Tuesday, October 27, 2015

How to Host a Community Event and Editable Invitations (Day 27)

Most of the things I do with my neighbors involve a table and a meal. From my experience I think you need both large community-wide events and smaller more intimate gatherings. If the thought of planning a large-scale event intimidates you here some simplified event planning tips.

Steps for Planning an Event for Your Neighbors: 

  1. Choose a type of event. For large gatherings potlucks and cookouts work well (see this post for menu options and recipes). Craving something simpler? A s'mores night, coffee and donuts on a Saturday morning, or an ice cream sundae bar are simple and affordable ideas.
  2. Choose date, time, and location. Your front yard, community center or courtyard, or a local park are great neutral choices.
  3. Invite your neighbors. You can use an Evite or social media platform if you're connected with your neighbors online. But paper invitations hand delivered (or left at the front door are) are a great personal touch. (See below for free editable options.) Our neighbors do well with two weeks notice but yours may require more or less time. We also like to text "save the date" messages for certain events.
  4. Shop for your event. Begin making a list of things you need as soon as you begin planning your event and add to it over time. Will you needs tables and chairs, or picnic blankets? What kinds of paper goods do you need? What about food and drinks? Let your neighbors pitch in and don't be afraid to ask to borrow things like folding tables and chairs.
  5. Make a schedule. What can you do ahead of time? What has to be done the day of the event? If you don't host events or cook often, a schedule can be really helpful.
  6. Setup early. On the day of the event, setup and cook as early as you can. If you have neighbors (or friends) who are willing to help delegate jobs so you can connect with your neighbors and not worry about the details the whole time.
  7. Relax and enjoy the time with your neighbors.

 And as a gift to you, below are some simple invitations I've made for events with my neighbors. I usually print my invitations four to a page on cardstock and tie them to a homemade treat of some sort. (Click to edit them in Canva.)

Edit and Print Here

Edit and Print Here

Do you have any questions on planning community events? I'd love to answer them for you in the comments below.

This post is part of the 31 Days of Neighboring series.

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