Event Ideas for Higher Resident Engagement

Staff Writer |

Community events are a great way to engage your residents. And the more events you can host, the better.

When done right, events become more than just an occasion to provide your residents with free food and drinks; it’s about demonstrating to your residents that they are cared for and valued. While it’s often hard to get residents to leave their homes after a long day, or to find time during a busy weekend, planning the right events may be the key to their happiness!

Traditional pizza parties and happy hours will always be popular, however you have the opportunity to be creative and customize events that fit the culture of your community. Here are the top 12 events we feel are worth your consideration when planning your next community event:

#1. Food Trucks: Why deal with catering and the clean up of your clubhouse when you can bring in a food truck? You can prepay by number of people, hand out vouchers for a meal and a drink to each resident, or set a flat rate. Budget can be controlled, residents and on-site staff members are satisfied, and community happiness is almost guaranteed!
TIP: Try different cuisines each time.

#2. Community Potluck: Host a potluck for your residents. They can get to know their neighbors and try out their culinary talents. As the property manager, you can take care of the beverages, serving dishes and desserts.
TIP: Theme the potluck based on the season or choose an uncommon ingredient that has to be incorporated in recipes.

#3. Bake Sale: Who doesn’t like something sweet? With today’s dietary restrictions, a Bake Sale can accommodate residents with limitations such as gluten allergies or sugar intolerance. Invite your residents to share their recipes and sell their goods. Afterwards, provide an option to donate the proceeds of the Bake Sale to a charitable organization or use the funds for a future pool party.
TIP: Feature the resident chefs on your social channels and community site. Consider handing out an award for their participation.

#4. Car Wash Service: Hire a mobile car wash for onsite cleaning services. Residents can schedule an appointment in advance or they can drop off keys to get their car serviced.
TIP: Consider gifting a flat fee coupon or voucher for each wash to participating residents. Or simply make a deal with the car wash service to discount each service provided.

$5. Community Garage Sale: One resident’s trash is another resident’s treasure! Rummaging through other people’s possessions proves to be a great incentive and exciting way to spend a morning. Garage Sales offer a number of advantages for the shopper and the seller. The buyer gets to bargain shop for items, and the seller has an opportunity to get rid of items that have been gathering dust around their home. Not to mention, sellers have opportunity to gain income from items that may have been earmarked for the trash.
TIP: Advertise the Garage Sale and have some drink stations and consider planning other fun activities throughout the day.

#6: Movie Under the Stars: Invite your residents to an outdoor movie screening experience. Encourage residents to bring picnic baskets, blankets and lawn chairs. Consider making soft drinks and popcorn available for free. Potentially bring a concession stand with hot dogs and other snacks from a local food vendor for a reduced price.
TIP: Consider adding pre or post show entertainment to include music and games.

#7 Fitness Classes: Invite your residents to participate in zumba, yoga, jogging or bootcamp! Even invite a fitness trainer or nutritionist to speak about healthy lifestyle habits. Get the community in shape. Create a community olympics. Who doesn’t like a healthy competition?
TIP: Consider several fitness options to accommodate your residents’ schedules.

#8. Kids’ Activities: For communities with multiple families and children, offer kid friendly entertainment as a way for families to meet, develop new friendships and most importantly have fun! Popular activities include: Inflatables like bounce houses, crawl-throughs and giant slides, airbrush face painting, temporary tattoos, spin art, sand art, foam crafts, bead art, kids’ concerts and dance parties, coloring crafts, watercolor workshops, pony rides and petting zoos.
TIP -  Make sure to keep safety in mind when choosing your activities!

#9. Puppies, Kitties and other Pets: Organize puppy play dates, bring by a pet mobile grooming van or consider creating adoption events. Other fun pet events could be to host a food drive for local shelter or costume contests for the beloved furry friends.
TIP: Ask a local pet vendor to participate as a sponsor.

#10. Video Gaming Truck:  Who said video games are just for kids? Video Gaming Truck Parties are an exciting and engaging way to experience the latest and most popular video games at your community’s celebration. No matter what age, a Video Gaming Truck Party will impress your residents. Most Video Gaming Trucks can accommodate up to 25 people playing at once with multiple consoles featuring hundreds of games.
TIP: Add a little competition by offering a small prize to the highest scorer.

#11. Book Club: Initiative a forum where readers come together and talk about books and their reading experience. The groups are normally for adults but can be broken down into sub groups by demographics such as students, mothers, parents or by type of book such as romance, thrillers, poetry, etc.
TIP: Consider building a community library where residents can loan and borrow books from each other.

#12. Professional, Inspiration and Leadership Lectures: With so many residents, there is a strong likelihood that various professionals are part of your community. Invite residents for sessions hosted by local professionals. Bring in a  CPA to share tips and insights about tax season. Or perhaps a nurse or doctor can share information about new medical practices.
TIP: Oftentimes these professionals will gladly volunteer, however a thank you card may be a nice touch!

Now that you have the tools you need - go plan your next event! Let us know what worked for you! And feel free to Tag us in any photos of events you implement from this post: @modernmessage, and we will give you a special shout out!

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