly communicating with potential participants. If they have a question about VBS, you can give them an immediate answer. Having colorful, eye-catching flyers will directly reflect the liveliness and vibrancy of the program, and they will surely increase the curiosity of parents.
Use social networks. Almost every single person has internet access, and just about everybody has some sort of social networking account. Facebook is undeniably the most well-known and logged-onto service, and it serves as the ideal place to market online. As a Facebook user, you can simply create a go-to event page for your VBS camp, and members of the congregation could easily invite their friends to join the page. Make sure to post basic information about your VBS, and include photos from past events to further entice interested families. When the event is over, make sure not to delete the page but instead save it for the following year. The internet makes recycling information easy, so you will already have a list of Facebook friends to invite to the next VBS.
Marketing is all about putting yourself out there and showing the public how your project will better the community. By directly communicating with locals through pre-events, door-to-door visits and social networking, you will help to increase the level of enthusiasm for your VBS. Marketing Vacation Bible School is no easy task, but with these creative ideas in mind, you will have no problem gaining the attention you need to have a successful camp run.