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Summer Public Event Planning: Tips For Hosting Successful Municipal Events 2024

By Anna Figliola

As the weather warms up and constituents spend more time outdoors soaking up the sun, many family dynamics change as kids are home from school and looking for ways to fill their days. 

Local governments are responsible for providing safe and family-friendly activities for citizens in the summertime to raise revenue, foster positive feelings toward government institutions, and support the wellbeing of your community

Local government officials constantly face challenges and obstacles from all directions, plights that only inflate as summer begins and residents adjust accordingly. Organizing compelling summer events that appeal to diverse community interests includes balancing limited budgets, navigating bureaucratic red tape, and ensuring accessibility and inclusivity of public events.

Safe, family-friendly activities not only offer a constructive and enjoyable way for families to spend their time but also contribute to strengthening community bonds and enhancing the quality of life. While the effort to create and promote these events is substantial, the rewards in terms of community cohesion, well-being, and local vibrancy make it a worthwhile endeavor. 

Officials need to be aware of the numerous benefits of GovPilot’s software, as government management software provides comprehensive solutions to streamline planning, coordination, and execution of public summer events. Read on to learn more! 

What Will This Guide Cover? 

  • The Importance of Local Public Summer Events
  • Best Practices To Remember When Planning A Summer Event
  • Steps To Plan A Local Summer Event 
  • Benefits of Hosting Summer Events

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Why Are Summer Events Important For The Community? 

In the summertime, constituent lifestyles often shift in ways that local government officials need to consider and accommodate. As the weather warms up, residents typically spend more time outdoors, participating in recreational activities such as swimming, hiking, and attending outdoor events. This increase in outdoor activity leads to a higher demand for well-maintained parks, pools, trails, and recreational facilities

Families with school-aged children also seek out summer programs and activities to keep their kids engaged during the school break, necessitating the availability of camps, sports leagues, and educational workshops.

Summer public events hosted by the local government provide accessible opportunities for residents of all ages and backgrounds to come together, creating spaces for social interaction and community bonding. By offering a range of activities—from concerts and festivals to sports and educational programs—local governments can cater to diverse interests, ensuring that everyone has a chance to participate and feel included

Such events also stimulate the local economy by attracting visitors and encouraging spending at local businesses. Importantly, these gatherings provide a safe and structured environment for recreation, reducing the potential for unsupervised activities that might lead to negative outcomes. Local government based summer public events enhance social cohesion, economic vitality, cultural enrichment, and overall community well-being.

Best Practices To Remember When Planning A Summer Event

Here are some of the most vital elements of planning local government summer events and activities that your locality should remember when planning your own: 

  • Hire Vendors

Hiring vendors is a crucial practice for local officials planning summer events, as vendors bring specialized expertise and resources that enhance the overall success and quality of the event. Whether it's food trucks, craft stalls, or entertainment services, vendors offer diverse options that cater to a wide range of interests and preferences, making the event more appealing and enjoyable for attendees. This also allows local businesses to raise awareness of their services or sell goods at your event. 

Additionally, partnering with vendors helps distribute the workload and logistical challenges associated with organizing large-scale events. By outsourcing certain services, local governments can focus on core planning and coordination tasks, ensuring that the event runs smoothly and efficiently. This division of labor not only enhances the event's quality but also reduces the strain on government resources and staff.

  • Entertainment Is a Must

While summer events are naturally enjoyable, it is important to secure different forms of entertainment, as this can attract a diverse crowd and boost attendance. Whether it's live music, theatrical performances, or interactive activities, well-chosen entertainment creates a lively and enjoyable atmosphere, encouraging more residents to participate. Entertainment also provides a focal point around which other activities can be organized, creating a cohesive and dynamic event flow. 

  • Include All Citizens 

By prioritizing inclusivity, local governments can curate summer events that reflect the values and diversity of the community. Inclusion ensures that everyone has the opportunity to participate and enjoy the event, regardless of their physical, financial, or social circumstances. Inclusion also reflects positively on local government, showing that they are attentive to the needs of all residents and encouraging greater public support and participation in future initiatives.

Learn all about How To Run an Ethical and Equitable Community here. 

  • Ensure Accessibility 

Primarily, accessibility ensures that events are open and welcoming to people with disabilities. This includes providing features such as ramps, accessible restrooms, designated parking spaces, and clear signage. By removing physical barriers, local governments make it possible for individuals with mobility impairments, visual or hearing impairments, and other disabilities to fully participate in and enjoy the event. 

Read our Strategies For Disability Inclusion Planning In Your Community here. 

  • Analyze Your Event Post- Completion

An important part of summer event planning for local governments is conducting a post-event analysis, as this practice provides valuable insights that can enhance the effectiveness and success of future events. Analyzing an event post-completion involves collecting and evaluating data on various aspects of the event, such as attendance numbers, participant feedback, logistical challenges, and financial performance. By systematically reviewing this information, local governments can identify what worked well and what areas need improvement.

Read about How Digital Transformation Expedites These Processes

Step By Step Guide To Planning Your Summer Event 

There are steps you can take to ensure your summer municipal events are successful! Here are a few key ways to host fun, impactful events: 

1. Define the Event Purpose and Objectives

Successful planning of a summer public event is impractical without clearly defining the purpose and objectives of the event. Establishing a well-defined purpose and set of objectives ensures that the event is meaningful, targeted, and successful in meeting the community's needs.  Explicitly defining the intent of an event helps local government officials prioritize activities, allocate resources effectively, and make informed choices about logistics, programming, and marketing. 

Check out our guide to Government KPIs and Setting Measurable Goals in the Public Sector!

2. Create a Planning Committee

Executing a summer event requires conscientious planning, which is best done in the form of a planning committee. This collaborative approach distributes the workload and enhances communication and coordination among different entities, reducing the likelihood of oversights and misunderstandings. The committee structure facilitates more effective decision-making, leading to more well-rounded and informed choices. This collective decision-making process can help mitigate risks and ensure that the event aligns with its purpose and objectives.

Learn about The Benefits of Volunteerism For Local Governments here! 

3. Select the Event Type and Theme

Every public event needs an event type and theme, as this choice influences all aspects of planning and execution. Defining the event type and theme creates a focused and coherent vision, guiding the selection of activities, entertainment, vendors, and the overall event structure. 

Summer public events can include festivals, parades, concerts, sports tournaments, community fairs, or outdoor movie nights. Different event types have varying requirements in terms of space, equipment, permits, and staffing. By clearly defining these aspects early in the planning process, officials can better anticipate and address logistical challenges. 

4. Determine the Date and Venue

Choosing the right date is essential for maximizing attendance and participation in summer public events. The date and venue influences factors such as weather conditions, competing events, accessibility for attendees, and logistical requirements. Officials need to consider factors such as local school holidays, major events in the area, and seasonal weather patterns to increase the likelihood of attracting a larger crowd. 

The venue should be easily accessible by public transportation and have the necessary infrastructure to support the event, such as electricity, water, and restroom facilities. The size of the venue should match the expected attendance, ensuring that it can safely accommodate all participants.

Learn How To Improve Your Local Government's Workflows here! 

5. Budget Planning and Resource Allocation

Effective budget planning and resource allocation ensures that the event is financially sustainable, well-managed, and successful in achieving its goals. Estimating income and expenses involves identifying potential funding sources, such as sponsorships, grants, and ticket sales, and allocating funds to cover essential costs, such as venue rental, permits, equipment, and staffing. 

Learn more with our resource on Managing Local Government Funds For The New Year!

6. Acquire All Necessary Permits 

To avoid legal fines or penalties, local officials must ensure that events meet safety, health, and environmental regulation standards. By following permit requirements, organizers can create a safer environment for residents and mitigate the risk of accidents or incidents. Obtaining permits can also help streamline the planning process and ensure that all necessary arrangements are made in advance.

7. Ensure Safety Measures Are In Place 

Despite extensive event planning, there is always a possibility of unplanned events occurring or operations going awry. Proper safety measures prevent accidents, manage emergencies, and create a secure environment. Make sure to prepare for any unexpected obstacles by implementing security measures, including trained security personnel, first aid stations, clear signage, and emergency response plans. Ensuring safety measures are in place at local summer events not only minimizes harm, but also contributes to the overall professionalism and credibility of the event. 

Learn about How Your Local Government Can Improve Community Safety here!

8. Market The Event

Successful event planning includes municipal marketing strategies, as marketing is essential for raising awareness, generating excitement and building stakeholder relationships. Through various marketing channels, such as social media, local newspapers, radio, flyers, and community bulletin boards, officials can reach a wide audience and inform them about the event details, including the date, location, activities, and purpose.

What Following These Steps Can Help You Achieve

  • Happier Constituents 

By bringing constituents together and out into the community, government activities in the summer improve the overall mood of residents. These events offer opportunities for connection, cohesion, and expression of civic pride. 

Make sure to put time towards understanding what constituents want from their local officials in terms of events, support and services! 

  • More Trust For Government 

Thorough summer event planning reflects the diverse needs of the community, demonstrating the care and attention of local officials to their constituents. When citizens trust their local government to keep the community safe, clean, and engaging, they are far more likely to contribute to democratic matters in your locality. 

You can always Build Trust in Local Government with our help!

  • Increased Community Unity 

Family-friendly activities encourage and strengthen community bonds by providing a safe and enjoyable environment to socialize with other residents. These local summer events create a sense of belonging among residents through shared experiences, inclusive participation, celebration of diversity, collaboration, and the strengthening of social networks.

  • Increased Revenue 

Incorporating local businesses as vendors at summer public events creates opportunities to increase revenue. Small local businesses can set up vendor tables or booths and sell goods that ultimately go back into the municipality.

Check out GovPilot’s guide to Boosting Revenue for Your Local Government!

Use This Guide To Plan Your Summer Events!

Local government officials must initiate the planning and organization of family-friendly activities for the summer, as summertime is quickly approaching and the school year is almost finished. Effective planning ensures that all logistical, promotional, and safety aspects are addressed in a timely manner, leading to a well-executed event that maximizes community engagement and satisfaction. Government officials and personnel alike can maximize efficiency and streamline these processes through government management software like GovPilot; book a consultation now!

Local Summer Public Event FAQs

  • Why do local businesses benefit from local summer events? 

Local summer events foster a lively atmosphere that creates opportunities for local businesses to reach new customers and build long-term relationships in the community. 

  • What are some examples of family-friendly summer events? 

Family-friendly summer events can include food and music festivals, outdoor movie nights, farmers markets, recreational activities, educational workshops, water activities, and library programs. 

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Tags: Constituent Engagement, Constituent Experience, Civic Engagement