Church Hospitality Team Guide: The Chat

With Altar Live, your church hospitality team is vital to the experience of your members and visitors in your events. Our Host and Greeter training is designed around making your church hospitality team feel comfortable with the platform so that you can better concentrate on what matters: the people

Utilize The Chat

As a member of your church hospitality team, your job isn't to entertain. Your job is to interact. You get the amazing opportunity to engage with, and be part of, a community that is growing and being shaped by you and your church! You can do this by using  the chat! Have fun, stay positive, remain prayerful, and remember that this is all for serving the greater good.

The Welcome Message

The first thing your church hospitality team will need to know is how to make the most out of using the chat. It's the first thing people will see when they enter an event. It's the place where you're going to do a majority of your engagement to start.

The admin and your church hospitality team who set up the event initially will have had the opportunity to set up a default welcome message. This message is seen by everyone who enters the event, regardless of whether they are logged in or not. 

When attendees enter the event, they will see your church hospitality team’s greeting in the Welcome panel. If there are multiple Greeters on your welcome team assigned to an event, the system will show the automated welcome message as sent from the first Host on the list that you added on the Add Team step in the event creation process.

Attendees can dismiss this message or reply to it. If they reply, they'll be brought to the message panel.

The Message Panel

The message panel has two main columns:

General chat, which is messages that are visible to the entire audience; and My Chats, which are private conversations that are visible only to the people messaging each other.

When attendees hit reply on the welcome message, they'll be brought to a private conversation with someone in your church hospitality team like a Host or Greeter. Stay prepared, as this is a great place for you to get the ball rolling in terms of conversation!

Also, you've got the ability to “like”, “heart'' and give other reactions in the chat, just like every other attendee. 

My Chats

Any chats that are in this column are persistent across one event to another. So, if you started a conversation with someone last week, that conversation will still be active for the next week and the week after. This really allows you to pick up where you left off without losing context, and it's particularly useful to those in the church hospitality team.

General Chat: Anonymous users

Now, not everyone who attends your events is going to log in or have real names. You'll often see names like Pink Dog or Red Whale. These people are those that have not signed in. They are assigned a temporary name, always a combination of a color and an animal.

Anonymous users are able to define their own display names when they join, however.

This is also highly useful to you as a part of your church hospitality team. You're able to see the full list of people that are attending, anonymous as well as logged in members. This is one of the key differences between Altar Live and other platforms like Facebook and Youtube. Much of your audience on the other social media platforms remain anonymous and have no identifiers to them.

But in Altar Live, as a member of the church hospitality team, you can directly talk to someone, even if you don't know their name and if they want to remain anonymous. We don't have to use the big broad ice breaker questions that are typical of other platforms, since we don't necessarily need people to identify themselves as attending the event at that moment.

So you're able to talk directly to people instead of just fishing. Anonymous attendees are able to watch  the livestream, and they're able to chat in the my chats area with a greeter.

However...they're not able to chat in the General Chat area (even though they can view it). They're also not able to sit in a row with other attendees with their cameras on. Only people that have signed in can fully take advantage of the video conferencing and chatting capabilities.

This is for a a couple of big reasons, which will bring big benefits along with it: 

  • While your event remains fully accessible to anyone, this one level of authentication ensures some of the more intimate features like video conferencing and direct messaging are secure from bots or bad actors.
  • This gives you a way to do great guest follow up with someone after the event! Now that you have their email, you can easily connect with them offline and help the engagement process continue on throughout the rest of the week.

The sign in process is really easy. When someone clicks on a seat or chat, they will see a popup prompting them to create an account. They can create an Altar account with their Google or Facebook log-ins, or with an email address.

Once you create an account once, you never have to do it again! You're alway signed in. Chatting is just that simple with the platform.

Final Thoughts 

It can be really daunting to enter a new space and an online community is no exception. It is so important to properly equip your church hospitality team to make your attendees’ experience meaningful. Your church hospitality team can make a huge difference in people’s lives by making them feel welcomed, seen, and heard.