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Plan Your VBS

Open Registration

First, set up online registrations for attendees and volunteers using a Detailed Signup. When you create the signup, you will be prompted to set the name and the first date/time of the event.

Create Selections

Add the selections based on pricing or how you plan to group kids during the event, such as teams or classes organized by age or grade group. You can also add a selection for volunteers.

When creating your selections, choose which fields of important personal information you want to collect about the attendees using each selection. This information will update their People profile.

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Add Dates/Times

From the About tab in the Configuration tab, add times for your entire schedule for the week of VBS. These times will show up on the event itself.

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Set Up Assignments

If you typically break people into teams at VBS, you can set up assignments with filters.

Tip

To assign people based on the filters set up for each assignment area, go to the Unassigned tab and click Auto Assign.

Finish setting up your event and open it for people to register!

Share the Signup

Once the signup is created, you want people to be able to register. From the Registrations event, click View on Church Center and copy the URL to share it with people.

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Notice

Sample Event

To see how we set up our VBS, go to the event and register yourself!

Email Parents

Create a list of parents in your database and send them the event.

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  1. Enter your rules based on the kids you want to invite to register for this event.

  2. Select household adults of matches, so your list results contain parents of the kids your rules search for. They're the ones you want to email, after all.

  3. If you know some kids don't have parents in their household or have become inactive, check these boxes to include those people as well.

Once you create the list, send them a Church Center announcement or a styled email with MailChimp to track who has opened and seen the message.

Tip

Don't forget to email people who volunteered or attended last year!

Schedule Volunteers

Communicating with volunteers is vital in making VBS a great week for kids. Schedule all your volunteers in Services so they know each day's schedule and where they're supposed to be.

Create Plans and Teams

Create a new Service Type for your VBS, setting the frequency to Daily, and add each day as a separate plan.

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When you create the first plan, use these tips to easily schedule people to the plan once they've registered.

Once your plan is in place, create a Secure Team, and add positions to the team.

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Automatically Add Attendees to Positions

Once your team and positions are set up in Services, you can automatically add people to those positions as they register.

  1. Create lists in People for each assignment area from your Registrations event.

  2. Use automations to add registered attendees to their position in Services.

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When people register, they will be added to the correct list the following morning, and the automation will add them to the appropriate team.

Schedule People to Plans

Use needed positions to define how many people you want to be in each position. When you're ready to schedule, load all your plans into the matrix and select auto-schedule to add people into positions on the plans.

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Once people are in their positions, click email these people, customize your message, and send an email to all your volunteers. The email from the Matrix will show all the dates and times, so let them know they can use the buttons in the email to:

  • Confirm for all dates.

  • Decline for a day they won't be there.

  • View the schedule.

  • Respond to the email with any questions they have for you.

Check In Kids

It's time to greet all those people with smiling faces! From the Registrations event, choose how you want to take attendance.

From the Registrations page, click the Attendance dropdown and choose how you want to take attendance.

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  1. If you don't need to print labels, you can have a record of who attended the specific event by taking attendance in Registrations.

  2. If you've added a filter and don't need to print labels, only take attendance for the filtered attendees with the built-in attendance.

  3. Use a Check-Ins event with the Check-Ins Integration.

    Tip

    You can create a custom label with the Registrations selection, add-ons, and logo!

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Notice

You can also create an event in Check-Ins separately from Registrations.

Pro: Events can have show at/hide at times, use the balanced check-in feature, and use the Services integration for Volunteers.

Con: Registrations information, such as balance due, assignments, and missing forms, will not be carried over.

Check Out and Start New

If you're using a Check-Ins Event, you can check out kids using their security tag with a scanner at a Manned Station. On the Admin side, add a filter for not checked out to see who you might have missed.

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When you're ready to start checking kids in again the following day, open the stations locked to the VBS event and start checking in!

Follow Up

Once VBS is over, remember to follow up with people who attended! Try these options:

Since there are never any contracts for using Planning Center products, you can downgrade the subscription of any product you were using if you no longer need it. All the information will stay in the product in case you need it in the future as long as you're still subscribed!

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