Having tons of amenities and toys can make running an resident event a whole lot easier, but those items aren't necessarily required. Sometimes a good event is simply a function of the right attitude of people wanting to have a good time. And considering that the onsite team plays a huge role in setting the tone of the party, an event without the "frills" is definitely possible!
Let me share a quick story about this concept in action. When I was younger, my dad used to buy beach houses, fix them up, and then sell them again. Needless to say, I hosted a LOT of beach house parties. Most of the parties were hosted at houses that were pretty much good to go, however, with proper furniture and nothing glaringly out of place. But one time we had a different situation. My dad "warned" me that the house that I had never seen only had wood floors. In my head, I didn't think anything of it - thinking he meant hard wood floors rather than carpet. That's no big deal, and I didn't understand why he even brought it up. As you can imagine, however, that is not what he meant. What he meant was plywood floors throughout in a house that was pretty well gutted. There was even a quarter sized hole in one of the floors that you could look all the way down to the beach below.
So as I stood there with my mouth wide open in shock, wondering what the heck we were going to do, I hear the first carload of people coming up. Now, having had a lot of parties, I was desperately hoping that it was a car full of my good friends who would be able to help me make the place habitable and cushion the blow to anyone else who came in. No such luck. It was a group of people who were friends of a good friend of mine, but whom I had never met before. I started sweating, wondering what they must be thinking after driving several hours only to be stuck in a gutted mess of a house.
But it turned out my fears were completely unfounded. This group of people, whom I only knew one or two, had come in with just the right attitude, and it turned into one of the best beach house trips I ever hosted. The fact that the house was a disaster almost added to the fun of it, and definitely made it more memorable. And several of those people became good friends, even years later!
I hadn't thought about that party in a while, but someone posted it on Facebook. One of the guys that I had never met, and was in that first group, said in the post, " One of the best weekends of my life, actually."
Now, I'm not recommending that you take some dump and throw a party there. And I will admit that having plenty of alcohol probably did make an impact on the event. But I think the lesson still holds true, that the event was a success not because of the surroundings, but rather because of the attitude and enthusiasm of those first people. They were in a great mood and determined to have a great time. At that point, the success of the party was almost a given. As the on-site team, you can either sit back quietly and let the residents file in, or you can set the tone and establish what type of party it is going to be. And that attitude will make all the difference.