A while back, I wrote about requiring residents to actually participate in community events, whether it is during the event or in the planning process. At the time, all I had was anecdotal evidence based upon my own experiences at events. Essentially, those events where I simply showed up and relaxed left a much smaller impact on me compared to those that I actually actively participated in the event. So although most people would assume that requiring participation would be a turn-off for our residents, it actually ensures that they have a memorable time, rather than simply eating, drinking, and leaving.
Today, I ran across a concept that helps support this very idea: The IKEA Effect. Essentially, this concept explains how people who put in effort into a project tend to be more satisfied with the result than if they did not. With Ikea furniture, often the purchaser has to take the time to put together the furniture once they purchase it, and that act of building something creates a feeling of appreciation for that product greater than if they had just purchased the finished product. Purchasers tend to then overvalue their own creations.
When you think back on similar situations, this is actually quite common, even going back to when we are little kids. I remember writing a “book” as a little kid and being so incredibly proud of it, just because it came from my own effort. But if I had just read that book, I’m sure I would have been less than impressed. Same thing went for the garden I built and countless other masterpieces throughout my life. Even when writing blogs, I find myself reading back over them, self satisfied with the final product.
So going back to apartment parties, this means that having residents be a part of the party-planning/creation process will not only provide additional volunteer labor, but also provide a greater satisfaction level for those that participate. It changes your community events from events that you throw for your residents to events they throw for themselves. Are you ready to create your party planning committee?