How to Celebrate Summer Safely

Recently I was talking to friends about upcoming changes, it seems like there’s an overwhelming sense of “No Fun Summer 2020”.  That is far from the truth!  As fears increase around travel and large crowds, it became very apparent that creativity is needed.  We are in a time where two extremes exist. Those ready to throw themselves back into the old normal and those extremely cautious.

It doesn’t have to be that way.

COVID19 has definitely sideswiped the world.  It feels like March through May has been a blur. Usually, we will be planning pool parties, vacations, and other activities. 

Barriers exist for every industry around safety.  Management companies are now placed with this huge task.  Keeping your building safe from an outbreak on top of EVERYTHING else.  It’s not like your plate wasn’t already full.  LOL.  

How is this even feasible or possible?  That is a bold question.

I’ve been grappling with the same question.  Each day brings new opportunities or challenges with adjusting to this new way of life.  We do miss seeing residents face to face at events.  On social media, we can tell managers can’t wait to throw their first “BIG” summer party.  Resident events still play a major part in retention and relationships within the community.  Every management company has adapted differently with social distancing restrictions.

Webinar after webinar educating us on ways to open amenity spaces safely and CDC rules.  As stay at home orders start to lift in different states, we left a big fact question. 

What is next?

The summer season is peak season! An abundance of apartment tours!  High traffic rates.  Plus, pool parties!  Warmer months are commonly used to draw residents out into the community spaces.  Due to the pandemic, it will likely look different.

This is not a doomsday blog post.  I’m starting up the conversation around how to still use heavy engagement time wisely in our new “social distancing” guidelines.  My goal is to give you 4 tangible tips to still make the best out of Summer 2020.

Summer isn’t canceled.  It’s up to management to encourage proper precautions and measures are taken.  We can celebrate responsibly.

Let’s jump right into it!

Balcony/Courtyard Parties

Summer parties in 2020 will involve social distancing as a key component.  Try to host a  balcony/courtyard party.  Balcony parties have been booming on social media for several communities.  It’s a way to avoid people gathering and crossing the line.  Radio.com article on “How Will Social Distancing Affect Summer Camps?”, “With some people, alcohol is involved, and once you start drinking, it’s easy to say, ‘hey, I’m just going to go say hi to my friend real quick, I don’t need this mask. I can hug my buddy, it’s going to be okay,’ and that is the question and that is the concern with a lot of experts,” he said.”

Outdoor Movie Nights

I have a big surprise for you!  Several outdoor movie vendors have transitioned to drive-in movie packages. They have massive inflatable screen packages available.  For the states no longer under stay at home, you can even do the large screen without the cars.  The only thing is to be aware that social distancing may have to be enforced.  The larger screens can be more expensive, yet it is an option.

Virtual Block Party

I have to admit.  Virtual block party? It may sound weird.  Give it a chance.  It’s a creative way to still celebrate or gather without worrying about social distancing.

We hosted our first virtual block party on Cinco de Mayo.  One word to describe is AMAZING.  The residents did the dance lines and talked in the chats.  Parents had their kids dancing and having fun.  I love this option for communities that do not have a courtyard or large outdoor space.

Food Truck Nights

Who doesn’t enjoy a good food truck splurge?  I love this idea for communities with the space to host the event.  The food truck can be combined with the virtual block party or balcony party.  Residents can be instructed on when to come down to place orders or pick up the food.

We do recommend holding off any buffet setups or food distributions that will encourage large group congregations.  Managers can risk being in situations to enforce distancing or rules, which will likely be an uncomfortable situation.

The key to having a fun summer in 2020 will involve creativity.  It doesn’t have to be boring.  It doesn’t have to involve complaining about things are different.  The beautiful thing about managing a property is setting the pulse for the community.  Shifting your perspective can help create a new culture within your community.

If you are needing more direction on event ideas for June, take time to register for our FREE “Creating Community in Crisis” webinar.  We host them every month to provide tips to recommendations for executing engagement ideas in a pandemic.

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