Sohl's big (but not that bigol' guide to block parties
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Kick things off


Quickie Checklist

So, you’ve made all the preparations and now the day of the block party is here. Awesome. Hopefully, most of the plan is ready to go and organized beforehand, making the party payoff stage fairly simple. Here are a few tips/reminders for making sure the day goes smoothly.

  1. Stick to the script! If you prepared to spec, you’ll have the assigned roles you need for your neighborhood’s flavor of the best bash. Have a coordinator check in before the party and have everyone review their role, what they’re bringing/setting up, and when. Help manage this more easily with our sign-up sheets and SoHl app.
  2. Easy emergency access is a priority. If closing off a street, make sure to leave enough space on the street between tables, chairs, etc. for emergency vehicles to get through or make sure it is easy to clear things away quickly if needed.
  3. Have supporting stuff ready to go beforehand. It’s tough during the party to find time to run out and grab something you forgot. Ensure you have equipment for games, toys, etc. ready to go the day before, from sourcing to setup to packing em’ out.
  4. Document. Consider having a sign-in book somewhere. It’s a nice way to document who is open to block parties and gives a good list of contacts to reach out to next time you want to plan a party. Also consider bringing name tags for people to write on - another good way to make introductions easier.
  5. Bathroom policies. A detail that is often forgotten - decide on a bathroom policy for the block. It can be wise to stick to a “your own home” rule for safety and home security, but having some nearest the event open for populations like kiddos and those with limited mobility can be what makes it possible for them to par-tay with the block.
  6. First-aid ready. Remember to bring at least a little first aid kit and have it readily available. There’s bound to be a few scraped knees.
  7. Bins at the ready. Have bins around every major eating and hangout space, and probably each activity and event. Know who in your crew will be on bins duty when it’s all wrapped up. Make it easy for everyone to keep things clean and reduce later headaches.
  8. Spaces cleared, ready and marked. Whether a BYO all the things party or a fully choreographed experience from start to finish, people will need spaces for stuff and selves. Have clear markings for seating, food, kiddos and, well, all the things that you care to particularly place. Reduce confusion and make kicking off easy. Our signage templates can help make this a snap.

If you’ve prepped, the execution stage is a piece of cake. Use these tips and you’ll be well on your way to a great party.

Beyond the Basics

Getting a party well and truly kicked off can be intimidating. Sure, all the practical stuff and frippery are set up… but who will be 1st to claim their space? Circulate? Get out on the dance floor? Here’s a few tips to make that easy and kick-start the fun.

Pump up the Jams!

Music sets the mood and helps notify people that the event is officially ON. As people filter in, ask for some favorite songs and play a roster of those to get them immediately involved, engaged and encouraged to get out there and dance. Plus, sharing personal tunes gives partygoers something to talk about and bond over.

LARP It Till You Make It

If your neighborly crew seems a little reticent to mingle, set them to some social tasks. Make a few greeters with little scripts. Have others check in on drinks, foods, and fun needs. Even give others character sheets and see what happens. Just on-the-fly, for a half hour or so (or longer if they love it) get your people out of their heads and into a fun and happy role-based social space.  

Big Party Energy (BPE)

Some people just naturally bring the zazz. If your squad has some of those, put that (not too pushy) BPE to work- from working the “room” to announcing events and even knocking on doors to bring people out of their home-shells, these natural emcees can help take the party to 11!

Yo’Town Funk!

Group identities can be awesomely powerful and a lot of fun. As people come into the party, have some starting tasks around thinking up the neighborhood song, mascot, tagline, bird, dinosaur, star and more... whatever feels right to build up your street’s identity, ask around for opinions. Get those conversations started while poppin’ off the party and build camaraderie that lasts.

So Random

As you sign people up for the party, roll some dice or draw from a hat or use the SoHl app to get people assigned to randomized groups. Group members will be tasked with checking in on each other and making sure they get to the event plus whatever else you’d like and will be an automatic small social group for people to show up with – with mostly new stuff to talk about. Mixing it up means more interest early on and sets the stage for community building after the shin-dig is done.

The SoHl app will help you with setting the groups plus extras like group and street virtual badges and trophies!




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