Organizing a block party can be a great way to get to know your neighbors and enjoy a little summer fun. But since you'll be catering to wide range of ages, interests, and personalities, it's important to plan carefully. Here are some tips to ensure your block party is a real hit for all attendees.
Tip #1: Send Out Invitations Well In Advance
Planning a block party is a major endeavor, and it would be a shame to do so and only have a few families show up.
Summer can get busy, so be sure to send out invitations to the party well in advance. Give people a full month's notice, if possible! Request that attendees RSVP and tell you how many are attending about a week before the party so you can plan accordingly when purchasing plates, napkins, and the like.
Sending out virtual invitations via Facebook and other apps has become increasingly common, but since not everyone uses these apps or checks them regularly, you really are best off sending out paper invitations. If you're trying to save cash, find a template online and print your own.
Tip #2: Have Guests Sign Up In Advance For Potluck Dishes
Purchasing food for such a large crowd can get expensive. So, if you're trying to keep costs down, plan on serving the food potluck-style. This means every family that attends should bring a dish to pass. Serving the meal potluck also ensures there's something for everyone to enjoy. Guests with dietary restrictions can bring something along that they feel comfortable eating.
To make sure there are no duplicate dishes, set up a spreadsheet in an application like Google Docs. List needed items, like salads, main dishes, and beverages. Include a link to the spreadsheet on your invitations, so guests can visit the page and put their names next to the items they plan to bring.
Tip #3: Include Some Organized, Central Activities
While getting together and chatting all afternoon may be appealing to some, others will want to be entertained throughout the party. So, it's important to plan a few central activities. Possibilities are truly endless, but here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Rent a stage and a karaoke machine, and have an American Idol-inspired contest to see which neighbor has the best voice.
- Plan a game of football. You can pit the kids against the adults for some real fun!
- Set up some lawn games like croquette, bocce ball, and ladder golf.
Try to choose activities, like those listed above, that cater to all ages rather than to a specific age group. You can also set up a few activities for younger kids, such as a sandbox or table with coloring books.
Tip #4: Delegate Tasks To Willing Helpers
Planning an entire block party yourself is a huge burden. Why do it all on your own when you have plenty of neighbors to help? Planning together will help you bond as much as actually attending the party. When you send out the invitations, include a line that states "Anyone willing to help, please contact me."
Have a list of tasks ready to delegate when people do call to offer their assistance. For instance, you could put one neighbor in charge of planning the lawn games, another in charge of renting chairs, and another in charge of monitoring the potluck signup sheet.
Tip #5: Don't Be Afraid to Ask For Contributions
Even if you make frugal choices along the way, block party-related costs will add up quickly. If you don't feel comfortable covering all of the costs on your own, it is okay to ask that attendees each contribute $5 or $10 to the party fund. Collect these fees when people arrive at the party. Do make guests aware that they're expected to contribute by including this information on the invitation.
With the tips above, your block party is sure to be a success. If you need to rent any chairs, tables, tents, or even a stage for your event, contact B&T Rents today.