When it comes to planning an event of any kind, most people hope to pull off a successful one. Depending on the type of event it is, however, success can be measured in a variety of ways ranging from the amount of money that might be raised at a charity event to how many people show up to how much fun people have or how much they enjoy the event. When planning and organizing a neighborhood event, there are a number of protocols you want to follow to ensure your event is a rousing success. Here are 5 tips for planning and organizing a successful neighborhood event.
1. Plan early
Not only do you want to give people plenty of time to get the event on their calendars and plan around it, but you also want to give yourself plenty of time to work out logistical details. If you are planning a summer event, January is not too soon to start getting people to mark their calendars. For spring and fall events, a few months in advance is sufficient, but you also want to give plenty of notice for Holiday events as well. The busier people are likely to be at the time you want to host an event, the more advance notice you need to give them.
2. Form a committee
Whether it’s your own family members, neighbors or even just a gang of your personal friends, no one pulls off a successful event single-handedly, so you will want to enlist plenty of help. If you yourself are an organized person, you can make the necessary plans and assign tasks. If not, you will want to enlist the aid of an extremely organized person to essentially be your party planner. Depending on the size and location of your event, you may need to get permits or permission from the HOA, reserve a community room or communal space or even make arrangements with neighbors to remove all cars if you are planning on having a block party. Whatever you are planning will likely need a lot of coordination and for that, you will need help.
3. Arrange food
Whether you are planning on brining in food trucks, hosting a potluck or just serving drinks and snacks, almost no event is complete without food. This also means that you will need to arrange for plates, utensils and other implements, tables, chairs or other areas in which to serve or eat food and ways to dispose of trash. Getting people fed is a task in and of itself, so this is where having a committee to help can come in handy. Depending on how large your event is, you will also need to make arrangements to pay for the food or see that it is paid for. If you are selling tickets to the event, you will want to make sure you have enough money up front to pay for everything, or you may need to set up a digital account for people to transfer money in advance.
4. Arrange activities
Whether you set up a variety of outdoor games, or set up a full-scale carnival, you will want to be sure and provide plenty of entertainment for your neighborhood event. You can either hold a family event or you can provide separate venues for kids and adults to all enjoy themselves. Adult entertainment might include a DJ or band with a dance floor or casino games, while kids activities might include creating a putt-putt golf course or buying a bounce house.
5. Communicate, communicate, communicate
No matter how many times you tell people in advance, send out e-mails or ask them in advance to do things, someone is always going to forget something. Communicating in advance, however, will often give you a pretty good idea of where your problems are most likely to come from. This will also give you an opportunity to have backup plans in place for the things most likely to go wrong or the people most likely to not follow through on arranged plans.
Planning a successful event requires many of the same skills involved in running a successful company or raising a successful family. Planning, enlisting help and communicating are some of the biggest keys to success in any arena. While few events ever get pulled off without a single hitch, the most successful events are generally those where very few people, if anyone, recognized anything was amiss.