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Planning your wedding or family reunion will take a great deal of coordination. For those with large, extended families, getting everyone together may require that you offer a survey several months in advance. This leaves many wondering how to plan a successful community event.

How to Plan a Successful Community Event

Planning an enjoyable community event while minimizing stress for you is easier than you think. Here are five ways to answer the great question of How to Plan a Successful Community Event.

Planning an enjoyable community event while minimizing stress for you is easier than you think. Here are five ways to answer the great question of How to Plan a Successful Community Event.

With these five tips, you will learn how to plan a successful community event that will be the talk of the town for weeks to come!

    Family dinner

    Have Proper Accommodations for All Your Guests

    No matter when you have your event, you will need a flexible venue if the weather misbehaves. If you’re planning a big event that you want to share with grandparents and other elders, carefully consider the location of your event.

    If you grew up in the Midwest and moved to the coast, you may want a wedding ceremony with family back home and a reception with friends in the city.

    Elderly relatives & those with disabilities may have a hard time

    • managing crowded airports
    • dealing with heavy traffic
    • handling luggage
    • Coping with sensory stimuli
    • Having other specific needs (think ADA accommodations)

    In these situations, you will either need to make sure that Grandma has a traveling buddy or get married close enough to home that someone can drive her to the event.

    Your survey may be simplest to create over the phone, especially if you’re planning around elderly family members. While your cousins can probably manage a response on Facebook, your grandparents may not even have a smartphone.

    Carefully consider the time of year as well as the location. You may now live in Florida, but your family in Iowa may be worried about driving to a November wedding. Make sure your partner is aware of these challenges. If you both have elderly relatives who may be hard to include in the big day, you may need to organize three different celebrations.

    Be sure to enlist family and friends. If you have connections that have always been the party planners, loop them in early so you can select suitable venues.

    Choosing the Best Time & Day for Your Community Event

    The timing of your celebration should also be considered. If you want a child-friendly wedding with all the cousins and their little ones, don’t schedule it for nap time. Start the wedding at four and try to have the main meal done by 6:30 to avoid a lot of upset.

    Daylight is also a consideration. If you’re planning an evening event, try to schedule it so the sunset can be part of your decor. Look for glass candle containers that will stay lit even if the breeze comes up and, if allowed, set up a firepit so folks can collect and have a conversation.

    Selecting a Venue That Offers Cover for Weather

    If possible, arrange your event at a spot with some cover from the elements. If there are no permanent structures on the property, make sure you can set up canopies, shade covers, or a screen house.

    No matter where you’re holding your event, strong winds and rain can lead to challenges. If the forecast is grim and you need to cancel, make sure your special event insurance in Arizona or other areas you’re hosting your event will provide you with a refund.

    Do notify your guests that the event will be outside. If you’re planning an anniversary party for your folks, consider having a contest or two. For example, children under five can participate in a raincoat parade if wet weather threatens. You can have a drawing for the wildest rainboots or the brightest rainbow.

    Plan for difficult weather by making it a game. Keep the whole event casual in case folks need to drip dry. If the folks at the center of the party aren’t the casual type, you may want to have it at a restaurant.

    Providing a Schedule of Activities for Day

    If you’re working on a family reunion, make sure you have a schedule posted to keep the momentum going. For example, if you’ve organized a photographer to create a big group photo so you can remember the event, set a time, and stick to it. If the photographer is there at noon, make sure that, at 11:30, you establish a gathering space for the big picture.

    In addition to a schedule or roster, make sure you have a grip on the food as it comes in. It may be a good idea to rent a small portable refrigerator that you can set up near the potluck site. Several dish tents, or mesh covers to keep the bugs away, would also be a good investment.

    If there’s going to be a grill, do your best to make it a “no alcohol” zone. Barring that, reach out to a responsible family member who can keep an eye on the fires. Consider setting up a penned play area for tiny children or putting a barrier around the grills to keep little ones away from the fires.

    Finally, survey your clan about pets. Some folks can’t bear to be away from their pup, but not every dog is safe in a big group. Consider setting a leash policy.

    Making Sure You Have Flexible Seating

    No matter the event, try not to lock everyone into a single seating configuration. Use picnic tables for the food, but consider asking folks to bring camping chairs as possible or add folding chairs as an option.

    If you’re in a space with multiple fire rings, stage a few chairs near each one to encourage multiple campfires as the light dims. Keep a few chairs near playground equipment so parents can relax while their children burn off some energy.

    Set some sturdy seating, preferably with arms, in the shade for elders. Many folks struggle to get comfortable on a folding chair if older folks in your clan are a bit fragile. Bringing in cushioned chairs for their use may be an intelligent choice.

    How to Plan a Successful Community Event

    Setting up a community event means making room for everyone. No matter the size of your family, creating a gathering space with plenty of outdoor room to run will help folks relax. Whether your goal is a formal event or a more casual party, room to run is critical.

    Alicia Trautwein is an Autism advocate, writer, motivational speaker, and dedicated mom of four. Alicia’s desire to advocate for Autism comes from her own autism diagnosis and that of her three children, niece, and brother. Her life’s mission is to educate on autism acceptance and change the world for future generations of autistic individuals.

    Convenient Online Speech Therapy. At Home. On Your Schedule.

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