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    Resident Events is a resource for property management professionals to find, share, and rate community events and apartment party ideas with each other!  Need some community event ideas?  Just take a look around!

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    22 hours ago 21 minutes ago
    Can Your Residents Escape? 22 hours ago 21 minutes ago

    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.

    6 days ago
    6 days ago
    Balcony Decorating Contest 6 days ago

    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!
    The Prize!
    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
    (Source: https://www.reddit.com/r/AmateurRoomPorn/comments/3ertag/my_living_room_before_and_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/)

    Card Club Apartment Events 2 weeks ago

    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!

    Apartment Summer Party - Minute To Win It! 2 weeks ago

    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 2 weeks ago

    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.

    Ice Cream Social 2 weeks ago

    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

    Jumbo Jenga 2 weeks ago

    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
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/perogiemary/

    JAWS at the Pool! 4 weeks ago

    Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the pool...  

    Set up a movie projector next to the pool and screen the classic, JAWS!  Provide inner tubes, so that residents can lounge in the pool as the Great White terrorizes Amity Island.  If you are feeling adventurous, have one person troll the pool depths, nipping at toes during the most tense movie moments.

    Before the movie starts, add in some games of Sharks and Minnows to get the theme going!

     

    We also found this awesome watermelon shark you can try out!

    (Idea inspired from:  http://texasskiranch.com/events/jaws-on-the-water-by-alamo-draft-house)

    I need to organize a reception for residents to meet the new management team. Any economical ideas?

    1 month ago
    JAWS at the Pool! 1 month ago

    Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the pool...

    Set up a movie projector next to the pool and screen the classic, JAWS! Provide inner tubes, so that residents can lounge in the pool as the Great White terrorizes Amity Island. If you are feeling adventurous, have one person troll the pool depths, nipping at toes during the most tense movie moments.

    Before the movie starts, add in some games of Sharks and Minnows to get the theme going!

    We also found this awesome watermelon shark you can try out!

    Guess Who Luncheon 1 month ago

    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!

    Box Maze 1 month ago

    A box maze can be a wonderful event for children and adults alike. The materials are free and minimal assembly required.

    Where to find the boxes:
    • Appliance stores
    • Sears
    • Grocery stores

    Lay out your design:
    Once you get them all in the apartment, line out the “design” for the box maze. Just like most mazes, we have one main line that works, and a bunch of dead ends.

    You’ll need flashlights:
    Get little flashlights or glow sticks for people to go through with, it gets REALLY dark in there. Glow sticks and flashlights are very cheap from Oriental Trading.

    Assemble:
    You open the boxes up, and attach them with tape. Use packing tape or duct tape, and not very expensive brand – it typically takes 4 rolls to do an entire maze, cutting/connecting where needed to attach them. You will want to tape them well b/c kids get in there and start trying to make their own holes. The recommended method of doing it is at the connecting spots cut your holes to where one box has a flap that you can tape to the other box. It can be much easier and space efficient for the entrance and exit to be at the same location, the front door of the apartment. Then, we used a large refrigerator box to connect to the front of them, so that no one could see in to the design. Then, put it together, and have fun.

    Planning Q3 events and outreach - feeling happy

    2 months ago
    A "Community" Approach to Fitness 2 months ago

    I recently stumbled upon a system called the 21 Day Fix, which is essentially a group fitness program that attempts to get everybody on the right track with exercise and nutrition over a 3 week period. Before I begin, however, I want to stress that this is not meant to be a sales pitch for the system, as I haven't seen the entire 21 days in action, but the initial concept was so compelling to be implemented in an apartment community, I couldn't help but share.
    This program takes a community approach to self-controlled workouts and nutrition. At least in the situation I saw, it was sold by an independent rep, similar to how people sell Tupperware, Mary Kaye, etc. But rather than selling strictly a product, this is both a set of products as well as a community approach to fitness. Each person gets their own set of DVDs with different workout routines, containers that help with portion control and selecting the right balance of foods, and literature that helps with the whole process. That, in itself, isn't anything special. What really got me excited from an apartment community event point of view is the group approach to the program. The person who ran the group I am familiar with set up their own private Facebook group, where each member could share their own experiences with a specific workout, questions about the program, recipes and diet tips, and general motivation for the rest of the group!
    While many of our communities have gyms for residents to use, they often do not inspire a cooperative approach to working out and fitness. Each resident comes in, does their own routine, and then leaves. Although they may meet some acquaintances along the way, it isn't really a "group" environment. This program, however, takes the complete opposite approach. Even though everyone is exercising in their own home, they are all part of a larger "team" all there to motivate each other to make it through the grueling 3 week program. That grueling aspect actually plays a role in the process - the fact that it is challenging leads the group to grow together in the shared struggle.
    As I watched people get involved, and heard stories of them all discussing their own struggles and helping each other overcoming those obstacles, I saw how wonderful of an opportunity it might be for an apartment community. It was more than a simple workout program and became a bonding program, which is exactly what we want to create in our resident events! By the end, not only have the residents gotten to know each other, but they have endured a shared experience where they struggled and then worked together to overcome. Those types of shared experiences are what relationships are built upon, so I think this might be an opportunity to lay a wonderful foundation for a sense of community.

    Bonus Notes:
    1) Even though each workout can be done independently, it might be interesting to provide a dual approach - residents can work out in their own apartment or they can meet in a shared location and do a workout together! If this approach is taken, it would be important to plan how to "convert" those who work out at home to coming to join the live group. Additionally, those that work out together might form an initial "clique", so it would be important to ensure that those that build up the courage to join the live group are welcomed warmly and included.

    2) One of the requirements is that each person post before/after pictures to the Facebook group. This might work if everybody is already friends, but might be a dealbreaker for groups of strangers, so consider augmenting that rule.

    3) A launch party might be a great way to have people meet face to face, as well as learn more about the program and rules before the 21 days official start.

    4) An after-program party would be a great way to celebrate and let all the people who had been talking online get to know each other in person. This is a good opportunity to transition the group into a normal fitness routine at the community gym. You could also give out prizes for who is the "Biggest Loser".

    5) Remember to share the success stories (with permission, of course) of the group with the wider community!

    Again, I am not trying to sell this particular program, so there might be others that take the same approach that are even better! If you have any experiences with this program or one similar, share your experiences below and whether you think it would "translate" well for apartment communities!

    The Scoop on Hosting an Ice Cream Social 2 months ago

    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.

    DIY Dessert

    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.