Whether it's to bond with neighbors and friends or raise awareness for a cause, a community event is a fantastic way to bring people together. From a local cooking contest to a town charity drive, loads of compelling community event ideas provide options to strengthen local community bonds.
In this article, we look at the importance of community events and highlight interesting community event ideas that you can easily set up and undertake to host a community event.
Beyond community events being fun, they also come with several other benefits:
Hosting community events can bring people together within your local community and encourage them to develop stronger bonds. Also, spending time with friends, family, neighbors, and community members creates a deeper human connection which contributes to overall well-being.
A community event allows people to give back to their local community. Members of the community can raise money for local charities and community projects.
Different communities have something that gives them a sense of identity. For example, a community could be noted for its historical sites, local parks, or waterfalls. Community outdoor events can instill a sense of pride in residents living within that community. Ultimately, this can encourage community members to support their local community and attract new visitors.
While hosting community events is one way to strengthen and improve your community, it is also a sure way to build your brand profile. Organizing community events can create brand awareness and make more people believe in what you do, whether your personal brand or a related social enterprise, charity, or business; connecting your community with your brand and purpose can help you further its objectives.
Do you want to host a community event and need some ideas?
Perhaps you have plants, flowers, birds, or water bodies that are unique to your neighborhood. You can organize a nature walk at your local park and invite community members to learn more about nature, green practices, and conservation.
You can hire a nature tour guide, or you might have the knowledge to share. Further, apps like iNaturalist can help you and your community members identify the trees, insects, birds, etc., in your neighborhood. What's more, connecting with nature can help improve the mental and physical health of members of your community group.
Related: Read up on our nature quotes for some more inspiration.
A garage sale is one outdoor community event that can get the neighborhood buzzing. There are loads of reasons to buy second-hand goods instead of new ones. You can organize a garage sale on your street, parking lot, or any central location within the neighborhood and invite people to donate used goods and engage in thrifting.
What's better than gathering around delicious food coupled with a little friendly competition? A cook-off or cooking contest is one delicious community event idea that can bring people together. If you've ever been to a food fair, you know how fun cooking contests can be.
You can get your neighbors to make burgers, salads, barbeque, and other delicious meals to compete for a prize. You should get some experts involved. You can contact local eateries and request that they participate or be the judge of the cooking contest in exchange for some free advertisement.
One way to bring your community together is through a charitable cause. You can organize a charity drive in a central location within the community and encourage members to donate goods like toys, clothing, books, non-perishable food, and so on.
You can set various drop-off spots in your local area where community members can drop off their donations. As a community, you can donate these goods to local charity organizations that need them.
Suppose you're thinking of a fun event that will leave a lasting memory in your community members. In that case, you can organize an open-mic night and have people within your community come out to support local artists. You could stick to just one genre of music or spice it up a bit. You can get residents to pay a small entry fee and use the proceeds to support and celebrate local talent.
You can host a trivia night in your community and have people show their local knowledge. You can ask questions about the neighborhood and have them compete for prizes. This is also a great way to pass down knowledge about your region to the younger people and newcomers. Ensure there are refreshments and runner-up prizes to keep the night fun.
Are you thinking of a big community event idea that can drive people to your neighborhood? Organizing a mega-market event is one fun way to encourage tourists and shoppers from far and near to visit your community.
You can advertise food stations, a seed swap shop, or a farmer's market within the community and encourage people to attend. You can use platforms like social media or online event pages to advertise and promote the event. Organizing mega markets is also a great way to support local businesses and generate revenue within the community.
Include a variety of food vendors, some live music, and other fun activities for entertainment. You can speak to your local council and make this a bi-weekly, monthly, or yearly event.
One way to bring your community together and create a positive change in the environment is to organize community gardening events.
You can mark off a recurring community gardening day and get residents to grab their gardening tools and do something positive for the environment. It could be planting trees, adding compost bins throughout the community, or creating an organic garden.
Related: Read up on our gardening quotes to inspire your green thumb and next gardening event.
A scavenger or treasure hunt is one creative way to engage people in your community fully. You can organize one and have your community members scout for the hidden treasure in exchange for a prize. It can be a fun indoor or outdoor activity for both adults and kids.
You can organize a food festival to celebrate different cultures within your community. Residents, local restaurants, and bakeries can showcase different local dishes while promoting their businesses.
This is one way to celebrate local culture and promote diversity and inclusion within the community. Further, you can use the events to grow awareness for food waste or highlight alternatives to single-use plastic cutlery.
A block party or street party gives community members enough room to bond and make new friends. Throwing street parties doesn't have to be expensive. All you need to do is get your neighbors involved. If you have neighbors who love grilling, they can provide a bbq. If there's a music group living in your neighborhood, you can invite them to provide some entertainment. You can also play games or create a little stand to raise money for charity. The more you involve people, the more party ideas you can work with.
You can get crafty with your community events by hosting an arts and crafts show. You can get local producers and artists within your community to showcase their crafts, from sustainable jewelry to art, face painting, and hair-dressing. People can showcase their crafts in a central local park. You can invite investors or lovers of art and sell some of the best crafts during the show to raise some money for charity or other causes within the community.
Investing in the people is one way to build an impactful and strong community. You can offer several skill development training or wellness programs to people living in the area. It could be soft skills, communication skills, financial skills, social skills, and so on.
You can also host classes like yoga that improve the physical and mental health of people in the community.
Is there a local park, garden, or riverbank needing a clean-up? You invite people within the community to get involved. Organize a periodic community clean-up - this could be bi-weekly or monthly and get volunteers to get their hands dirty.
Or perhaps your community is near the beach, in which case running a beach cleanup event is perfect. You can also consider joining existing events, such as the annual International Coastal Cleanup Day.
This is also an excellent opportunity for members to spend ample time bonding with each other.
A film night is a great draw if you’ve got a venue like a community hall or event space locally. And even if you don’t have ample space available, you can go smaller by hosting at home.
Hiring or borrowing a projector and screen is all you need to do to create the big screen feeling. And whereas choosing a popular film will no doubt appeal, you can also use the night to how shorts that champion causes or screenings of films promoting awareness around causes. For ideas, check out our lists of some of the best:
So now you have some unique community event ideas in mind. How do you organize and make the event a big hit?
The first step to planning a memorable community event is to start with an objective. What do you hope to achieve? Do you want to create a more close-knit community? Do you want to raise money for a community project or charity?
Establishing an objective will help you pick the best event idea to drive it. You also want to research the types of events that have happened over the years in that community. If your community is known for holding fundraising events, you may want to bring something new. Lastly, you want to find out if people are interested in your idea.
After establishing your objective and picking the perfect event idea, you want to ensure you secure a location. If you plan on hosting events in a park or private property, you want to get a permit from community leaders or government officials. Ensure you find out all legal requirements for your locality.
Next, you want to get the word out. You can use social platforms like Facebook and Twitter to reach out to community groups. You can also utilize social media advertising for more targeted advertising.
Online event pages and emails are also a great way to promote the event. Include the time, location, and perks of the event. You can also partner with local businesses and organizations and share printed materials to promote your event offline.
Related read: Our giving-back quotes might provide some useful information to share and encourage people to get involved.
The major goal of hosting a community event is to involve the entire community. You want to ensure that whatever idea you come up with involves everyone. Ensure the location is accessible to everyone within the community. You also want to make provisions for the old and disabled.
If everyone feels welcome, they will likely bond better and return for more.
Lastly, you want to get all the necessary licenses and permits to ensure your event runs smoothly. For example, if you are selling alcohol or playing loud music at night, you want to check with your local council to find out what restrictions apply in your community.
If there's anything the COVID-19 pandemic has taught us, it is that we can do anything online. With virtual events, you can build lasting community bonds with people all over the world. Here are some virtual community event ideas you can try:
In today's world, we have a significant number of people who spend more time at home. People spend days cooped up indoors and are looking for ways to get fit. You can start a virtual health and wellness class where you offer fitness classes like dance or yoga. You can also provide healthy recipe tutorials to keep everyone engaged.
Another virtual event idea you can try is an online silent auction. You can host an online auction to raise funds for a project or charity. Social media allows you to reach more people and raise more money.
Thanks to apps like Zoom and YouTube, individuals and groups can perform together, making it easy to host a successful community event that includes people who may not be able to travel easily. You can host an open mic event where people come to show off their talents and bond together.
You can organize a trivia or movie night where people come together to watch a good film and answer trivia questions. This is a great way to establish stronger bonds with your online community.
If you want to raise funds, you can charge a small entry fee or set up a page to raise donations.
If you love cooking and teaching others how to, you can hold a virtual cooking class with your online community and teach them how to make special dishes from different parts of the world. Food is a great way to foster social and cultural development, and your chef skills can connect people and ideas as well as impress community members.
Hosting a community event comes with great benefits. It can be a powerful way to strengthen community bonds if done right. To create a successful event, you want to ensure you spend enough time in each phase of planning and executing.
Whether you are an event planner or just looking for engaging community event ideas, we hope our list above is helpful to you and your community.
Jen’s a passionate environmentalist and sustainability expert. With a science degree from Babcock University Jen loves applying her research skills to craft editorial that connects with our global changemaker and readership audiences centered around topics including zero waste, sustainability, climate change, and biodiversity.
Elsewhere Jen’s interests include the role that future technology and data have in helping us solve some of the planet’s biggest challenges.