When I was the activities director at a campground, it was always a challenge to come up with new and exciting events to bring the summer community together. You can’t just have some hot dogs on July 4th and a luau in August and call it a summer.
With the busy lives of HOA residents, it can be difficult for the board to keep reinventing the wheel of social time too. Although not the primary responsibility for the board, events are necessary to engage residents through fellowship. Knowing your neighbors builds trust, safety and just plain old joy. So below are some unique ideas to spark your board’s imagination for upcoming parties and events.
Guest Speakers – If there is one thing I have learned as a writer is people love to talk about what they do. Local businesses, performers and politicians are always hungry for a way to network. These potential guest speakers are full of energy and knowledge. Plus they will perform for free and often bring free swag for their audiences. Think of local musicians, accountants or lawyers, doctors, plumbers, HVAC professionals, students, florists and wineries.
All the board has to do after they schedule a speaker is make a flyer and brew some coffee for the event. This protocol can be repeated again and again. But the originality of each event is limitless. It’s a win-win for the condo community and the local community.
Style Swap – I have a friend who does this a few times a year. She invites her friends over for a potluck. We each bring 10 items in great shape that we are ready to pass on and plop them in a pile. Then we eat, drink and do our best to give our stuff away! The unspoken for items then get donated to the local women’s shelter.
This is a fantastic way to get rid of those great shoes you can’t wear because they pinch your feet, or the handbag that doesn’t quite fit your new phone. Plus, you are giving members of the community who don’t have a huge budget to enjoy items they might not buy for themselves, clearing some clutter, and helping out a local charity. Don’t worry about size either. There are always plenty of earrings! Don’t exclude the men who can benefit from some new tie patterns too!
NACHO Average Party – We all know food can really inspire people to attend an event. But the same old coffee and donuts or pizza party can get dull really quick. But within any community is a plethora of culture. Maybe one resident is an ethnic chef. Perhaps another just got back from an African safari and has great slides. Find them! This is a great way to reach out to residents who are not as willing to get involved or speak English as a second language.
Celebrate the world by focusing on one country at a time! How about a nacho bar with authentic music? Play some lively music, teach some conversational Spanish, and have a salsa contest (both at the dancing AND the eating kind). The ingredients are inexpensive and filling. Who doesn’t swing their hips a bit when Mexican music is playing?
I hope you incorporate one of these ideas soon. Keep checking back for more original party ideas.