The average guest visiting a congregation decides if they are going to come back within minutes of being on site. How we welcome guests is critical!
This is a problem for our congregations with cringe worthy welcome tables, cobweb covered welcome nooks hidden in dark corners, and in some cases nothing at all.
To help inspire taking our welcoming environments to the next level, I’ve invited members of the UU Growth Lab to join in a little welcome table show and tell. Additional submissions welcome, see the end of this post.
Here is our first installment! ~ Peter
The UU Congregation of Phoenix
Our first welcome area show and tell is from Janine Gelsinger and the UU Congregation of Phoenix, AZ. Janine serves as their Membership and Welcoming Ministries Coordinator.
Pay close attention to how you feel as you review the photos below.
The Welcome Desk
This is their beautiful welcome desk with Janine modeling being a friendly presence. I wish I had an animated GIF of her smiling and waving, but this will have to do.
Don’t you want to walk up, ask her questions, and get involved?
The notebook computers on each side of the welcome desk have sign-up forms including name tag request, pathway to membership enrollment, children’s registration, etc…
Temporary name tags and markers for visitors are available front and center! Look close and you’ll see that they have a golden cup filled with a rainbow of Sharpies.
I love that they offer a rainbow of Sharpies. Why?
- Unitarian Universalists LOVE RAINBOWS
- People enjoy picking their own color
- If you are going to use guest nametags, use bold markers with ink!
- I’ve seen many congregations with dry Crayola markers, BIC ball point pens, and pencils next to their name tags. These are not only bad for visibility, they tell people you don’t care.
Across from the main welcome desk is the brochure rack featuring a wide range of pamphlets. These are available via the UUA Bookstore.
There are two televisions in the lobby. The one next to the desk, facing the sanctuary, scrolls through quotes relating to the monthly theme. The side television displays information including new member photos, upcoming events, and photographs of the staff and board.