The day before yesterday, I worked a booth at a food expo! (Not this booth – but it’s the only picture I have!)
I had a great time and learned a few lessons I thought I’d share…
- The first year I went to this expo, I came home with so many samples, I didn’t need to buy those products for weeks. The next few years, the expo grew in the number of vendors but the amount each vendor gave away shrunk although the coupons were still terrific. This year there weren’t as many vendors AND the number of samples shrunk AND there weren’t as many coupons. Yet I know I will attend next year because I enjoy seeing and tasting all the new products! Lesson: find out what is really drawing someone and you’ll keep their participation, even if a lot of the “extras” change.
- I noticed that the booths that didn’t have any samples or activities, didn’t attract me more than once. After I’d looked at several jars of any product there was no reason to go back. Lesson: you can have a great product but, if there isn’t any depth to what you’re offering, people won’t keep coming back.
- One booth was sampling a drink but they ran out of cups long before they ran out of product. Most people walked away and never come back; a few people (myself included) brought back their cups from other booths! Lesson: determined people won’t let a small glitch deter them, but most people will never return.
I could go on and on with other lessons I learned, but these three seem to me to be applicable to our congregations. Changing the superficial things – worship styles, programs, etc. – won’t matter if we keep the heart of our message on target! Offering a single message that doesn’t have depth or diversity will matter – take it deep to help people engage! Recognizing that most people can easily be derailed also will matter – make it easy for them to learn to love you!