The process of Christmas in crafting church environments can be subtle and simple or complex and technical. Wherever you land on the spectrum, creating a process for your Christmas events will help you hone the message, create seamless environments with wow moments that enhance the message and keep people coming back.
Your process for Christmas should include these 6 simple steps to help you go from paper to presentation without missing a beat.
Step 1 – Choose your Message
I see a lot of folks that begin with step 2 (sketching out a design) before they know what they are trying to support. Your first goal is to create a design that speaks directly to your message. Whether you are focused on the journey to Bethlehem, the manger scene, or the abstract elements of the Christmas season, understanding and locking in your message will help you create a cohesive design and environment that speaks to the moment.
Step 2 – Sketch out Your Design
Once you have settled on your message for your series, event, or service, it’s time to begin sketching out a design. You can go the paper and pencil route, use a program like SketchUp for 3D renderings, or use an auto cad program like Omnigraffle. Take the time to put details into your design so that you are able to communicate it will to all of those involved. The details and specifics are going to be what takes your design from a “homemade” look to a professional environment.
Step 3 – Prepare your Materials
Using your mockups from step 2, it’s now time to choose the materials you need for your design. From set pieces to lighting, you need to carefully choose your materials in a manner that enables you to efficiently and effectively translate the design to reality. Think through the different materials you want to use and see how those will be affected by lighting, projection, etc. in order to come up with the right materials in your design.
Step 4 – Choose your Media
Once you have your design done, materials chosen for your setup, you can begin looking at motion backgrounds, still images, and title elements to help reinforce and enhance your design and message. We have begun to curate 12 unique categories of Christmas content that should help get you started in choosing the right motions and stills for your new setup. Check these out here: Christmas Content
Step 5 – Execute the Plan
Now that everything has been planned, sketched, designed and finalized, you can execute your plan. The biggest piece of step 5 is ensuring that not only do you execute your plan well, but that you and your team are present. I find that far too often we get so deep into the minute details of an event that we forget to take par and experience the event ourselves. Being present will help you execute your event in ways you never thought possible.
Step 6 – Record your Event
Now this doesn’t mean you need to video record, bring in a fly kit and a full broadcast rig, but you do need to take some photos at the least for archive purposes in order to ensure the event is properly documented. Beyond that, having a professional photographer (or at least someone who has a good DSLR camera) to take photos will help you keep consistency and professionalism in your web and social branding strategy.