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5 Tips to Plan Events that Foster Community Connection

Picture this: you're at an event where you really connect with people and leave feeling stoked and excited for the next one. Sound like a feeling you want to create for your next event? Then this blog is for you! We’re all about bringing people together and having real, authentic moments. In this post, we’ll share five of our tried and true tips to help you plan an event that builds community, makes a big impact, and leaves everyone with warm, fuzzy feelings inside. 

Set up a booth for non-profits or a way to give back at the event:

Setting up a booth for a non-profit to utilize for educational purposes at your event is a great way to engage with your community and provide opportunities to give back, especially if that non-profit is a recipient of the event proceeds. 

For example, we’ve had many golf tournaments invite a non-profit of their choice to set up a booth at a hole on the course, and later attend the luncheon or banquet to accept the cheque of the tournament proceeds. 

If your event isn’t specifically for fundraising, but you’d like to give the community a chance to give back to a non-profit, then you can consider doing a 50/50 with proceeds going to a non-profit organization that aligns with your event or company purpose. Keep in mind that if you choose to do a 50/50, you’ll need to secure an AGLC license.

You can also pick up a box from your local food bank and collect donations at your event. 

Choose the right venue

Another way to foster community is to make a thoughtful venue selection by considering the following:

  • Choose an accessible space for various mobility needs.

  • Ensure the space you choose is accessible by transit.

  • Ensure the venue layout leads to organic connection opportunities - for example, bright open spaces versus enclosed spaces, or a venue with multiple rooms rather than one large space.

  • Consider using local spaces like parks or community centres to encourage those residing in the neighbourhood to attend.

  • Use spaces you have access to! For example, one of our clients is a developer with access to show homes, and we’ve activated those show homes for events like cookie decorating and Easter celebrations.

Involve local leaders

Another great way to get your community involved is to invite local community leaders like mayors and other government officials to attend. This gives them an opportunity to mingle with their community and gives your attendees the chance to learn what type of events are important to their leaders. If you’re not sure if your event is grounds to invite a community leader, our general rule is that if you have a formal program component of the event where you can acknowledge and thank them for attending, then send that invite. 

A few examples of events we’ve planned that had government leaders attending are golf tournaments, a breakfast in support of mental health, a hospital fundraising gala, and the ribbon cutting of a new pavilion.

Facilitate networking opportunities

It’s also a great idea to include opportunities for attendees to chat and network at events so they can organically interact with other guests. A couple ways you can include this is by strategic seating planning and having networking zones and or networking periods built into the event schedule. We have also found it to be effective to include an invitation to network and meet new people into the emcee's speaking notes. Sometimes this little reminder, nudge, or permission, gets people into the right frame of mind for networking!

When in doubt, ask!

Don’t be afraid to ask the community through surveys and social media engagement what type of events they’d like to see. Also be considerate of the community to get a read on what sort of folks live there to help you plan. In our work, we’ve considered demographics, time of year, and other community events happening near the event date to help fill in the gaps. We’ve also levelled our experiential knowledge to inform our clients of the type of events that usually do well in different community settings. 

And there you have it! We hope these tips help you plan an event that’s all about connection and community. Remember, the magic is in the little details and in genuine interactions.

Cheers to your next event!


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