Five Tips for Planning a Community Event + Portland Bloggers Picnic Review

I’ve been behind on posting about some of the many events that I’ve been attending lately. I don’t like filling your feeds with pictures of people you don’t know or things you may not care about. I try my best not to post ALL of the events at once. I also really want to focus on the things that you can use to celebrate one of your own life events, make in  your home, use as style or beauty tips, or at least find pretty to look at.

Near the end of July I posted a week of Picnic posts in honor of the Portland Bloggers’ Family picnic. I seriously have about 5 drafts of picnic posts I didn’t complete. I may have to save them for next Summer for another picnic week. And, while I shared some of the iPhone snaps of the event, I didn’t get the chance to post the gorgeous photos our amazing professional photographer shot of the event.

5 tips for planning a community event

Five Tips for Planning a Community Event

So, to make this post about more than just sharing photos of a whole bunch of (awesome) strangers, I wanted to share a few tips for hosting a community style event. Community events could include a blogging community, church group, Instagram meet-ups, block parties… you get the idea. ;-) Photos feature members (and their families) of the Portland Bloggers group and are taken by the lovely Portland Lifestyle Photographer Macey of Motormouth Studios.

1. Make sure you have the right licensing for your event.

Licensing? But, I’m just throwing a picnic! Well, once you get out of the small group of people that can go anywhere together part of a gathering then you need to make sure that you have all your legal bases covered. Portland Parks have a great website that allowed me to find the park with the amenities I wanted and the prices of the rental fees. Even block parties now days usually need to have some sort of licensing to protect everyone invested in the event. Check for information online first and then give potential venues a call.

planning a community event

2. Make sure your venue has a restroom and parking.

Oiw… this one is a toughie for a lot of venues. Restrooms and adequate parking are MUSTS for events. Yes, sometimes you have to deal with things like metered parking… and, it sucks, but it is better than NO parking or unsafe parking areas. Make guests away of the parking situation before hand whether in the invite, online message, or by phone.

3. Try to get an easy-to-find location or give REALLY good directions in the invitations.

Boy did this not go right for our event. I reserved a fairly popular park, but google maps sent everyone to a different part of the park and the park did not have great signage. It was a MESS. Thankfully everyone eventually found us! A way to avoid what we did is visit the site before your event and inform guests of special directions. Also, check to make sure you have phone reception at the venue in case people try tweeting, calling, or texting you at the event.

planning a community event

4. Put out items that guests can recognize to know that they are going to the right place.

Balloons, signs, and bunting are great ways of letting your guests know where you are visually. Our picnic space at the Portland Bloggers’ picnic was fairly recognizable due to its balloons and signage. As a matter of fact, we had several people come to our site while looking for a different group because they were looking for ANYTHING that resembled an organized event.

making community events potluck

5. Make it Potluck or BYO!

Unless you have a company or well-off organization backing your event then the question of who is going to pay for what is definitely going to come up. Making the event a potluck or a Bring-Your-Own event can help share the costs of the event. Be up front about any costs or expectations in your invitation of the event. We made our event a “bring-you-own and if you want to share extra, feel-welcome” event. Everyone brought picnic lunches for themselves and their family members and a few people brought treats to share!


About Portland Bloggers:

Portland Bloggers is a meet-up group and blogging resource for Portland, Oregon area bloggers and businesses. (Click the above “Portland Bloggers” tab for more information, a list of awesome Portland Bloggers, and to see more photos from our Portland Bloggers’ meet-up!

recomonk

Recomonk was in house at the Portland Bloggers’ meet-up sharing their brand new blogging widget with our group. Recomonk is an easy way to share reviews and recommendation for music, movies, books and products you love with your blog readers. Click over to find out how you can earn rewards and easily share YOUR recommendations with your readers by clicking over to Recomonk.com.

Disclaimer: I did not receive any financial compensation to mention Recomonk, but they did give away a free gift card at the Portland Bloggers’ event. I know that some of my readers are bloggers and might like the opportunity to discover a new resource. All opinions are my own.

Portland Bloggers 2013

I’ve been so lucky to have been a part of the Portland Bloggers’ meet-up groups for some time now. We have such a great, supportive community and some of my dearest friends have been made through my participation of this group. Sometimes blogging can feel like a very lonely job. While it is great to be your own boss and have full control over content and the likes… it can also become daunting, boring, or just plain un-inspiring at times. Getting out into the real-world and meeting fellow bloggers— people who understand why you continually check twitter and bring a camera to dinner— can help inspire better content, relieve some work stresses, and help build your audience and connections. I’d highly recommend finding a meet-up group in your area.

If you are in the Portland, Oregon area then we’d love to see you get involved with the Portland Bloggers’ group or one of the other many meet-up groups out here. If you live in the Pacific Northwest then the PNW Blogger group is a great one to get involved with!

Portland Blogs you should know

Portland Bloggers You Should Know:

Below is a list of many of the bloggers that showed up to the Portland Bloggers’ picnic. (My memory is a little fuzzy… so, please forgive me if you were there and are not on the list. Email, Tweet, or comment that you were there and I’ll make sure you get added!) If you are looking for some new blogs to peruse and follow then definitely check these out or pin the above photo to come check out later!

  • 12oz Beehouse— A place for Coffee, Style, Crafting, and lots of pictures of beautiful Portland OR
  • A Tiny Rocket—About a girl chasing after art.
  • A Well Crafted Party— Oh wait… you are already here. Haha. ;-)
  • Adventures in Dressmaking—Sewing, DIY, Décor
  • Capturing Grace — I photograph portraits (family, maternity, newborns and seniors) and I shoot editorial assignments and love photographing food. My simple, “Photo Blog”, is where I share my favorite images from my photo shoots. Enjoy!
  • Chic Steals— Staying on-trend with a hefty dose of creativity and a ton of DIY- find some fabulous fashion steals and Chic Steals.
  • Dress This Nest— Fashion buyer turned Portlander and stay-at-home mom renovates a Cape Cod home in Laurelhurst
  • Mind Fit Move— Home of Mindfulness based Fitness.
  • Motormouth Studios— Lifestyle, Family, Children, Senior and Event Photography and Graphic/Web Design
  • Pea Roo—A blog boutique and kids’ fashion, preloved
  • Pechluck’s Food Adventures—A blog that chronicles adventures in eating in Portland- dining out and cooking and imbibing with appreciation for local Portland deliciousness.
  • Pepper Scraps— Healthy Mom = Heathly Family
  • Rain OR Shine— A family blog with a Northwest perspective.
  • The Boho Mama— I’m a free-spirited mama of twin girls writing about motherhood and our daily adventures, coffee in hand.
  • The Spicy Bee— A food blog featuring recipes, restaurant reviews, and events. Introduce some spice to your cooking repertoire.
  • Thyme of Taste— We are foodies from the PNW, who love food to share our food recipes, reviews and everyday adventures!
  • Tossing the Script — Positive body/self image blog- writing a new story one day at a time.
  • Word Savant— Thoughts and Tips on Writing from a Fiction Writer, Blogger, and Writing Coach

The blogging resource that allows bloggers to easily share reviews and recommendation for music, movies, books and products you love
with blog readers and get rewards, Recomonk, was also in attendance at our meet-up!

great picnic recipes

The thing about picnics is that it is all about the food and all about portable food. You can’t have a great picnic without some delicious recipes! Well, actually, I guess you can… you can totally get some yummy sandwiches like my good friend Bee did. Or hit up your local deli and fill your basket with small tastes of delicious delicacies.

Picnic food sandwiches

Great Picnic Recipes:

Many of the bloggers brought tasty treats that they made and then blogged about it after which made it super easy to create a list of some great picnic recipes that are portable and easy to make.

Picnic Recipes - Caprese Skewers

Caprese Skewers from Pechluck’s Food Adventures

Picnic Recipes Lemon Bars

Lemon Bars from Thyme of Taste

chocolate chip cookie recipe

Chocolate Chip Cookies (Made by me from Alton Brown’s Recipe)

Puff Pastry

Cherry Tomatoes, Herbed Goat Cheese with Puff Pastry (Made by me and featured on Live The Fancy Life)

4 Comments
  1. Bee
  2. Adventures in Dressmaking
  3. brooke lyn
  4. Geoff (The Lazy Literatus)

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