As a board member, it can be difficult to fully understand the financial, legal, and emotional impact the COVID-19 pandemic had on the residents of your homeowners’ association (HOA). While it’s crucial to focus on budgets, board meetings, and other community obligations to get your community back on track, you can’t lose sight of what matters most: reestablishing a sense of togetherness. The overall goal of an association—and one of the most important reasons HOAs exist in the first place—is to build a true sense of community. For areas where local regulations allow, some might consider hosting an in-person event to help invigorate the association in this post-COVID landscape. To ensure your board hosts a gathering that’s well-planned, well-executed, and loved by community members, follow these tips.
Get homeowners involved.
Many people enjoy connecting and being a part of something that brings happiness to their community. Engage community members in the event planning process by asking for their input. To better understand what types of events people would like to see and would feel comfortable in, send out a poll or reach out on social media. Some communities have found success with events such as:
- block parties
- food trucks
- pool parties
- National Night Out
- shredding events
- vendor fairs
Confirm your community is fully insured.
Before diving into the event, confirm your community is protected from liability. Every event carries a unique set of risks for the community and homeowners, and working with an insurance professional to mitigate these risks ahead of time will prepare your community for the unexpected while giving the board peace of mind.
Create a safe event space.
Safety for guests should be a top priority. Wherever you decide to hold your event, make sure the space is up to code and can accommodate your expected number of attendees. Installing non-slip surfaces around the pool will ensure a safe pool party while checking outdoor lighting ensures proper illumination of entryways and pathways for an after-dark event. Check all safety systems, like smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, fire extinguishers, and first aid kits, before hosting any event on community property.
Form & leverage vendor partnerships.
Vendor partnerships are a win-win, and you can grow this relationship when you ask them to become a part of your event. The opportunity to participate gives vendors publicity, time to connect with homeowners, and even the chance to demo products. In return, vendors add value to the community by providing help, adding interesting features, and sometimes even easing your budget.
Consider the often-forgotten details.
Most people plan for the key details, like time, place, food, drink, entertainment, or theme, but forget other important factors. When planning the event, don’t forget to determine the quickest and easiest route for emergency vehicles to get to the event, make food easily accessible for attendees, and have cleaning supplies on hand. Ask if anyone needs special accommodations and facilitate those individuals accordingly. Include a rain date on your invitation in case of inclement weather, too.
How to Attract New Homeowners to Your Community
In today’s market, it’s critical for boards to hold memorable events and seek ways to make their community stand out to potential new residents. Because most people buy from an emotional perspective, the environment and endeavors of a community are huge factors when purchasing a home. Read our article, “How to Attract New Homeowners to Your Community,” to discover creative ideas to make your community a place people want to live and hope to stay.