Nothing brings people together like a sense of community. Even during the darkest days of COVID-19, you could still hear horns blaring as a car parade wound through the neighborhood celebrating a birthday, graduation or other special occasion.
We like to come together as a community to bond with neighbors and friends, and support each other. Whether it’s to get to know each other, build community pride, or create some excitement for larger events and festivals, community events can really raise spirits – and funds for great causes.
Now, perhaps more than ever, we want (need) to spend time with others, but everyone seems to be back in their old habit of always being on the go. As an event planner, it may seem hard to bring your community, or even just your neighborhood, together. We're flying to your side with these 7 ideas that are sure to bring people out to your next community gathering.
Why do we have community events?
Community activities are just such a blast, it’s hard to imagine why you wouldn’t want to have as many celebrations in your area as possible. Loyal attendees come back year after year because they can’t get enough. Reasons to hold fun activities in your community include:
- Build mental well-being: Can’t we all just use a mental lift? As humans, we crave human connection, and have a real need to feel connected to others.
- Create community: People move around so much these days, public events help bring “old” and “new” neighbors together, bringing everyone into the fold.
- Build community pride: Each community has something it is really proud of, from local goose farms to giant butter statues and historical sites, but most residents don’t spend enough time enjoying what is right in their own backyard. Instill pride and respect for local parks, for example, by staging events there (and maybe even clean them up a bit!).
- Introduce other people to your area: While certain events might be just for your block or neighborhood, sometimes you need a crowd! Events can bring a wider target audience to your area.
- Support local charities: Fundraising activities can introduce attendees to a charitable cause, and promote volunteer opportunities.
- Just have fun: And that may be the best reason of all.
7 Community Event Ideas People Will Flock To
Stoked about the idea of community events, but don’t have any actual ideas? Here are seven interactive experience and community event ideas we’ve found that we're sure people will flock to:
- Ya Gotta Regatta: Geese love water, and for good reason! What is better than splashing around in cool, refreshing liquid sunshine? Encourage residents to get outside and enjoy their surroundings by hosting a day at the local lake, pool, or river. Remind folks of the importance of preserving your natural environment. Use eco-friendly party supplies and incorporate a trash pick-up. Younger kids will effectively learn to take better care of their surroundings if they can enjoy them, too. Station food trucks along the shore, so participants can enjoy delicious refreshments from local vendors between any possible soakings. And, not that you need the reminder, make sure to have lifeguard support on standby!
- Block Parties: Create an outdoor activity with all your neighbors, for the pure purpose of just getting to know each other. Bring in food vendors or have a huge potluck, let local musicians perform, and have plenty of games for the kids. You can even organize a treasure hunt, with teams composed of family members, or choose random groupings, so everyone has fun meeting other people.
- Noodle Around in Nature: Are there certain flowers, plants, trees, birds and animals that are unique to your area? If you don’t know, your neighbors probably don’t either, so set up a nature adventure where everyone gets to learn more. Find a local nature conservancy, hire a nature guide, or organize photo safaris to bring back photos of your finds. It’s even better if you can tie in conservation education with your events.
- Food Festival: Every area has a local food specialty, so host a food festival to celebrate your uniqueness. We’ve heard of everything from giant pumpkins, garlic festivals, and chicken wing eating contests to the Waikiki Spam Jam – if there's food, there’s a festival that revels in it. Set up food stations where attendees can try samples, and bring in local producers to show off their wares.
- Town Trivia: Build local pride with a town trivia night. Teams can compete at street parties to show off their local knowledge, or build city-wide events. If the weather isn’t cooperating, create a community Zoom night, and invite a broad audience to join in from homes, bars and gathering spots throughout the area. Be sure to add questions that are pertinent to your area, like “How many geese summer on our lake every year?” (Our guess? Probably a few honkers too many...) Entry fees can go towards prizes, or you can add a charitable element by fundraising for a worthwhile local organization.
- Mileage Markers: Many areas hold walkathons or marathons for a particular purpose, but these often cover the same, boring route. Set up a new course around the high points and interesting locations in your town, with special activities at each stop (you can even have local business sponsor each milestone). Use Goosechase to build a custom walkathon experience, and get participants involved and engaged as they submit text, photo/video, and GPS check-ins along the route. Use the photos afterwards in your community newsletter!
- Show and Tell: Create events that showcase what your community has to offer. Small business shopping days, community garden walks, or giant multi-home garage sales will bring people out in flocks and get them moving around your great town.
Utilize the Goosechase platform to enhance any of these interactive experiences. The Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts created a Goosechase Experience to encourage festival attendees to actively reflect on exhibitions at a personal level. Many Missions had the built-in benefit of increasing foot-traffic and guest engagement with the interactive activities.
Whether you want to build a strong community, pump up local fundraising efforts, or boost festival activities, Goosechase has plenty of ways to bring pizzazz to community events! Create your own ideas, or use our city-specific light bulb ideas like “Unique Las Vegas Scavenger Hunt Ideas” or “Top Toronto Scavenger Hunt Ideas” as a starting point for your unique event. We’ll help reduce time spent organizing events, so you can focus on engaging your community.
What is Goosechase?
At Goosechase, experience is everything. Originally inspired by scavenger hunts, Goosechase is an online platform that enables organizations and schools to engage, activate, and educate their communities through delightful interactive experiences. Sign up and try creating a free recreational game, or contact us to learn more about our enterprise solutions!