Are you in charge of coordinating the next event happening in your community? While your to-do list may seem a mile long, there are some simple steps to make the occasion fun and memorable.
If throwing a themed event sounds like a ton of work, never fear! Here are eight simple ideas that will make your community event go off without a hitch, and be the talk of the neighborhood for weeks afterwards.
Planning Before Partying
Rushing to hit a certain date is sure to sabotage your efforts; not to mention you will be a frazzled wreck by the end. Start off with a master list or spreadsheet of all action items required for the event and assign deadlines for completing each task. While every event is different, allotting an appropriate timeline allows for securing sponsors, venues, entertainment, and caterers, as well as proper marketing time.
Assemble A Crew
One of the biggest mistakes planners make is thinking they can bear the heavy burden of planning a community event all by themselves. Recruit a small group of individuals who will toil alongside you to make your event a success. Assign them to specific tasks that match their personality. For example, if someone is a “people-person,” ask them to help secure vendors and sponsors. Other tasks include event promotion, decorating, tearing down and cleaning up, and managing entertainment. This crew should offer ample time out of their schedules to attend meetings and contribute to planning and pulling off a successful event.
Make A Budget
One of the biggest decisions you and your committee will make is how much to spend on the event. It’s integral to decide on the amount of the event as a whole, as well as to chop up the total sum into smaller pieces for each facet of the event. Going to splurge on the band? Then you may need to go with less expensive decorations. It’s important that every committee member understands where the money is being spent, so you’re all on the same page. Map out the budget on a spreadsheet so each person involved can see the amount of money they have available for their specific responsibility. This is key to avoiding budget-busting decisions that can tank the planning.
Designate And Delegate
Once you’ve delegated your team to specific tasks, stay in the loop with regular in-person meetings and a shareable spreadsheet, like Google Docs. This minimizes the chance of an important task falling through the cracks, missing important deadlines, or going over budget. As the event draws near, it may be tempting to jump in and micro-manage the event planning. Resist this urge. Remember: You carefully selected your team. Hold them accountable and let them shine.
Choose A Theme
A fun way to boost the community event’s involvement and entertainment factor is to choose a festive theme. Talk it over with your committee and think about exactly what type of crowd will attend. For example, a 1950’s theme is fun for a more mature crowd, while a football theme may excite sporting enthusiasts. Other fun theme ideas include Star Wars, Wild West, disco, and the always celebratory luau. Once the theme is set, incorporate it into every aspect of the community event, from the decor to the food to the entertainment.
Get The Word Out
Marketing is essential to drive interest and achieve a highly anticipated, well attended event. The person in charge of promoting the event needs to start early, creating buzz and anticipation by talking up your event on social media or your community website. The group as a whole should work on the design and messaging for fliers, advertisements, and other theme-oriented marketing materials. And don’t forget one of the most important ways to promote an event is word of mouth! Encourage everyone involved to tell their friends, neighbors, and local community groups about the event.
Focus on your theme and the people who will be attending, and come up with some fun activities and ideas. Should you plan a variety of games? Set up a raffle or silent auction? Hire a DJ or a band? Secure a speaker? A few – or all – of these build a fun, memorable experience for your attendees. Remember, tie everything back to your overall event theme for a cohesive, well-planned feel.
Choosing the theme for your event helps narrow down food and drink options. Do you want a buffet? Just appetizers, or a full meal? You may want to ask vendors to set up different stations with various food choices. All of these decisions depend on the type of community event you are planning, as well as your budget.
Community events are a fun and entertaining way to meet people and enjoy something out of the ordinary. Successfully planning such a festivity takes more than one person, plenty of time, and a structured budget. By putting these eight tips in place, you will be able to plan and execute a well-attended event that will be enjoyable, safe, and memorable for all.
Now, party on!