Welcoming Prototypes

They came to me asking for what to include in the welcome packets at Southeast. We talked a lot about what other churches offer, from Starbucks cards to music to even shirts.

Eventually, our discussion settled on the packaging of our welcome materials. We were currently using a gray envelope cut at an odd diagonal into which we stuffed our materials.

Other churches just handed out a stack of materials. Some packaged their materials in a striped gift bag. None of these solutions appealed to us.

Packaging welcome materials is a tricky thing to figure out. You don't want anything complicated or expensive to produce. And while it's a part of the first impression, it's not the most important part. During our brainstorming we discussed every sort of welcome or registration packet we encountered, whether from a conference, a church, or anywhere else. They were all unremarkable or far too expensive.

A paper bag and a rubber stamp with a welcome message and our logo.

We landed on the idea of a bag with our logo on it. Something simple and classy like a bookstore shopping bag. It sounded like a good idea, but we don't want to get a million bags if we don't like the idea.

We needed to be able to try it out for a while without the costly investment. We needed a prototype.

A paper bag and a rubber stamp to put on our logo.

That's about it. Total cost for a thousand bags and our stamp was $100 (that included overnight shipping on the stamp because of my slacking). The stamping is more difficult than we expected, but it works out okay with a fine looking product.

The new welcome packets premiered a few weeks ago to a good response. We'll try it out for a few weeks. If we like it, we'll probably order some pre-printed bags.