If your HOA community has events often, a calendar is a great solution to inform residents. Here’s how to best use a community event calendar from IKO Community Management in Olney, Maryland.
Get rid of all paper calendars. Unless you're on the Social Committee and need a handy desk calendar, get rid of paper calendars. Electronic calendars allow users to delete or move events, invite other people, sync calendars, set reminders, post notes and addresses, and backup information to laptops.
Electronic calendars also allow you to see an entire day, week, month, or year on your phone. This means you get on-the-go access to your entire agenda and to-do list. Drag and drop events, and share everything with other users.
Merge all calendars. In HOA communities, a lot of branches exist. From the HOA board to residents to various subcommittees, a lot is going on in your community. Instead of a single calendar for each group, join all electronic calendars into one main calendar. A centralized calendar allows for easy access, better understanding, and a higher efficiency rate.
Put a widget on your community website. Instead of tucking your community events calendar behind a link, put it out in the open. A widget embeds onto your homepage and allows website visitors to get caught up.
Send an event newsletter. More people check their email more than an online events calendar. It’s easiest for your residents to catch up on community events if it’s at the top of their inbox. Send a weekly event newsletter to boost event awareness and engagement.
Link it to social media. This is one of the most engaging pieces of content for social media across all industries, and it can work for your HOA community. The easiest place to start is with a Facebook event. A Facebook event allows any platform users (including your tech-savvy residents) to RSVP. They can also submit comments and questions, interact with other event goers, and share the event with their friends.
Facebook also sends event reminders if a user RSVPed “yes,” “maybe,” or “interested.” That means you can spend more time planning the event than reminding residents to attend.
Go mobile. After going electronic, go mobile. Set up a calendar app for your community event calendar and recommend that residents download it. An app produces a mobile-optimized version of the centralized event calendar, so residents can RSVP on the go.
According to Envato Tuts+, the top event calendar apps are as follows:
- Google Calendar
- Microsoft Outlook Calendar
- Apple iCloud Calendar
- Zoho Calendar
While the top three options are universal to most HOA communities, the other options are more niche. Zoho “allows you to schedule, manage and track your meetings and events.” It even tracks response rates, so you can plan based on how many people RSVP to your event.
Teamup is for groups to “share plans, schedule events, and communicate statuses. Color-code calendars for teams, jobs, projects, and bookable resources. Centrally managed with role-specific access permissions.”
Trello is great for planning events, adding to-do lists with virtual checkmarks and due dates. Basecamp is great for project management.
To start, create an electronic, centralized calendar for community events. Give access to all subcommittee leaders and HOA board members. Post upcoming events on a website widget, social media, and a mobile app for residents. If your community is one of our clients, you should also take advantage of the IKO Community Portal's community calendar system as well, which also allows for e-blast reminders to residents.
For more information about taking initiative on community events, download our Effective HOA Leadership Qualities Guide. Click on the button below to learn more: