The Visual Studio can help you with all of your internet church campus needs.

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We can help you get your church online with an internet church campus experience, whether you're looking for a turnkey solution or you simply need consulting to guide you through the myriad of choices and services available.

An internet church campus offers bold new ways to reach people with the message of Christ. In order for an internet church campus to be effective there must be interactivity to engage the visitor and make them feel a sense of community. A key element of any successful internet church campus is the broadcast of the weekend message, but it takes more than streaming video to keep people coming back for more.

Some of the core elements that should be considered include lobby chat, easy access to campus pastors, live help, live prayer, message notes, push technology, invite a friend, online giving, mapping technology, and membership options. Key administrative features include reliable website hosting, site statistics, effective marketing, music licensing, and easy communication tools with visitors.

If your ready to explore these options in greater detail, give us a call at 704.517.6615 or send us an email.

Click here to stop by The Visual Studio website to learn more about all of the services that we offer.

Streaming Video

Streaming Video

There are a number of options for adding streaming video of your service to your website but first you will need to encode the video into a usable format for the internet. If you currently record your services your well on your way. If you're unfamiliar with how to encode the video we can help you determine the best solution for your church. We can also help you decide if it makes sense to show the web service in real-time or pre-recorded. You will also need to determine how to host the video. There are a number of companies that provide streaming video services. There are free solutions as well as paid services. The right option for you will depend on your budget and the features that you're looking for. We can help determine what's best for you.
Lobby Chat

Campus Chat

One of the ways to make your internet church campus more interactive is by offering chat. This allows people to speak to one another before, during and after the service much like they do in a brick and mortar church. There are a number of chat tools that might be right for you. Some of these tools are very inexpensive but lack a number of features. You will need to determine whether you want to run this chat solution on your own web servers or if it makes more sense to use a hosted solution. Depending on the video solutions that are used, the main chat window may be integrated with the video or be a stand-alone product. It’s possible to have just one chat room or allow multiple rooms to exist to keep conversations more topical and personal. It’s also possible to have the chat room open to all visitors or just people that create an account and login to your campus.

Instant Messaging

Not everyone enjoys participating in a group chat room. If you want to add the next level of community to your campus you might want to consider using instant messaging. Using instant messaging allows people to see who’s at the campus and let’s them initiate conversations with each other. There are multiple options for adding instant messaging. Some of them are integrated into the chat room, and it’s also possible to have stand-alone IM.
Campus Pastor

Campus Pastor

Having a campus pastor easily accessible throughout the service is a great way to get connected with the virtual congregation. People are more likely to reach out to a pastor online than face to face because they can remain some what anonymous. Using tools like live chat and email make it easy for the campus pastor to be reached. These tools also make it easy for the campus pastor to manage the requests as they come in.
Online Prayer Requests

Live Prayer with Someone Who Cares

You might want the ability for a prayer team to be accessible where visitors can submit prayer requests and receive an instant connection with someone who cares. Live chat tools work the best for this because they allow you to communicate directly with each person and the requests can be routed to the next available prayer team member. Prayer requests can also be handled via email but there is less of a personal connection with this option.
Message Notes

Message Notes

Many churches provide message notes for their services allowing people to have an outline of each bible verse and a place to add their own notation. Adding this to an internet church campus can be accomplish by providing the visitor with a basic text editing tool which allows them to print the contents after the service. It’s also possible to provide your members with the ability to save their edited message notes to their profile.
Invite a Friend

Invite a Friend

There's no better way for people to learn about your internet church campus than by using an invite a friend option. This provides a simple way for attenders to let their friends know when the next service will be taking place along with a link to the site so they can attend. It’s also possible for attenders to promote your campus using their favorite social networking tool of choice including, Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, StumbleUpon, Delicious, and Digg.
Push Technology

Push Technology

To make your internet church campus even more dynamic you can take advantage of various push technologies which sends information to your attenders throughout the service and can even allow them to respond to questions that you might ask. We have a solution that will allow you to create general information slides, Music / Now Playing, and polling / raise a hand slides.
Member Account

Member Accounts

You can add the ability for people to create member accounts in order to offer them a more personalized experience. Some attenders will always prefer to remain anonymous, but as people begin to call the internet campus their church home they will want to login so people know they are there. This member information can be used in the chat room and allow them to save preferences for the entire internet campus experience.
Online Giving

Online Giving

During your church service you probably take up an offering, therefore it should be easy for the attenders of your internet church campus to participate as well. There are many options available for online giving and you might already be taking advantage of them on your website. Some of the options include using a solution provided by your church membership software, redirecting to a service like PayPal, or creating a form on your website which can be integrated with a payment gateway solution.
Live Online Help

Live Help

Since the concept of an internet church campus is fairly new, the people attending the online service will likely have technical questions for you. Using a live help solution will allow you to provide quality customer service. You might decide that your campus pastor can field these questions, but using a live online help solution will make this task much easier to manage.
Mapping Technology

Mapping Technology

Are you interested in seeing where all of your attenders are coming from? Much of this information will be available in your statistics, but you might want to consider adding a mapping feature to your internet church campus so others can see where people are coming from. You can also provide the capability for attenders to contact other attenders simply by clicking on their icon located on the map which would pull up a chat client.
Flash Countdown

Flash Countdown

A great way to let people know when your next online experience will be taking place is by including a flash countdown into the overall design of your internet church campus. This acts as a constant reminder for people visiting your website that the next internet service is coming and builds up some anticipation for the event.
Communication Card

Communication Cards

This is a way for attenders to provide feedback about anything. You can request certain information but allow them to enter only the information they're interested in sharing. This might be a good way to get feedback about the service and how the internet campus can be improved.
Web Hosting

Website Hosting

Once you have an internet church campus you will be inviting lots of people to your website all at the same time. Website hosting is certainly not created equal and the last thing you want to happen is have the site unavailable at the time of the service. We can help you weigh the options of shared web hosting, cloud/grid hosting, and dedicated servers. We can also help your determine what hosting requirements are neccessary based on the features that you want in your internet campus. Some website hosting only provides linux or windows based hosting options while others provide the ability to leverage just about any technology including PHP, ASP, .NET, Perl, Ruby on Rails, ColdFusion, SQL Server, MySQL, etc.
Music Licensing

Music Licensing

Once your internet church campus goes live your band will likely be performing licensed music and broadcasting it over the internet. Doing this will require a special license. We can steer you in the right direction to make sure your covered with any of the ways that you use music online.

Marketing the Campus

So now that you have an internet church campus how do you get people to come? Because your website is available to the world you will no longer be advertising to a regional market. We can help you think through the best marketing options for your church some of which might include, Pay Per Click advertising and leveraging online social networks. You might also want to think about when you offer service times for your internet campus which will effect who your target market is. If you offer weekday service times or evening services you will potentially reach people who are unable to attend church on the weekends and you will probably reach more of an international market as well.

Statistics and Reporting

Many of the the unique features of an internet church campus can provide statistics that are just not possible in a traditional church. Not only can you see how many people came but what did they do when they were there? Did you ask any questions during the service? How did they respond? Did people stay for the entire service or just part of it? This is just some of the information that will be available to you.