Consult key people in the Church
We recommend you canvas a select group of people and then make the key decisions yourself. Generally, offering lots of choices in terms of dates, hotels and the itinerary leads to confusion and can cause resentment when someone’s idea is not taken up.
In our experience, pilgrims trust the judgement of their leader. Inevitably there will be some who cannot travel whichever date you choose.
Avoid talking about ‘our plan to go on pilgrimage’ or ‘the possibility of a pilgrimage’. Better to fix dates and use the detailed brochure to give weight to the idea and confidence in the arrangements.
It is often those you least expect who actually book. The wider the invitation the more likely it is that you will reach your target number.
Spread the word around local churches. Perhaps think in terms of a local ecumenical experience. Contact your local newspaper or radio station to see if they would be interested in carrying a pilgrimage related story.
Encourage pilgrims to pay a deposit
A definite commitment allows you to promote the pilgrimage more confidently. This can create a snowball effect. Once someone knows that their friend has booked, they may decide to join as well.
Keep in touch
Send update letters, perhaps re-iterating important information and introducing new details. The ‘drip-feed’ approach can help to maintain enthusiasm during the months between booking and departure.
Brochures are not magic!
A personal invitation can make all the difference. The vast majority of people who travel do so because of a personal contact either with the group leader or with another traveller. Many people are apprehensive about their age, the amount of walking involved or who they would share a room with. You can re-assure them and perhaps introduce them to other single travellers.
Arrange information evenings
Many groups have a Launch Meeting as soon as the brochures are published; then an Information Meeting about six months before departure; and finally a Preparation Meeting about three weeks before you leave.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions
McCabe staff are there to give support and advice. For instance we encourage you to meet the local Christian community and can advise you how best to do this on your particular itinerary.
McCabe staff are always ready to help
so give us a call.
Freephone: 0800 107 3 107