Interview with Lance Howerton – Director of Lifeway Kids.
What are some tips you have on taking a kids event to the next level?
- Production/Technology: Make sure you have the right people. Just like in anything you do, you need people who know what they are doing and can do it well if you want to take your production to the next level. Technology is expected; from the circus to The Wiggles tour you will find great sound and lights. Technology is not cheap; if you spend money on it, make sure you have people who know how to run it and what it can do. The technology is only as good as the people running it. At CentriKid we have been slow to purchase technology because we didn’t have a plan to staff for it. However, light boards and the digital world is making it easier for the novice to do well.
- Platform: Not only do you need the right people on the production/technology side, but also on your platform. There is the temptation to use the person who most wants to be on the stage because it is easy and quick. We tell ourselves that they could be good one day, but there is no replacement for experience. Regardless of how much technology you have, the experience of your people on stage is essential in taking a kids event to the next level.
- Creativity: Get people who are creative and love to dream in the room who dream about “what if”? How could we decorate the stage? How do we make it fun? What can we project onto screens? Never limit yourself to what you have done in the past but dream what you want to do in the future.
- Practice: There is simply no replacement for practice. Even the “experts” practice. Your sound tech needs to do sound checks; the person running presentation software needs to make sure everything works correctly from spelling to visual formatting. Your worship leader needs to check monitors and rehearse with whatever background music or musicians they are using. Once that has been done you need to run the complete presentation/worship service from start to finish and keep doing it till you are proud of it and everyone is comfortable.
- Evaluating: One of the most important, and often-skipped steps, is evaluating. During the presentation take notes on things you want to change and tweak. When your presentation is over get your key players (sound tech, light tech, etc.) together and talk about what went well and what you need to different next time. Don’t be afraid of hurting feelings; be polite and kind but be honest. Help folks know that you always want to improve.
“Some of the most important things in taking a kids event to the next level
are to be creative, practice practice practice, and evaluate.”