As we mentioned last time, creating a party planning committee is a great way to get your residents involved. But for some communities, they simply aren’t ready for that, so let’s take an intermediate approach! A great way to get residents to feel like they had a hand to play in the event is to let them vote on the party idea!
This is probably best for the basic theme of the apartment party, so have an internal party planning session with your on-site team to think up some unique and fun party ideas. Then, browse Resident Events and find some other ideas, paring the entire list down to the top 5 event ideas.
The next step is to get your residents to vote on which they like best! There are countless ways to have people vote on something, but I would do a mix of email and Facebook. With email, you can send out a list of all the ideas/links to the ideas. They can either reply to the email to vote, OR set up a “question” through your Facebook Fan Page that allows them to vote there, as well. You might get some duplicate votes, but this isn’t a life or death situation, so it won’t be a huge issue.
I’m a big fan of having residents take more ownership over their apartment community, so rather than simply throwing them a party, form an events committee where they help plan the events themselves! Obviously, they should not be asked or expected to plan the entire event themselves, but there are plenty of people who would love to get more involved if given the opportunity. This is especially true for new residents, who tend to be the most exuberant of all your residents.
The biggest challenge to a resident party planning committee is the same as the office hours question overall – how do you plan a committee meeting when everybody can attend? Realistically, you need the meeting to be in the evening so the residents can attend, so consider letting an on-site team member arrive to work late in order to be the event coordinator that evening.
Next, create a plan of attack to organizing the resident event. You need to determine the overall theme and a list of all the activities that will go on during the event. You need a list of all the vendors required and a rough plan for decorating. Some of the more difficult things need to be taken care of by the office staff, but this is a great time to get recommendations for caterers, etc. In general, you need to have a list of all the questions that need to be answered, and a list of all the to-do’s that the residents can help out with, including deadlines. Without planning ahead for these items, your committee meeting will likely be chaotic and unproductive.
Remember that these are volunteers, so don’t surprised if they don’t follow through completely! But do keep a list of to-do’s ready, and set a time for following up with each with plenty of time if someone drops the ball.
Lastly, make sure each committee member has flyers/etc to share when they are out in the community to help get the word out! Hopefully, they will take pride in the fact that they helped plan it and drive up attendance!
During the event, when you thank your guests for attending the party, make sure to take a moment and acknowledge your party planning committee! Everybody loves recognition, and that is a perfect opportunity, as well as a great introduction between residents.