So you're running Alpha this September? Wondering how to invite?
Well, we asked one of our key student leaders, Tom from Sheffield University, to help us out and share his advice for inviting students on Alpha.
Here's his 10 top tips...
1 - Host a Launch Event
Start your Alpha with a bang. My church, St Thomas Crookes in Sheffield did just this. We found a great venue, hired a live band & created personal invites all to launch our Alpha and engage with the new students on campus. It was a sell-out! Why not start September with an Alpha launch event? Time it well, find the gaps in the week and invite them to something they can’t say no to.
2 - Use the Bear necessities
Who doesn’t love Bear Grylls? I’m super excited about using the Bear Grylls' campaign and seeing how it will equip students to invite a generation to Try Alpha. Make the most of it in your context. Get your hands on all the Bear necessities here.
3 - Fresher’s Fair
Now we all know this can hold challenges, but where you can, be a part of your Fresher’s Fair! With Alpha’s new campaign, imagine the attention that you would receive if you put up a banner of Bear Grylls in a university sports hall. Whether its because people are intrigued, or just because they have a serious man-crush, it will get people talking and set you up to invite.
4 - Free stuff
I received about a lifetime’s supply of noodles and Haribo during Fresher’s week. While I appreciate the freebies, to truly stand out to students you need to be creative. I heard of St Swithun’s Lincoln who had the genius idea of handing out wooden spatulas with the Alpha logo on. Because how else are you supposed to stir your lifetime supply of £1 noodles? Genius!
5 - Make them your VIPs
We invited to our Launch party using paper tickets guaranteeing the guest a free drink. Our student leader challenged every student to hand out 10 tickets each to their friends, inviting them to come. Why not dream big, challenge your students and have fun with it. Getting a personal invitation to Alpha from your friend makes such a huge difference and makes people feel like you actually want them there. Why not also incentivise it with a free drink per ticket, if your budget allows? Make it personal, make it friendly and make people feel like a VIP.
Download our double-sided launch ticket below for you to print and personalise for your Alpha.
6 - Create a buzz on campus
“Is there more to life than this?” Christian or non-Christian, this question works for all. It doesn’t shove any sort of religious agenda in your face, it simply asks a question. Use posters, flyers or other resources found on Alpha Builder to get the message out on campus. Create a buzz, get people talking, and use it to invite people to explore more on Alpha.
7 - Get social
Mark Zuckerberg recently announced that 1 in 7 people in the world logged into Facebook in just one day. Now if that’s not a platform for invitation, I don’t know what is. Use it well. Don’t bombard people with posts, don't make it complicated, just be real, be fun and share the invite. Your audience is there, are you?
8 - Lend a helping hand
Fresher’s is a prime opportunity to bless and love people. One idea could be to lend a helping hand to Fresher’s moving into Halls of Residence. If they ask why you are helping, or where you are from, (which they probably will) then there is the opportunity to invite them along to something, meet your community and take it from there.
9 - Work together
Churches, charities, CU’s, who’s around you? If you are all working for the same goal why not do it together? Make an effort to get to know the people around you and share resources, wisdom and people power to invite well. We’re always better together.
10 - Tell your story
It’s amazing that we have someone like Bear Grylls to tell his story, but we all know the power of a personal testimony when it comes from someone we know. We don’t all have to climb Everest and drink our own urine to have a good story, so share your story on social media and encourage others to do the same.
Read more Alpha stories here.