What is guests’ first impression when they arrive at an event? Is it strict schedules and rules or growing spiritually?
If the first thing guests have to experience is a frustrating, confusing, unorganized registration, they will probably end up pretty distracted entering the event. Even if the rest of the event is great, that bad start can be enough to deter people from coming back. It is important to have the low down on what will be happening during the retreat, but most people attending are here to learn about God and enjoy themselves. Promotional materials and registration forms should have the reason for the event at the forefront of all else. Show the fun and the worship that will get people excited to go.
Remember that this is supposed to be fun, not stressful. If everything is planned out and guests are ready for a great week of ministry, there won’t be a bunch of problems. Those come when guests feel like they are being controlled. People know how to behave (for the most part). So save the rules for later, or just put them in a welcome folder with the schedule. Don’t let the focus get away from ministry. After all, that’s what everyone is there for.
Not to mention, a smooth sign-in process makes everything easier for the planner too.