I put the registration link on the website three months before the event. I sent that link out on a flyer, and then I included it in the weekly e-newsletter a half a dozen times. It was plastered across the mailing we mailed a month out. And yet the week prior multiple people say they’re not coming because they don’t know what it is.
Note: they know THAT it is. They don’t know WHAT it is.
Information is not the same thing as interpretation.
A few descriptors, a couple of concrete details about the process–it doesn’t take much more than this to create a sense of expectation, which we really should do, because, absent ours, people provide their own, and that one’s not very good (a student asked me if he was required to wear a suit to the church retreat).
Retreat. Lock-in. Mission Trip. Youth Group. Worship. You know what these things are, and so do the students who are already there. Unless you can show what they are to people who aren’t already there, though, those people will keep finding reasons to stay away.
They have a bunch already.