If you’re planning an event for the summer, you are asking these party planning questions: How can we make our community event BIGGER than last year? How can we entertain teens (we have a suggestion) at our Fireman’s Picnic, block party, town party or summer festival? What is going to bring in families? What is the perfect draw for adults who spend money? How can we make an event schedule for all the different groups in our community? How can we increase revenue from our summer event? We’ve got a few suggestions, being that we’ve been at a few parties (or a few hundred or thousand…):
- Outdoor movie. Nothing makes a statement like a 40 foot blow-up screen, or 30 foot, or 20 foot screen with the latest summer flick at any type of venue you want (baseball stadium, pool, parking lot, etc.) Invite teens, kids and families to come and enjoy a movie on a huge screen. The movie provides the entertainment, and you provide the popcorn, refreshments, drinks and whatever else you think the teens would dig!
- Teen tent. A teen lounge invites teens and kids of all ages to come in and play video games, socialize, listen to new music and videos, text their friends (and people they’d like to meet) on big TVs, watch sponsor ads and announcements on the TVs, purchase food, drink and items from your vendors, and most of all, have a place to hang. At night the teen lounge kicks into high gear with cool mood lighting! No band or entertainment needed. The music and videos get turned up a notch (or a live DJ can spin). The live texting and your sponsor ads continue to roll, and the lines for the video games get even longer.
- Pool party. Do you have a pool at your rec center, country club, water park or in your community? Want to show your residents (and their teens) the value of their membership? Host a pool party with water slides, swimming and an outdoor movie. Ramp up your pool party with glow in the dark jewelry for kids and refreshments. Or bring in a DJ to make the pool party a dance party in the water.
- Kid’s activities. One of our favorite highlights of any party is a jump house. That’s right, a jump house—those inflatable play jump houses that kids swarm to like bees to a perfume bottle. These inflatable fun houses are often overlooked by event planners (probably because they’re not 5, then they’d always be remembered!), but can make any event successful and enjoyable—by kids and parents! In addition to a jump house, consider asking volunteers to coordinate other fun kid activities such as a face painting station, big wheel races, give away or sell balloons or glow sticks.
- DJ. Bring a DJ in to get the party going, or keep it going until curfew. A DJ works great in a teen or adult tent, and can develop a play list that fits with whatever crowd you expect. A DJ also is ideal if an awards dinner is part of your event, and for several other reasons which we addressed by busting these common DJ myths.
To finalize your schedule, contact a party company to inquire and confirm details of your event. Then, start promoting in your community. Print out posters. Spread the word. Hang signs in strategic locations. Ask your sponsors to pass out flyers and add the information to their newsletters and customer emails. Run radio ads if your budget allows. With an excellent marketing and promotion strategy, and a stellar schedule of events and crowd draws, as well as some beautiful Wisconsin weather, your event can be bigger than ever before—and more fun for everyone involved.