Summer 2022 feels like the first real summer we’ve had in a while. With the pandemic hitting all-time lows and everything fully reopened, residents are ready to enjoy amazing resident events in their communities.
Scroll down to see 12 Summer Resident Engagement and Event Ideas that your residents will love.
But before jumping right into in-person summer resident events, there are a few things to still consider and keep in mind:
- Transitioning from Virtual Events to Live In-Person Events: While most states are fully open and many of your residents are already actively doing in-person hangouts with their friends, we still recommend exercising some caution. Don’t abandon all the great habits we picked up during the height of the pandemic e.g. hand sanitizers everywhere.
- Should you still do virtual events?: Most people are sick of virtual everything but that doesn’t mean virtual resident events still don’t have a place. First, some residents might still not be totally comfortable with in-person events. Second, virtual events still give you unlimited creativity and access to talent all over the world. Hiring a local chef to come to do an in-person cooking class is great and all but imagine the excitement from your residents if you could hire a celebrity chef in Japan to do a virtual sushi-making class? The gist is, that you can still do virtual events, but you just need to add the element that makes them more appealing than an in-person event.
- Maximize Event ROI (Social Media, PR, Prospects, Reviews): Events are fun as hell for residents and great for community building but don’t forget that owners are not spending thousands of dollars per year on events just for the sake of it. Owners expect real ROI. And the best way to separate yourself from the average property manager is by maximizing the ROI of events and showing the results to ownership. The best ways to do that include using events to generate PR, increase foot traffic, and generate reviews on Google, Facebook, Yelp, and other review sites. We recommend sending automatic review requests after each event. Sounds like a lot of work but you can easily automate this with your own Resident Engagement App.
- Add Monthly Recurring Events: One way to make your events take-off is by adding monthly recurring events. This gives residents something to look forward to and makes it much easier to get constant engagement from your residents and community.
1. Food Truck Festival
Food truck events proved to be the most successful event last summer and because of their popularity and ease, food truck events are not going anywhere. What we really recommend is to look at food truck events from a few different angles. One way is by partnering with your marketing and leasing teams to do a food truck festival where you invite 1, 2, or multiple food trucks. You can then invite not just residents but also prospects or the whole neighborhood to generate a ton of foot traffic. You can even have people do a tour then and there after they get their food. By doing this, you can get corporate to provide an even bigger budget for the event. Best of all, you can do group tours with multiple people at the same time. Another angle for food truck resident events is to think beyond just “food” – you can have a dessert food truck, cocktail food truck, or even a beer food truck.
2. Tie Dye Party
A fun and inexpensive resident event to do that everyone from kids to adults will absolutely love. What is great about an event like this is that it is very very Instagrammable. Just imagine all the fun pictures attendees are going to put up and tag your community in. This is another resident event to do in conjunction with your marketing and leasing team. Invite prospects to come to participate. Set up a hashtag residents and prospects can use and offer a raffled-off prize for those that post and tag the building. Another great thing about this event is that you can add your branding to it by offering branded property T-shirts and you can turn your residents into walking billboards for the community.
3. Monthly Outdoor Movie
Who doesn’t miss going to the movies? Outdoor movie events are fun for so many reasons, one of which is that they are very family-friendly. This can be done monthly and the best part is that you can have residents vote on what movies they want to see. One way to take this to the next level is to have popcorn and snacks for residents. As always, you can maximize the ROI by inviting prospects to the event.
4. Monthly Friday Night Happy Hours or Grab-and-Go Cocktails
After more than a year of being locked up, many of your residents are Itching to socialize and meet their neighbors. Scratch that itch by hosting Monthly Friday Night Happy Hours. There are a couple of ways you can do this. You can either have this as an in-person event or you could have it where you deliver the drinks to residents or they simply pick up pre-made cocktails to go. A Flamingo client did this and each event had over 150 residents participate. The best part was that it cost them just about $500 since they bought all the supplies themselves. Another way to do this event is to get local bars or restaurants to sponsor and come on-site to host the happy hour or grab-and-go cocktails. A different host each month keeps residents engaged and excited.
5. First Fridays With Local Partners
Same as above but you can do a variety of things like partnering with local restaurants. Each month, residents can get to enjoy a different menu and items from local restaurants all without leaving the building. The benefit to the restaurant is exposure to your residents and additional revenue.
6. Candle-Making Event
Events, where residents get to learn a new skill and take something home, are always amazing. This event has both and best of all, it can be done virtually or in person. What your marketing team will love about this event is that it is very Instagrammable. Encourage residents to post their creations to social media and tag the building to maximize the ROI of this resident event even more. Trust us – your residents would love to show off their creations.
7. Outdoor, Rooftop, or Pool Side Fitness Classes
Take advantage of your amenities and the summer weather by offering outdoor, poolside, or rooftop fitness classes. Want to make your marketing and leasing team happy? Invite prospects to come attend a free rooftop yoga class and see your close ratio go through the roof. Want to make marketing EVEN happier? Why yes, you say. Then do a #SweatySelfie Challenge where residents add post workout selfies on social media and tag the building for a raffle prize.
8. Monthly Outdoor DJ Yoga and Brunch
Workout, Brunch, Mimosas. Enough said. Don’t forget to invite prospects and encourage residents to post on social media. Doing this can get you an even bigger budget from corporate to do these events monthly throughout the summer.
9. Caricature 101
A super cheap event that will be a resident favorite. You can hire an artist for $75 to $100 an hour to come teach residents how to do a self-portrait. All residents need to bring is paper and a pencil. Another great event that helps residents tap into their artistic side, can be done virtual or in-person and best of all, it’s a natural event to tie into social media.
10. Summer Fling Casino Night
Literally all your comps do a pool party. Why not stand out a tiny (or BIG) amount by opting to do a fancy summer fling for your residents. Food, alcohol, casino tables, music and that’s it. Almost everyone loves to dress up and after a year of not having a reason to, your residents will absolutely love this event. Know who else will love this event? Your marketing team that’s who. Why? Because of the HUNDREDs of pictures your residents are going to take and add to social media.
11. Leasing Day Event & Mini Festival
One of the best parts about the summer are festivals. Live music, food, alcohol, and so much more. With everything that has happened the last 14 months, there is no better time to bring people together than by hosting a mini festival at your community. Amazon – yes, the muti-billion dollar company – has a Hiring Day event each year before the holiday season where they interview and immediately hire 1000s of seasonal employees. Use this same concept but for leasing. Host a fun festival where you invite all your prospects and and do instant tours and incentivize instant lease applications by offering your usual concessions if someone applies on the spot. This is an amazing opportunity to generate buzz and PR for your building since you can invite the whole neighborhood and get free media coverage.
12. Yappy Hour
A Yappy Hour is an ideal outdoor resident event! Residents already love happy hours; they’ll love it even more now that their furry friends are invited. It’s all good four-legged fun where owners and pets can enjoy a nice day outside meeting their neighbors. We recommend having drinks and a few light appetizers for your residents, and simple pet treats for the furry ones.
Other things to consider to boost event ROI
- Give residents an easy way to RSVP: We don’t mean send out an email invitation and get people to respond. That only creates more manual tasks for you by having to gather all the responses into an excel sheet. We mean using your Resident Engagement App (with Flamingo’s, invites, reminders, and RSVPs are easy and automatic) or using an RSVP link. An easy way for you to make this happen is by creating a FREE Flamingo account and booking your event through our event marketplace. That automatically creates an RSVP link you can share with your residents.
- Have cool promotional materials: You have to create FOMO to get people excited. A cool flyer, a fun invitation email, or an announcement on your digital screens in the lobby will do just that. If you don’t have access to any of these, Flamingo can help!
- Get new reviews!: This is a big one. Imagine if you could get 2, 3, or even more Google reviews from this resident event alone. It’s not only possible; we’ve seen it happen with a ton of our customers. Right after the event, make sure to send a review request to everyone who attended. You have better chances if you use more than one channel. Our platform automatically sends out review requests after each resident event via email, SMS, and in-app notification. It’s how Greystar’s The Atworth at Mellody Farms got 2 new reviews from an Outdoor Movie event.
- Invite prospects: Not many communities do this, but we love the idea of partnering up with the leasing team and inviting a few key prospects. It doesn’t have to be an open house; you can make it feel super-exclusive by letting them know they’re only a handful of seats left for the party. They’ll be able to meet your residents, start forming bonds, and truly get a feel of what your community is all about!
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