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by Circuit

Excellent Resident Event Planning Needs the Human Element

11.07.2022

by Catherine Rotman

Your Residents Don’t Want Cookie Cutter Events. Here’s How to Optimize Event Planning with Both Human Touches and Digital Convenience. 

The digital world has transformed our way of life mostly for the better. From one tap of a button on our mobile device we can access information and request services instantly and conveniently from almost anywhere, anytime. But sometimes technology isn’t always for the better, and even when intentions are for the best, some forms of automation hinder us from being within reach of our audience.  

Most everyone can relate to the nuance of wanting to speak with a customer service representative and having to go through several chat bots that provide articles only to remain without answers for what you were looking for and valuable time lost. When it comes to customer service and maintaining client relationships, automation can only go so far before it deters your audience away from their needs and limits their capabilities. Even with the best AI, retaining a human element in every layer of business helps you feel more accessible to your clients and helps you better relate to and detect the needs of those you serve as developments arise. 

When Pre-Packaged and “Automated” Resident Events Miss the Mark 

As a property manager with limited time, automation is a key to helping simplify and streamline your everyday tasks. But where is the line drawn? When it comes to resident events, it can be tempting to just purchase a “pre-packaged” resident event from a third-party vendor that offers to automate the entire planning process. However, by removing all personalized human touches to your resident events, the outcome may not be the relevant nor engaging experience you imagined. In fact, retaining the human element and avoiding over-automation in your planning process is critical to ensuring the success of your resident experience.  

Picture yourself trying to plan your next resident event. You’re in the brainstorming stage and to save yourself some time, you stumble across a resident event planning service that includes pre-configured options out of the box. You try to find the event that most resonates with your community, even though it isn’t a perfect fit. Prices are fixed and may include too much, or too little of what you need. While there are many options to choose from, you wonder how the quality of each event holds up as vendors vary from city to city. You wouldn’t turn to Amazon to plan a resident event, yet the process can quickly feel that way if you aren’t careful – and your residents will notice it too.  

5 Tips on Planning A Successful Resident Event  

When planning a resident event, it’s important to avoid any service that is going to make the process feel automated and churn out a cookie-cutter event for your residents. For some of your residents, it may be their first time experiencing an event with your property, so first impressions will matter. Here are some things to consider when searching for the right company to make an impact on your resident events: 

  • Tip #1: Start with a broader theme, whether it be family-friendly, interactive, health-and-wellness related, a general social event, a tasting experience, or something custom that you can refine down to fit your demographic.  
     
  • Tip #2: Whether you have an event planning team or worth directly with vendors yourself, support local. Your residents are likely to appreciate vendors they are already familiar with. If you opt to have help, choose a team who has lots of experience working with small businesses and uplifting local communities. Ideally, they’ve been curating experiences for some time and have plenty of testimonials to speak for their experience.  
     
  • Tip #3: If you’re on a budget, start small and simple to test the waters with your residents, and if it’s a success, layer on extra’s the next time. The right team should work with your budget to start you off with something simple and provide add-ons only as needed, rather than quoting you an outrageous cost for more than you need. 
     
  • Tip #4: Be sure to include marketing for your residents that is personal and unique to their event. If you work with someone, ask if they can provide you with all the marketing materials you need to make your event a success. 
     
  • Tip #5: If you choose a resident event planning service, choose one who will work with you from the moment you inquire about your event, until the day of the event, and be just one phone call away anytime you need something, rather than having to reach out through a support forum or multiple chat bots. 

Digital Elements That Enhance Your Resident Events  

Some digital aspects of resident event planning can still play a role in aiding a successful experience, for instance, having a way for your residents to RSVP through an app so vendors can adequately prepare. A digital RSVP also gives you a chance to limit capacity in your amenities area. Digital QR codes on marketing materials posted in your lobby or elevator can ensure residents are aware of your upcoming event. Integrating trending hashtags and using your event to encourage residents to take photos and promote your property on social media. Sending out a survey following your event can also help ensure you don’t overlook any details and help make your next event even more successful.  

However, using digital tools shouldn’t stop there and can still be enhanced through human interaction. As a property manager, make it a point to share a friendly reminder about your events when you see your residents. Ask them if they know about your upcoming event, let them know how they can RSVP. If you see residents after the event, ask them how they enjoyed it. Was the food good, what was their favorite element of the experience, were they able to take any good pictures, what could have improved the experience for next time? Personal dialogue usually generates more responsiveness than a digital message that lands in someone’s inbox.  

When it’s Time to Hire Someone to Plan Your Resident Events for You 

Resident Events take a lot of work and are necessary to help you cultivate appreciation and build connections and retention within your building. The planning, contracting, organization with several vendors along with execution can be difficult when you’re not sure what you’re looking for or what vendors in your area are the best. If you have flexibility in your budget, consider a service available to your community such as Circuit that will work 1:1 with you to deliver something personal and locally curated to your residents, rather than another automated cookie cutter experience.  To start exploring options for your building, contact the Circuit team today!

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