High school and college students are the next generation of disciples, leaders, pastors, and missionaries. Ministering to this age group is a joy but doesn’t come without its own set of challenges. Every passing year brings new hurdles—staying relevant and keeping students engaged while also standing firm on gospel truths. How can we plan events that students want to attend? In this article, we’ll give you some tips on how to create an event that students will be excited to attend and talk about for years to come.
1. Check Local School Calendars
Whether you are planning an event for high school or college students, checking the local school or college calendars is always a good idea. Choose to hold your event during spring or fall breaks or during the months of June or July when students don’t have classes.
2. Make The Event Easy to Share
Students share everything on social media
; make your event something they want to share! Create a series of social media posts that students can easily reshare and send to their friends. Consider holding a contest giveaway for students who share the post—offer the winner a branded t-shirt or water bottle. Include clickable links in social media stories and posts that will lead students to an event registration page. This leads to our next tip…
3. Make Registration Simple
Event registration should not be a difficult process. Create an online registration form for participants (or their parents) to fill out all needed paperwork seamlessly. Remember to keep confidential information safe when collecting student information online. Use private, password-secured databases that are only accessible to church or ministry staff members.
4. Find Engaging Speakers
Another way to plan an event students want to attend is by finding engaging speakers who will connect with attendees. Choose speakers who have something in common with your students or experience with the event topic. Additionally, consider publicizing who the event speaker(s) will be before the event to create excitement and anticipation.
5. Leave Margin for Downtime
High-energy games and fast-paced activities are great for student events and should be included in your event schedule. However, don’t forget to leave ample time in the daily schedule for stillness and rest. Students who are introverted by nature or who have neurodivergence may benefit from a specific time each day to wind down.
6. Remember The Why
When planning events for this age group, keep in mind that in 10 or 20 years students won’t remember the lights and decor, food, or dodgeball tournament. They will remember how their leaders mentored them, and how God spoke through the speaker. They will remember how they felt seen, loved, and safe. In the midst of planning all the details, don’t lose focus on the reason for the event.
Before planning your next student event check the local school calendars, make the event shareable on social media, make registration simple, find engaging speakers, leave margin in the schedule for downtime, and most importantly, remember the why. We hope these six tips inspired you to plan ministry events that students can’t wait to attend.
Did we miss anything? Leave a comment with your best student event planning tips below.