Lots of homeowners associations throw community-wide events on holidays. Christmas and New Year’s are a given, but what about Valentine’s Day? Should you host an HOA Valentine’s Day community event?
The Benefits of Hosting an HOA Valentine’s Day Community Event
There are a handful of reasons why HOAs might not want to hold a Valentine’s Day event. Events cost time and money, and there are not always a lot of volunteers who can plan them. But, hosting an HOA Valentine’s Day community event also comes with several advantages.
1. Helps Introduce the Board
Community events are more likely to have high attendance rates than the board or annual meetings. As such, it is a great way to introduce the board to the general membership. Plus, these events tend to give off a lighthearted atmosphere, making it the perfect opportunity to form personal connections.
2. Encourages Participation in Future Events
A community-wide Valentine’s Day event can act as the catalyst or gateway that residents need to get more involved in the association. It could be the spark that causes them to attend more events in the future. Perhaps it might even get them interested in community matters and start attending board meetings. Before long, they might be willing enough to serve on the HOA board.
3. Fosters Togetherness
While not typically associated with family occasions, Valentine’s Day can still bring people together. In fact, an event geared towards spreading and celebrating love in all its forms can ignite a sense of belonging and community among residents.
What to Know Before Planning a Valentine’s Day Event
Event planning is a serious undertaking that requires skill and lots of prep work. If your HOA community wants to plan a Valentine’s Day event, here are some things to keep in mind.
1. Tailor the Event to Residents
Valentine’s Day events are not one-size-fits-all. When thinking about what type of event to throw, consider your target demographic. For instance, 55 and older communities might not appreciate their HOA hosting a carnival with rides and a bouncy house. That kind of event would better fit communities comprised of families with kids. To truly make an impact, make sure to tailor the event you plan to the residents you have.
2. Ensure Funding
HOA Valentine’s Day community events don’t just sprout out of thin air. They require proper funding to really get off the ground. Now, most associations will have a finite source of funding, and that is completely normal. Events will usually only get a small portion of the budget, but that does not mean you can’t work with what you have. A lot of events don’t require a large budget anyway. Still, before planning an event, make sure to work within your means.
3. Market the Event Properly
One way to measure the success of an event is if it attracts a lot of attendees. You can make this happen by properly marketing the event weeks before it’s scheduled to take place. Marketing the event well in advance gives residents a chance to block out their calendars. To start, send out invites and RSVPs so you can get an estimated headcount. Then, make sure you send out reminders as the big day approaches.
4. Think Twice About Serving Alcohol
Alcohol is often associated with parties, but it is not always wise to serve it, especially at community events. People can easily have one too many drinks and start to cause a scene. If you do decide to serve alcohol, see to it that you impose a drink limit per person.
5. Don’t Break Your Own Rules
Homeowners associations typically have rules about parties, whether it has to do with noise, parking, or something else. That being said, HOAs should host parties without breaking their own rules. For instance, if your HOA imposes quiet hours between 9 p.m. to 7 a.m., don’t throw a raging party that ends at 11 p.m. How do you expect residents to obey the rules if the HOA itself doesn’t respect them?
HOA Valentine’s Day Community Event Ideas
If you have decided to host a Valentine’s Day event, here are some ideas to get you started on the right track.
For Kids: Arts and Crafts Party
If your community is home to a lot of children, hosting an arts and crafts party is a perfect choice. The event can take place at the HOA clubhouse. There, kids and their parents can craft Valentine’s Day cards and make heart-shaped wreaths. This is a great way to allow kids to express their creativity while still fostering a sense of community love.
For Adults: Valentine’s Day Brunch
A Valentine’s Day brunch party is ideal for adults. Again, this can take place at the HOA clubhouse or any local restaurant. For the former option, the HOA can hire a catering service or assign dishes that individual residents can bring. You can also serve mimosas or bellinis, but don’t forget the drink limit!
For Seniors: Door-to-Door Deliveries
Senior residents might not have the energy or capability to leave their homes to attend a community event, so why not bring the event straight to them? Elderly members will really appreciate the HOA sending them each a Valentine’s Day care package. It’s a simple yet meaningful way for the HOA to show residents they truly care.
For All Ages: Romcom Movie Marathon
If you’re looking for something that residents of all ages can enjoy, a rom-com movie marathon is the answer. You can hold this at the clubhouse or at a large outdoor space. Schedule movie showings all day long and put out food for people to snack on while watching. There are so many romantic comedies to choose from that you definitely won’t run out!
For Tight Budgets: Send a Valentine’s Day Card
Some HOA boards shy away from arranging a Valentine’s Day community event because of cost implications. But, you can just as easily arrange an event for cheap. Just buy (or design your own) Valentine’s Day cards and write a thoughtful message about love. Then, send cards to every household in the community.
For Larger Budgets: Themed Costume Party
If you have money to spare, consider hosting a Valentine-themed costume party at the clubhouse. People can come dressed as anything they like, provided it’s related to love or Valentine’s Day. You can serve food and drinks, play music, and host games. Encourage people to dance or sing karaoke, too. The possibilities are endless!
All Things Considered
When it comes down to it, hosting an HOA Valentine’s Day community event is an effective way to bring people in the community together. And, as you can see, there are events for all ages and budgets. The decision, of course, is ultimately up to your HOA board.
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