We know VBS is a great opportunity to invite new families to your church. For many parents, the registration process may be the only time they interact with your church. That’s why a smooth and efficient registration system is so important!
- Have a Pre-registration System
Encourage parents from your church to pre-register their children and their children’s friends. The VBS P.R.O.™ system is free and it has an easy tool to put the kids into Crews, making your job even easier. You can also photocopy the registration form in the Ultimate Director Go-To Guide. Insert copies in your church bulletins, distribute copies in Sunday school classes, and keep a supply in your church office. Preregistration saves time and makes your first day more manageable. The more registrations you can get in advance, the better.
- Promote Your VBS Registration
To stir kids’ (and parents’) excitement in preregistration show the “A Day At” clip from the Ultimate Director Go-To Recruiting & Training DVD in your church worship service and Sunday school sessions. Create an eye-catching display with some thematic décor. Each time someone preregisters, add another decoration to your display!
For those outside the church, be sure to put up an outdoor banner and have your registration website or phone number on it. A banner or big sign is one of the best promotional things you can do.
- Ready, Set, Register!
Have two tables set up, one for preregistered check-in and one for walk-in registration. Have blank registration forms for walk-ins. If you use VBS P.R.O.™ and have online access, have pre-registered kids check right in on the computer. Make sure you have plenty of volunteers, especially on day one.
Another good idea is to have printed lists of your pre-registrants just in case you have network or computer problems. The lists will let you check people in manually and still keep things moving.
With proper planning, registration can be a smooth success. Do you have other questions about VBS registration? Please let us know in the comments below. We’d love to help!
Do you have any advice on the crazy “traffic” jam while picking up kids? We don’t have a large church, and in the past they’ve all been picked up in the sanctuary. Just trying to get some different ideas for a smooth and safe pickup 🙂 Thanks in advance! Brooke
We have smaller kids go back to their classrooms. And have older kids in sanctuary; middle kids in our fellowship hall. We encourage parents to pick up little ones first, then work their way to the high grades. We also have “traffic control” between our sanctuary and hallway to our classroom…some of our volunteers will create a “runway” to ensure the kids are all following their leaders. With having over 250 kids each night, we learn something new each year!
At our church we have our preschoolers get picked up in the Preschool Peak area. This really helps break up the traffic.
We put a close date on our registration. No walk-ins.
I send an e-mail to each child (parent) to let them know ahead of time which group they will be in. We ask that parents (or whoever brings the child) take their child to their appropriate group so the crew leaders can meet the parents. This helps them know who will be picking the child up again, and immediately begins a relationship with the parents as well. I only need one registration person to answer any questions or to register any walk-ins. Each of my crew leaders has a list of the children in their group. They each take attendance as the children arrive and we gather those near the start. We limit our VBS to 100 children to accommodate the size of our physical space. This has made the first morning of VBS go smoothly. The time it takes to send the emails is well worth it.
Any suggestions on how to keep children busy when waiting for all to arrive?