MHN Executive Council: Top Resident Event Ideas

We polled our experts, and here are some of our favorite suggestions.

The nature of resident events has changed. What are the most effective resident events for 2022? We asked the MHN Executive Council for their insights.

Orion Property Group has moved back to in-person events with safety measures in place. It has been well received by the residents and on-site staff. The most effective events seem to be the food and drink events that involve interactions with other residents. Everyone seems to want “get togethers” like we did pre-COVID. —Michael Napovanice, President & Principal, Orion Property Group

Our Elevated Living event planners all over the country get the most RSVPs for events that are interactive and offer residents a chance to actively participate in a small group. These residents receive the highest ratings and reviews. Because it’s a small group and interactive, they are forced to interact with people they would not have normally met. Typical events are mixology, wine tastings, cooking classes and similar types of classes. On the other hand, the ones that our events team sees are getting more popular are “field trips” outside of the building, such as happy hours, vineyards and ski or snowboard trips. —Konrad Koczwara, Founder & CEO, Elevated Living

If you are looking for socially distanced events, our residents have really come to enjoy “grab and go” types of things. For instance, we did a virtual paint and sip where residents picked up their paint kit and mini bottle of wine and then logged onto a Zoom where they did the instructor-led painting class from home. We have done this for a variety of themed events, like Halloween pumpkin carving contests, etc. Happy hours also go over will with many of our communities! —Jess Carpentier, Software Application Specialist & Leasing Manager, Stuart Co.

We recently had an impromptu event at a community in San Francisco. The community posted a flyer in the elevator, lobby and on their resident portal. “Meet your neighbors for lunch in the courtyard this Thursday. Management will provide dessert. Just come with your lunch and get to know your neighbors.” About a third of the residents came out. There are still a bit of residents working from home. It didn’t cost much and was done in the courtyard during lunch. The event was one hour, but many residents stayed to chat and got to build relationships with their neighbors. They plan to do it as a monthly event, and one of the residents that works at a local restaurant mentioned he could bring a plate of sandwiches to the next event. It turned out way better than the team expected. —Kim Baker, Vice President of Marketing, Legacy Partners

A healthy mix of virtual and in-person events seems to be popular. People, in general, have changed. Some prefer virtual events. This is where painting classes, mixology classes, flower-arranging classes and more are a perfect fit. However, some people yearn for the in-person event, and the historical tried-and-true events like a summer kickoff party or monthly themed event may be well received. Events like breakfast on the go are popular again. It’s in-person, but it’s quick and efficient. No matter what, every resident loves their pets, and any pet-friendly community should have a few pet-focused events like “yappy hour” or “wash your car/dog day” (where the team washes residents’ cars or pets! It’s a hit! Trust me!) or pet costume contest or end of summer pool pawty! In thinking about the dynamic of the best resident events in 2022, it really just depends. It’s an experiment. Try one style event one month and another style event another month. We continuously gauge and monitor what’s working and what’s not, how we can course correct and how to plan for 2023! — Christine Gustafson, Vice President of Marketing & Public Relations, The Breeden Co.

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