Case Study: Connection 2011
Planner: Steven Cauble, Convention Production Manager, International Church of the Foursquare Gospel
Event: Connection 2011 is the annual convention for The Foursquare Church. This year’s event took place May 30- June 2, 2011, in Columbus, Ohio, drawing 3,000 pastors, leaders and church members from 54 nations. The four-day convention includes general session with speakers and worship time, business sessions and a NextGen Connections program for children and youth. An online live stream of the general sessions attracted 5,500 unique views during the four days.
Location: Cauble was looking for a central, second-tier city that fit his group’s needs, and Columbus, Ohio, and the Greater Columbus Convention Center surprised him. “Columbus wasn’t even on my radar until I met them at Rejuvenate and agreed to do a site visit less than three weeks later,” he says.“I was stunned with all that the city and package had to offer.”
Challenges: “Columbus as a meeting destination/location was virtually unknown to our group,” he says. Even the organization’s president, whose son lives and works there, didn’t realize it’s potential. “We had to do a good deal of education with our group on why to come to Columbus and what it had to offer.”
Volunteers: A local host committee was chosen and responsible for recruiting volunteers. “We have the equivalent of an RFP for volunteer needs that we discuss with them about a year out from the event, and then we meet with [committee members] two to three more times prior to the event,” he says. “They are able to generate between 150 and 200 volunteers for us to fill a variety of needs.”
Inspiration: “I grew up watching my own parents attend this event and know how much it meant to them,” Cauble says. “It provided not only inspiration but an opportunity for fellowship with friends they didn’t see any other time. It makes me very happy and satisfied to know that I’m helping to facilitate this same kind of sense of community with a whole new generation.”
Advice: “Don’t be afraid to observe and ask questions of others,” he says. “Many of the best practices we’ve implemented were birthed in watching what another group has done and then customizing it to our needs. It’s not really necessary to completely re-invent the wheel all of the time.”