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The City of Portland, Oregon

Community & Civic Life

Promote the common good

Main: 503-823-4519

City/County Info: 503-823-4000

TDD: 503-823-6868

1221 SW 4th Ave, Suite 110, Portland, OR 97204

Advice from experienced NNO party planners

Start early, get organized, and have plenty of help

"Start in early June, or earlier. Depending on the size of the party, have an appropriately-sized planning committee."

"Start planning early in the year. Delegate jobs. Form a planning committee."

"Start early and make sure volunteers coordinate with each other."

"Start early."

"Start planning really early."

"Plan early and get your funding early."

"Get other people on board early."

"We had a planning party with two or three neighbors who shared hosting duties."

"Create a spreadsheet or to do list to make sure everything is covered."

"Get as many people as possible responsible for some little part of the event to create a feeling of ownership."


Spread the word

"Get the word out early and do a reminder."

"Make sure to hand out fliers to the neighbors about the party."

"Start by going door to door and soliciting interest."

"Prepare a flyer and get it out to your neighbors at least a week in advance. Get emails of participants and get the date out to them several weeks in advance."

"Ask people to bring 'something to grill, something to share, and something to sit on.'"

"I made a flyer and a reminder flyer. They seemed to help."

"Put up signage at the party location a few days in advance."


Help people interact and have fun

"Keep it simple. It doesn't have to be complicated for people to have fun together."

"Have nametags.  Circulate and make sure people get introduced around."

"Food brings people out. Nametags help people talk."

"Be a welcoming host. Mingle and make sure people are introducted to each other. Let people know of things they have in common."

"Have music!"

"Make it a potluck so everyone has a role."

"If you have a diverse group, make sure to have food everyone will enjoy."
"Thank all the volunteers and donors publicly at the party."

"Kids' activities are a must."

"Have a sign up sheet for the adults to put down their current contact information to share with everyone."

"Sidewalk chalk and face painting are low-budget easy crowd pleasers."

"Consider inviting a new locally-owned business to come lead some sort of fun activity (at no or minimal cost to them)- games, face painting, etc. At the same time as they are taking some of the work off your shoulders, they can distribute information about themselves and create local connections to their potential customers."


and finally...

"Relax and enjoy!"

"Have fun!"