An idea that gets Guests to actually sign up for something

Here is another idea to communicate well with guests that resulted in something we didn't anticipate: people actually signing up and showing up for an event!

Signing up for things and showing up for things seems rare, even antiquated. I am amazed by how many wedding invitations get no responses or RSVPs these days. Church events get most of their sign ups the day before. At First Step with Gene (our assimilation "front door" event), we would multiply our sign ups by 3.5 and that was how many people we would feed. That meant 80% of the attendance were show-ups, not sign-ups. We didn't care though. We just prepared accordingly, excited for all the new guests that were coming to find out more about our church and to hear the good news about Jesus.

When I took over Guest Central last July, I did some vision casting a training for all the volunteers. I emphasized that Guest Central was the front porch of our church and First Step with Gene was the front door. As such, their role had three parts to it:

  1. Welcome them and get to know them conversationally.
  2. Exchange an orange insulated cup with cookies in it for their filled out connection card.
  3. Let them know about First Step with Gene and invite them to sign up by checking a box on the back of their connection card. Share that checking the box means they will get an email with all the details. 

Sign ups and attendance went through the roof. But something unintended happened: The number of show ups became the same as the number of sign ups. Even though I know a few don't show up, and that some people come who didn't sign up, the number evens out to something virtually equal each time. Amazing! An event for guests where the number of sign ups and the number of show ups is equal. My head is still exploding.

The benefit of this is better communication with guests. They get an email with details so they know what to do, where to go and exactly what to expect. If their schedule changes, many of them actually return this email and let us know they cannot come this time which allows us to get into an email dialogue with them. Maybe they shared an illness is keeping them from coming, or a job interview. Then I can let them know that I am praying for that issue, and ask if they would like me to sign them up for the next one. They almost always do, but not until they have been impacted by the personal connection we were able to have that came from a confirmation email that came from....their signing up!

So, idea #5 in this week's Idea Blast is this:

Sign guests up for your front door assimilation event at your first touch point with them. It results in better communication and connection with guests and even easier preparation for that event.

Now for the big announcement: My next Climbing the Assimilayas Base Camp will be at St. Johns Lutheran Church in Orange California on April 28th and 29th. Early bird registration is $169 and registration will open on Tuesday March 15th. 

Hope to meet you and your team in person there. Caio for now.


  • What results are you currently getting from signing people up? Why is it working or not working in your estimation?
  • Do you think asking people to sign up would help increase your attendance? Help you in planning and preparing? If so, how?
  • If you are considering changing your strategy for signing people up, what would be the new strategy? How would you implement it? When?
Greg CurtisComment