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We have often said that the one differentiator that your competitors can never replicate are your residents themselves. And an extension of that is their apartments! So if we can highlight your residents pads, then we have showcased the community in an entirely unique way. That is the inspiration behind an Apartment Decorating Contest, where we not only want to engage our residents and shine a spotlight on the creative and beautiful apartment decorations, but also use the results as a way to inspire prospects to live at our communities.
My kids just got their first Hungry Hungry Hippos game (which was sadly pretty flimsy compared to when I was growing up!), and they are obsessed. But today, we found a live action version of Hungry Hungry Hippos, which would make a wonderful game at an apartment community party! So take a look and tell us what you think below!
Someone from the Ballycullen alliance has suggested a Halloween Ghouls Market with pumpkin carving contest. Sounds brill"
One of the most popular event on ResidentEvents.com is our Cardboard Drive in Movie for kids. Kids, just like cats, just seem to love to get into boxes, which is why whenever an appliance is ever purchased, the kids get a brand new "present" in the form of giant box they can play in. So it's time to take that idea and expand it to a community-wide fort building event!
Start planning today and save all the big boxes that come to the community when you order new appliances, and when residents move in, tell them that if they have any large boxes after the move, they can donate them to the future community fort.
After that, all you have to do is let your creativity run wild - enlist the residents in the build job and create mazes, secret passages, and other elements to their giant cardboard fortress. Give the kids some paint and let them decorate their fortress masterpiece, as well!
In the end, you will have made something that the kids will love and will occupy them for hours, and you will have made something that the parents will love since it will occupy their kids for hours!
Image source: topota.net
Throw a fun ice cream party with ice cream/yogurt, frozen treats, toppings, sauces, and cones—plus, expert tips and planning advice to help you keep your cool.
One of the best things about hosting an ice cream party—aside from the obvious benefits, such as eating lots of ice cream and getting to say, "I'm having an ice cream social!" in your most wholesome Leave It to Beaver voice—is that you can make the event as simple or elaborate as you like. And even the most sophisticated ice cream social is a pretty easy party to put on.
First you have to head outdoors!
If you're hosting a kid-friendly party, it's best to do the whole thing outside, and provide rolls of paper towels and a few pans of water for sticky fingers and faces.
The serve-yourself buffet is the way to go. Another option is to pre-scoop ice cream and put it in chilled dishes; keep them in the freezer until ready to serve. That's a lot less messy, and keeps things a little more under control-although it's kind of fun to scoop. Making your fantasy creation is part of the fun! People absolutely adore the chance to dish up their ice cream and toppings themselves. Set out everything on an easy-to-clean table covered with a piece of oilcloth or plastic tablecloth. Keep a sponge handy, and a basin of water for wiping up any spills.
How much ice cream, total?
Count on each person eating at least three half-cup (4 ounce) scoops, for a total of 1 1/2 cups (12 ounces) per person. Here's a breakdown of the total amount of ice cream you'll need based on that calculation:
• 12 people: 1 1/4 gallons (144 ounces, or 9 pints)
• 16 people:1 1/2 gallons (192 ounces, or 12 pints/
• 20 people: About 2 gallons (240 ounces, or 15 pints)
Have a few extra containers of ice cream on hand just in case you run short.
Fall is quickly approaching and you know what that means; out with the tanks and shorts and in with coats and scarves. As everybody has busy lives, finding time to drop off cloths to the local donation center can be a challenge! So invite each resident to bring as many new or gently used items to the community office to be donated to Goodwill. Have food, snacks, drinks, gift card give-aways and a grand prize raffle.
But beyond simply donating clothes, we though a good incentive would be to help residents “Fill Up” their closet, too! So rather than generic VISA gift cards, reach out to local stores that sell clothing to see if they would like to participate in the event by donating a gift card! This is a fantastic way for them to support a good cause, and at the same time get good publicity with your community and prospects. (We have an entire write-up on asking for donated gift cards.) This way, as they donate old clothes, they can possibly win gift cards to buy new ones! Plus, being able to advertise gift cards from the Gap, American Eagle, and other stores will help increase the response from your residents and hopefully drive up the number of clothes donated.
Social Media Tip: Take pictures of some of the cute tops and other clothes that get donated and share them on your Facebook Page or Instagram! This helps advertise the event AND helps show prospects what type of community culture you have.
Marketing Tip: Consider opening this event beyond just your residents. You have great incentives (gift cards) to give away, so use this as a marketing opportunity to offer non-residents to bring in their clothes, as well!
Media Tip: This may not work, but if you end up with a LOT of clothes, it may even be news-worthy! News stations are always looking for uplifting stories, so consider approaching them with your story and maybe some free press will come your way when you drop off the clothes to Goodwill!
A football watching party is a great way to hang out with residents in a fun and casual atmosphere. It doesn't have to be a dinner, but perhaps order some pizza or wings or just hve appetizers such as chips, dip, salsa, queso, pretzels, cookies, brownies, etc. This is a great way to get to know residents and have fun while supporting your favorite team. Half time provides an opprotunity to talk with the attendees without interrupting the game. If your activity center or clubhouse doesn't already have one, rent a large screen TV orsee if a local rental facility will fupply you iwth a free rental for the night in exchange for advertising their company. This will be one more way to entice residents to come toteh event rather than staying home to watch the game. Supplies Large screen TV and lots of snacks. Event Type Community Event Food/Non-Food Dessert/Appetizer Taget Group Families, Singles, Kids/Youth, Senior
At Desert Gardens we host regular resident events to show appreciation to those who call us home. February 2011 was an event worthy of a press release. More info in the attachment.
In honor of Heart Month (February)-
Are the aches & pains in your legs due to poor circulation? Are you at risk for a stroke?
Many people found answers to these questions and more last month at a Community Wellness Event & Free Health Fair, hosted by Desert Gardens Community, an apartment & mini storage facility in the West Valley. This event, open to the public featured several medical & care service providers all focused on Heart Health & Wellness, in honor of heart month. Vendors onsite provided free gifts, free advice, healthy food samples and free screenings. Those in attendance could enter to win 100’s of dollars in prizes through the day. Also, Sonoran Heart provided free Vascular Screenings—a $700 value for FREE. Individual screenings included Carotid, Abdominal Aorta & Lower Extremity Vascular Ultrasounds with a private consultation with cardiolo-gist, Lorne Murray, M.D. There was such a great response from the local community & general public, that some vendors stayed onsite for an extra 2 hours after the event to accommodate the need. But the demand was so high, some people had to be turned away. Clearly this is a valuable event and a great service to the community at large. Desert Gardens owner, Cathy Oliva says, “We are more than an apartment complex! We are committed to serving our residents as well as the community as a whole.” And so, they will do it all again. All of the providers have agreed to offer another event, with even more options and services. The plan is to kick it up a notch by offering Hearing, Vision, EKG & Vascular screenings with highlights on Pre-ventative Health, Family Medicine, Childhood Obesity, Nutrition, Diabetes, Heart Health & Circulation. The next West Valley event will be in May 2011. Providers on the schedule are Sonoran Heart Cardiovascular Specialists, Med-cure Internal Medicine, Bella Vita Health & Rehabilitation Center and Senior Helpers. For more information, details or to participate contact Julie Welch at Desert Gardens, Julie@dgprops.com or visit www.DesertGardensApts.com.
“It’s wonderful that you care for us enough to put this together.” ~ Gene, Desert Gardens Resident
This week we had events for every day of the week for our low income senior residents. Monday we had a safety fair. The local police department, emergency management and our security company passed out valuable information, along with extra prizes for the residents. Tuesday we had a health fair where we had several home health agencies, department on aging educated our residents on everything they have to offer, as well as providing lunch and prizes. Wednesday was our pamper yourself day. We had a local cosmetology school provide free manicures while a local massage therapist donated her time to give chair massages. Wednesday night we had an American Idol finale party where we watched the finale on the big screen T.V. A local agency donated ice cream floats for the event. Thursday the apartment staff, along with my children, provided a car wash for the residents and washed the outside windows of each apartment. Friday we had a WII bowling tournament between all of the residents in the morning. In the evening, Cox Communications provided the meat and sodas for our BBQ. We had a barbershop quartet perform and ended the evening watching a classic movie on the big screen T.V.
I manage a 55+ independent living senior community. Our budget is very low for resident events but per our LURA we are required to provide regular monthly events and activities. I have become very creative with activities at a very lost cost to the property. Last week we had a Guess Who Luncheon. This game is a way to bring laughs and fun to a group of seniors who want to get to know each other. This is how the game works. We had each resident bring a picture of them in their younger years or as a baby to the party. We set up a table early in the morning, prior to the game with a poster board so they could tape their picture on it. Once all pictures were displayed the pictures were numbered. Everyone received index cards and wrote down the number with the guess of who each person was. We had a cheat sheet so that we could score the resident’s card of most correct answers. We had gift bags for 1st to 3rd place winners. Additionally we played the toilet paper game. We passed around a roll of toilet paper and had each resident tear off squares of toilet paper - as many as they want - but didn\'t tell them why. Once everyone has some, we explained that for each square they have taken, they must tell the group one \"fun fact\" about themselves. Our residents are still talking about how much fun they had!
Having a Senior Complex is ususally a blessing, until my "residents" have too much time on their hands. So once a month I host a catered dinner, that costs them $6.50 for all they can eat. Twice a month a young girl from our local High School comes in and calls Bingo for them and twice a month a lady from our local Methodist Church comes in and does exercise groups, crafts and Bible study for them. They seemed to enjoy it all and it keeps them active and relatively happy, which is my main goal.
Some of the best years of my life were spent on this team. Such a great way to get your foot in the door with Spurs Sports and Entertainment!...Some of the best years of my life were spent on this team. Such a great way to get your foot in the door with Spurs Sports and Entertainment! Auditions for the Capital City Dancers are this Saturday, get into it. Show more
Every community has its share of "foodies", those whose food is their passion. And for that group, a new trend is hitting the country - Spice Mixing Parties! Spice blends have been a popular staple at Pampered Chef parties, Wild Tree, and Taste of Home Entertaining, and now people are taking it upon themselves to create their own spice blends.
‘Take n Go Spice Mixin’ parties are an easy, low-key event that takes very little to organize and host. Request each attendee bring their own set of measuring spoons, and sandwich size ziplock bags. Freezer safe baggies are recommended so the freshness of the ingredients last longer, but generally they should be used within approximately 3 months afterward.
As the host, a couple days ahead, collect personal mix suggestions and recipes from the projected attendees or Pinterest for things like Dill Dip, Taco Seasonings, and Guacamole, then purchase those ingredients in easily accessible and clearly labeled containers to be shared. For example, you should have a separate jar of oregano for each Mix Station requiring that ingredient, and enough of that ingredient per station that allows every person one of the filled Spice Mix bag recipes each. You have ‘stations’ that are just individual groupings of the ingredients for each recipe, and the party goers circulate with their stash of baggies, filling one baggie from each station to ‘Take n Go’.
I’ve found the easiest and least confusing way to present this is with an easy to read large print-up of the Recipe’s Name, ingredient list, and portions placed or taped at each station. At the beginning of the evening, have each person label the outside of each baggie with the name of the spice mix that will be placed inside, and any further instructions needed. For example, 'Dill Dip: add to 1 cup sour cream’. This will cut down on the congestion of people and lack of markers at each station, keeping the flow moving. Every person should be armed with their personal box of baggies, labeled, and a set of measuring spoons. For each person, print out a collection of the recipes shared that night, and any further additives needed to complete it. For example, my Ranch Seasoning requires sour cream, but I won’t store that with the ingredients, and need to know how much to mix with my new ‘Take n Go’ packet just prior to using it. Again, a suggestion would be to mark these additional instructions alongside the name on each individual baggie. Every person will have the Recipe Collection print-out to recreate any and all of the mixes in the future.
Much like Bunco, this type of activity is quick and brainless, so conversations spread, and people are forced to move and mingle by the party’s very nature. And everybody’s a Winner! We all either swap great recipes for that next savory home-made burger, or have hours of Pinterest-surfing pay off!!! Who doesn’t want to check something off their Pinterest List?!??!! I need more Pins in my “Tried and True!” board, and less of the questionable Pinterest Fails.
I’ve made your first ‘Take n Go Spice Mixin’ party easy by collecting a few recipes here for you, with a special ’Thanks!!’ to my friend, Katrina Smith. I hope it gets your creativity rolling, and something delicious at your next gathering or dinner with the kids.
Good luck and Have Fun!
2 Tbsp Minced onion
2 Tbsp Parsley Flakes
2 Tbsp Dill weed
1 tsp Garlic Powder
1 tsp Salt
Mix with 1 cup of mayo and 1 cup of sour cream and chill overnight for best results.
1 Tbsp Chilli powder
1/4 tsp Garlic Powder
1/4 tsp Onion Powder
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp Dried Oregano
1/2 tsp Paprika
1 1/2 tsp Ground Cumin
1 tsp salt
1 tsp Black Pepper
2 tsp Sage
1 1/2 tsp Thyme
1 tsp Marjoram
3/4 tsp Rosemary
1/2 tsp Nutmeg
1/2 tsp Black Pepper
3 Tbsp salt
1 Tbsp Onion Powder
1 Tbsp Garlic Powder
1 Tbsp Paprika
1 Tbsp Black Pepper
1 Tbsp Sugar
1/2 Tbsp Nutmeg
2 Tbsp Dried Parsley
1 1/2 tsp Dill Weed
2 tsp Garlic Powder
2 tsp Onion Powder
2 tsp Minced Onion
1 tsp Black Pepper
1 tsp Chives
1 tsp Salt
*3 Tbsp = 1 packet
1 ‘packet’ + sour cream for dip
1 Tbsp + 1/3 cup Mayo + 1/3 cup buttermilk = dressing
1 tsp Parsley
1 Tbsp Minced Onion
1 Tbsp Chili Powder
2 tsp Cumin
1 tsp Dried Chives
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp Paprika
Optional: crushed red pepper flakes
Add 2 Tbsp to 1 cup Mayo + 1 cup Sour Cream
You are locked in a room with time ticking down. There are clues all around you, but can you piece together the puzzle to escape in time?
"Escape Rooms" are becoming incredibly popular throughout the country, and would make for an excellent team building event for your office staff or residents! We tested out the Houston Escape Room, and had a great time working out the clues to beat the room. Our group had only 4 people, so they teamed us up with another group of 5 people, which actually helped to prove one of the great benefits of this event - team building! We went from not knowing any of them to feeling pretty close to them after just one hour. We were forced to work together to share clues and brainstorm ways to approach each challenge. If they had been fellow residents from our apartment community, I can easily see how the experience could have evolved into getting to know them even better.
One of the most powerful ways you can create team building and rapport building moments is have that team actually DO something, not simply exist. Compare this to a pool party where everyone is free to lounge around and not interact at all, this event requires that everyone break down their own social barriers to work as a team and beat the clock. Not only did we have to work together, but we are now eternally linked as being part of the same team.
The challenge to this type of event, of course, is cost. The cost for our escape room was $25/person. However, I am sure group rates could be obtained. But even then, that is pretty pricey! So here are two options to consider:
1) Take your newest residents. In other words, plan events once a month that include only the newest residents so they can immediately get hooked into the community. From what we have observed, there is a critical window for the ability for residents to make connections within the community - right when they move in, residents appear to be much more open to getting to know their neighbors, but once they have settled in, that potential drops dramatically. So hooking them into the "community" right away is key!
2) Take your long-term VIP residents. We often talk about having benefits increase as a resident stays at a community, where they get special perks the longer they are a resident. So this type of event could be one that only top-level residents, such as those who stay the longest, can attend. Wouldn't it be great if your long time residents could say, "Yeah, my community hooks me up with tickets to XYZ because I've been there a really long time."
So I hope that you see this as both a neat event to consider, but also as a different way to view events, where each event isn't necessarily meant to encompass the entire community, but rather create more intimate environments where residents are inspired to get to know each other better than a big summer party ever could.
We always talk about creating wonderful curb appeal at our apartment communities, and this idea takes on an area that we normally can't make as much of an impact: apartment balconies! Many times, when residents move in they think about what furniture they will have within the apartment itself, but often the balcony gets somewhat forgotten in the process, so this is an opportunity to give a facelift to one of the most visible aspects of your property. The idea is simple - Create a contest throughout one property, or throughout your entire portfolio where residents are encouraged to give their own balcony a makeover, hopefully beautifying the property in the process.
To help with the process, you can make a deal with local plant nurseries or outdoor furniture locations to advertise their store in exchange for a discount specifically for your residents! Give the process a month to allow your residents plenty of time to get their balcony upgraded, as well as get them in the habit of maintaining any plants they put out before the final judging. While the contest is in process, share on social networks tips and tricks on how to spruce up outdoor spaces. Pinterest is a wonderful source for this type of content, and will help get the creative juices flowing for your residents!
When judging, make sure to take plenty of pictures, but definitely get permission beforehand, both to take the picture and to use the picture in social media posts and marketing. In fact, that permission is probably best received when the resident accepts the invitation to the contest. Also, if you have 3+ stories, consider how you will be able to take pictures of higher floors.
By the end of the contest, you should have upgraded the look of your property, engaged your community, AND created a ton of quality photos to share in marketing collateral and on social media!
As the contest is all about an apartment make-over, why not make the prize expand on that theme! Consider giving the winner of the contest a free living room upgrade, where you bring in an interior decorator to assess their style, and with a budget, update their living room to maximize the space. This resident obviously cared enough about their apartment to upgrade their balcony, and now they have an opportunity to vastly improve their interior, as well! You can team up with a home decorator to help the resident plan the upgrade, in exchange for some free exposure for the interior decorator, and again, you can work with different retail stores for discounts for being a part of the program. You might even get them to donate a few pieces in exchange for the promotion!
Here is an actual apartment living room upgrade so you can see the potential for a makeover:
INSERT PICTURES OF BEFORE/AFTER
What do you think about this contest and prize?
(Balcony image source: http://www.freshinterior.me/decorate-a-balcony-as-a-perfect-place-for-spending-time/)
Playing cards has a multi-generational appeal, from Bridge with older residents to Texas Hold ‘Em with younger residents, creating a card club is a fantastic way to involve your residents. And what’s best is that it is a recurring event that needs very little upkeep!
First, get the ball rolling by setting up a tournament for whatever type of card game you are setting up. This can be done a few different times for different games, and will likely draw in different demographics depending on the game. For the initial tournament, set up prizes and publicize the tournament heavily. Encourage residents to bring outside guests in order to improve marketing efforts, as well!
We can probably do a whole discussion on how to run a card tournament, so for now, I’ll limit the details on that front. But suffice it to say, the tournament is really only a part of the recurring event plan. At this point, you want to generate interest for a recurring night for that particular game. For example, Thursday nights become Bridge night at the clubhouse. How often your apartment party recurs really depends on the turnout. If you only have a small group for the tournament, then maybe you space it out to once a month. If you have a large group, then every week will work. And of course, this is their night, so it might just be best to let them decide!
On the first night of the recurring card night, make the event memorable by bringing in pizza or some other inexpensive food, as well as some sodas. At the end of the night, have the group nominate a card group leader, who then becomes the point person for the group. Have all members write down their contact info, which gets shared back to the group, as well as the group leader. If new residents ask about the group, you can have them contact the group leader rather than trying to continue coordinating the event.
Remember that your apartment community is in flux, so new residents will be moving in every week! If you don’t have solid plan to introduce them to this group (and any others you set up), the group will slowly reduce away when residents move. So make sure you are consistently driving new blood into the group!
Are you having a summer party this year or pool party? If you are looking for some games to add to keep it lively and interesting, you don't have to reinvent the wheel. Have you seen the NBC game show "Minute To Win It"? Contestants compete for prizes completing challenges made from household or office materials such as plastic cups, ping pong balls, reams of paper, etc. In one game called NOODLING AROUND the contestant has to put a piece of uncooked spaghetti between their lips and use it to pick up six uncooked penne pasta noodles placed on the table without dropping any of them. It is harder than it sounds and with everyone gathering around cheering, it can be fun. I like having people compete to see who does it faster, but you can do this by timer and it needs to be done under a minute. Call it the APARTMENT OLYMPICS or something and have fun with it! Here is the link: http://www.nbc.com/minute-to-win-it/how-to/episode-234/noodling-around/ where you will find a list of 150+ games on the right. You can watch a description of the games after a short commercial or just get the rules, items list and game description. Make it a competition and have prizes for the winners...
While games are fun, I suggest some Ice Breakers. An important thing is to incorporate an introduction into the game. Have people introduce themselves every time they go up to a new person. That is what is going to get people socializing and meeting new friends, more so than music, games, food, etc. There are lots of books and online resources to find some fun Ice Breakers, but make sure they last at least 20 minutes so people get a chance to meet others. Statistics show that the more friends people make in their community, the more likely they are to renew their lease.
As for prizes, check out the daily deals websites like LivingSocial.com for half price gift certificates to local restaurants, adventures and such.
Minute to Win It is a fun, fast paced game show that takes everyday objects and creates crazy games that must be completed in under a minute. The best part, however, is that all of these games can be done in your own home, making Minute to Win It an awesome theme for a party! If you’re looking for a hilarious and truly engaging party theme, Minute to Win It is the way to go! Minute to Win It games are as much fun to watch as they are to play. Bystanders as well as participants will have so much fun laughing their way through each game. A scoreboard made out of poster board can tally everyone’s scores for a final prize at the end of the night. Minute to Win it is a perfect game show party theme for school-aged kids, teens, college students, and adults.
August is a hot month, so I told the residents that I'd supply the ice cream and they should all bring their favorite topping to share.
Photo courtesy of Per Ola Wiberg ~ Powi's
Have you ever played Jenga? Have you ever played JUMBO JENGA? I saw a giant jenga set recently and thought about how cool it would be to have one (or more) of those in a community for tournament play! I would set it up like any other bracket tournament and have groups of four play each other on regular sized Jenga games. Winners from each group will get to play on the big Jenga set for the finale.
Those giant sets can get a little expensive but if you know someone who is pretty good with woodworking, they wouldn't be too hard to make.
Picture credit to Mary Brennann