How to Create an Experience in A Live Event?

As we draw closer and closer to Christmas and we continue to help inspire and encourage organizations all across the world to Transform Christmas for their audiences we thought it would be good to offer some practical help for the holiday season. This season is a time to celebrate and a chance to reach people who may never walk through your doors the rest of the year… so why not take that opportunity and turn it into an experience they will never forget?

I mean think about it, This is the one time of the year that the world turns to the Church for the Christmas Spirit. If you turn on the TV, all you will see is entertainment that doesn’t reveal the true story and meaning of Christmas…. so that’s what we’re all about. How can we help you create an experience that sticks with people for the rest of their lives this holiday season. So, in effort to help you plan this Christmas, we put together the 8 tips of Creating an Experience:

1. Plan, Plan, Plan.
You don’t make magic by wishing and hoping. It’s planning and preparing that pave the way for an experience.

2. Have a Purpose.
What’s the story you want people to leave with? Make sure everything points back to that… If we’re ever doing anything for just “entertainment” then we’ve lost our entire opportunity to make something sticky.

Related Article:  Start with Story: 3 Ways to Tell Christmas Stories

3. Don’t use a $30 Fog Machine.
Fog/Haze/Smoke is there to lightly illuminate the beams of light in your room, but that $30 Fog Machine you bought at Walgreens is going to make it look like your piano is on fire. Avoid at all costs.

4. Use Surprise.
This is the easiest element of creating an experience because when we catch people off guard, we create an actual chemical reaction that turns on the memory in the brain. We are statistically more inclined to remember something that caught us by surprise…

5. Alter Reality.
This is a deeper and more specialized manner of surprise. Maybe you can put your audience in Bethlehem or make it snow indoors?  Push the envelope here.

6. Tell a Story.
We all want to hear/see a great story… it’s why people spend hundreds of dollars every year on going to the movies, watching TV and paying a subscription to Netflix. We have an incredible story to tell this Christmas. Invite your audiences into that story and engage their senses.

7. Use Paper Candle Drip Protectors.
For all of those doing Candlelight services this year, this is my word of advice. The easiest way for me to be distracted from what’s going on is when my hand is burning because the hot wax is running over my thumb and index finger. Without these you will be worrying about loud outbursts aside from little children.

Related Article:  Graphics for "The First Noel"

8. Create Wonder.
We have shown a few Disney videos last week, but this is my favorite part of Christmas… we get to create a sense of wonder for our community. This may be the toughest tip for creating an experience but is the root of where experiences come from. This may mean a powerful choir ballad from the audience, or projection on your walls. Maybe it’s a living nativity or a multi-screen video wall. All of these have the potential to create wonder.


Think about how you can create an experience this year and Transform Christmas. If you have pictures from your Christmas programs, send them to us… If we post them on the blog we’ll hook you up with 20 free credits to spend however you wish! In the meantime, don’t forget to stop by every day to see how were helping you Transform Christmas every day.


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Luke McElroy

Author Luke McElroy

Luke McElroy is the founder of Orange Thread Media, the parent company to TripleWide Media, SALT Conferences and Orange Thread LIVE. He is the author of The Wide Guide: Blueprint for the Multiscreen Movement. Hailed as one of the “top innovators for worship” by Worship Leader Magazine in 2013, Luke’s leadership has helped create powerful worship environments for thousands of Church communities throughout the entire world. He currently lives in Nashville, TN and regularly writes about creativity, leadership and faith at 

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