Tips to Manage an Exceptional HOA Event
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The first step to a successful event is a great idea. Not sure where to start? Download our guide and get the planning process started off on the right foot!
To help make the planning as fun as the function itself, we’ve put together a list of simple tips. Whether you live in a high-rise, condo, or a master-planned community, applying these strategies will make your event a memorable occasion for all the right reasons.
Check your Bylaws.
Before you do anything else, be sure that your bylaws permit you to spend money on social events. This will avoid wasting time and money and disappointing residents.
Work on the basics.
Starting with the easy stuff will get the ball rolling. Determine the type of event and goals you want to accomplish first. Next, pin down the date and time you want to hold it. Create your budget and projected costs. Determine whether you’ll be charging guests to attend and how many attendees you are likely to have. You may even be able to throw your event for little to no cost by piggybacking on community or national events, partnering with restaurants, wineries, or breweries, or inviting local vendors to take part in a mini-bazaar.
Marketing your event is important, too, so consider using several forms of communication, such as:
- Social networking
- Email or Direct mail
- Banners and marquis signs
- Word of mouth
All of your communications should include the event title, date, location, time, age restrictions (if any), cost, and contact information.
Engage your vendors.
Your vendors are the ones who will help bring your event to life, so make sure they’re available on the day you need them. Nail down their costs, too—within budget, of course! A week in advance, reconfirm when they should arrive and what their responsibilities will be. If you’re lucky enough to be partnered with a national HOA management company, you may be able to leverage their buying power to lower your costs.
You don’t have to manage your event alone when your community is full of willing volunteers. Round them up as soon as you can, and assign them very specific duties. A good HOA management company can help you rally residents to your cause.
Make a list - check it twice.
Write down everything you’ll need for your setup. Compare it to a list of everything that’s being provided by your vendors and volunteers. See any gaps? Now’s the time to figure out how to fill them.
Set-up ahead of time.
When possible don't wait until the day of the event to begin setting up. Relieve some stress and pressure by doing what you can in the days leading up to the event. This will save you valuable time during the final prep.
Plan your last minute shopping.
Make your right-before-the-event shopping list. Typically, this will consist of your perishable foods. Schedule your shopping trip to keep it efficient.
Feeling the crunch? That’s to be expected. In fact, even the pros sense it at this point. And like them, you might find it to be a little exhilarating. Just take a deep breath and keep checking off that list.
Be the first to arrive.
There’s no benefit to being fashionably late. You’re the one in charge, so you should get there nice and early. After all, you’ll want to be there to get everyone on task and to manage a solution if there’s a small hiccup or two.
Your event is supposed to be fun, and that goes for the person who planned it, too. You worked hard on making it happen, so get out there and mix and mingle.
When the event’s over, your job still isn’t complete. Create a follow-up survey to send to your guests. Questions might include: what they liked, what could be improved, when they prefer to attend events, and how far they’d be willing to travel. Leave space for open-ended questions and comments. Follow up with a survey to your vendors as well.
Don't forget thank you notes.
This is the step that will make your mother proud. Thank your vendors and volunteers with a note, preferably handwritten and snail-mailed for a more personal touch. As for your attendees, thank them in your community newsletter along with photos of the event. This bit of gratitude is how you’ll stick the landing on your successful event.
Community events are a time for fun and camaraderie amongst neighbors. Enjoy your party by following the steps you see here. For more helpful information, contact FirstService Residential, Texas’ leading HOA management company.