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More, Trending | Jan. 29, 2015

One Easy Step to Turn a Visitor into a Member

Guest Welcome Station

Last year, my husband and I visited a church. When we walked up, we weren’t sure where to go or if we were even going in the correct door. There weren’t any greeters or directions. That was fine though; we’re big kids, so we found our way around and loved our visit. But I got to thinking, “What is missing here? And could it affect turning visitors into members?”

As nominal as this may sound, I realized that having a guest welcoming station is more important that I ever considered. Some churches call it a guest services booth or maybe give it a fun name such as “Starting Point.” But I never paid these stations much attention until I felt lost at a church myself.

Clearly labeled desks or booths that are centrally located and easy to spot are pivotal for helping turn visitors into members. Here’s what a guest station can do for your church:

1. Give you the opportunity to welcome your guests
2. Provides a way to answer every question a guest might have
3. Can help calm visitors’ anxieties. Think of it as a lighthouse for your guests
4. It shows that you care
5. Allows you to connect with visitors -and every connection matters!
6. They can be loaded with information to hand to your guests. (I would recommend stocking your station with first-time visitor gifts as well.)

This adds up to make a visitor feel welcomed and enjoy their first (or 2nd or 3rd) visit. If someone feels welcome and informed about who you are as a church, the probability of them deciding to keep visiting, or even join, increases.

A lot of churches are doing this already. And if your church isn’t, it might be time to start building a guest services booth.

Sarah Blackmon Church Marketing Specialist, d2design
Sarah Blackmon Church Marketing Specialist, d2design
  • Chad Haymon

    Is there a difference between a Guest Station and an Information Center? Can a church have both and be effective. We currently have an information center….a place to sign-up for LIFE|Groups, purchase books, get info on upcoming events, etc. Seems like a busy place to try and funnel First Time Guests through….any recommendations?

    • I read once that the goal of a church for first time visitors shouldn’t be to get them to sign up for anything, but to get them to come back for a second visit. An information station is great, but is more for members or long time visitors. It could be overwhelming for a first time guest (or 2nd time guest even). I think having seperate areas is wise.