Tips & how-tos

How to host a community event

Written by Team Nextdoor

Need community event ideas? You’re in the right place. We have a step-by-step guide to planning and hosting a neighborhood meet-up and we’ll provide a few ideas to inspire your brainstorming team. Nextdoor Events will help you get the most out of your neighborhood so you can connect with people in real life.

Building kinder, stronger communities takes time. But an exciting event is a fun way to boost community engagement in your neighborhood—whether you’re new in town or a long-time pillar of your community.

Hosting a community event: A step-by-step guide

Whether you’re preparing a neighborhood block party, gathering supporters for a philanthropic cause, or simply navigating how to meet your neighbors, community gatherings are an excellent opportunity to mingle. Let’s break down a step-by-step guide for throwing a successful bash.

1. Create (and tackle) an event checklist

The first order of business is creating a checklist to guide your community event planning process. A few things to consider are:

  • Locking in the date, time, and location of your event – Are there any other community events you’ll have to accommodate when picking a date and time? Will you need a backup venue if it rains? Iron out these details as early as possible.
  • Attendees, invites, and RSVPs – Will this be a kid-friendly event or an adults-only night out? Will you open it up to the public? Do you need attendees to RSVP by a specific date?
  • Agenda – What do you plan to do during your event? Make a loose agenda for the gathering to keep your attendees entertained.
  • Food and drink – Create a menu for your event. Consider requesting potluck dishes, hiring a caterer, or inviting food truck vendors.

2. Talk with your neighbors

As you’re tackling your event checklist, make sure you check in with the potential attendees—your neighborhood’s residents.

Consult your community about the food and drinks, the time and date, the venue, and everything else related to your event. If you’re stumped, a fellow local might have a perfect event idea or a connection that can help you out of a bind.

To network with your neighbors, consider:

Talking about the event with your neighbors can ease the planning process, introduce you to other locals, and get the word out about your upcoming soiree.

3. Get the word out with Events

Knowing who is attending will help you gather information about guests to prepare for your event. You can create an event on Nextdoor and post to spread the word with members of your community. The process itself is quick and easy.

With Events, you’re able to get the most out of your neighborhood – not only can you invite neighbors to local meetups, you’ll be able to discover fun local events happening around you. While you may not need to include all of the following items when posting about your event—especially if you know all of the guests—consider asking about:

  • Attendees’ food allergies
  • How your guests plan to travel to the event (for parking considerations)
  • Any children attending
  • Music preferences or playlist requests
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • Pinterest
  • Gmail

4. Have fun

Remember that, even if you’re heading up the planning, you deserve to have fun at your event, too. After all, community gatherings are all about spending time with neighbors and making new connections.

To give yourself ample time to socialize, try to delegate some of your responsibilities or ask for extra help:

  • Take shifts with other community members, assigning out tasks like:
    • Setting up
    • Serving food and snacks
    • Running the drinks table
    • Organizing games and activities
    • Breaking down/cleaning up
  • Consider hiring an event planner or staff for professional assistance
  • Assign a “treasurer” to pay your vendors and support staff day-of

Don’t be afraid to ask for support before and during the event—many hands make light work.

Community event ideas

The four steps above can help you plan the perfect party—but let’s introduce some potential community event ideas that could inspire your planning process.

Consider hosting a(n):

  • Community service event, such as a:
    • Beach or local park cleanup
    • Blood drive
    • Canned food drive
    • Planting a community garden
  • Community education session about:
    • Home fire safety
    • CPR or emergency first aid
    • Severe weather preparedness
  • Outdoor family movie night screening
  • Book, toy, or clothing exchange
  • Craft fair
  • Street chalking block party
  • Casino night
  • Group hike
  • Specialty meal, like:
    • Spaghetti dinner
    • Pancake breakfast
    • Bottomless mimosa tasting
    • Ice cream social
  • Virtual community event, such as:
    • Game night
    • Trivia night
    • Talent show

Of course, these are only some of the possibilities—but, they could inspire you and your event planning group to choose an impactful, fun theme for your next local community meetup.

Planning a community event? Nextdoor can help

The step-by-step guide and community event ideas above should help jumpstart your planning process. Most importantly, remember to prepare as thoroughly as possible, create a safe event, and have fun getting to know your neighbors.

When it’s time to get the word out, Nextdoor is the perfect tool for the job. Simply create an event and keep everyone updated in order to host a successful gathering that will bring neighbors together.

And don’t forget to connect with your neighbors on Nextdoor to stay in the loop about upcoming neighborhood events.

Head to the Nextdoor app or visit to create an event today!

To connect with your local neighborhood, download the app or login at

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