Momentum Youth Conference, the annual event for young people that is sponsored by CE National, is cited on the Connect Faith website. It is listed among the top three faith-based youth conferences in the nation. A portion of the story appears below. Click here for the complete article.
The Evolution of Youth Conferences
Buy a ringtone for your Blackberry… choose your “Top 8” on Myspace… refer to Miley Cyrus as Hannah Montana… check the mail for a Netflix envelope. These are all things you did in 2007 that you would never do today. A lot has changed over the last decade, forcing planners of youth conferences to evolve (or die) to engage youth differently. We caught up with the planners of three of the most prominent faith-based youth conferences in the nation: Momentum Youth Conference, Xtreme Winter and Cru Winter Conference to talk audiovisual and production, marketing, speakers, venues and more, then and now.
Momentum Youth Conference
For 78 years, Momentum Youth Conference has gathered sixth- through 12th-graders for a weeklong summer event. The most recent change they’ve witnessed is a desire for greater options for attendees. “We’ve experienced a demand for more electives in the last 10 years,” says Erin Fowler, assistant coordinator at Momentum. Called Power Tracks, there were nine electives in 2007; now they offer 12 to 15 per day, plus Youth Worker Labs to help equip youth leaders.
While more options give way to creating memorable experiences for participants, they also call for more flexible meeting space. Momentum always has preferred university campuses over convention centers because they provide lodging and meals. The only difference today is the need for larger facilities to accommodate increased attendance and a rising number of sessions.
Momentum has added speakers who share 10-minute personal stories or testimonies to its typical lineup of long-form main session speakers. “This generation is attracted to authentic and transparent real-life stories of living for Christ,” says Fowler.
Momentum’s AV and production budget has increased threefold since 2007. Ten years ago, the team used projectors, TV screens and an analog soundboard. They sold CDs from the main session and Power Tracks, as well as a highlight DVD. Now, they’re investing in LED screens and a digital sound board, and have made recordings and videos digital using live streaming and YouTube.
In 2007, Momentum’s marketing consisted of a website and mailing print pieces to churches. This year is the first time in almost 80 years that Momentum has dropped its Grace Brethren denominational tag. The current marketing plan is to target church youth groups outside of their former denomination. Momentum still sends marketing pieces to their database of churches and students, but also produces videos to send to youth pastors, as the conference has found success in having this group market the conference to their spheres of influence. The marketing team also uses Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to spread the word.
Click here for the complete article.