Top Summer Events for Your Association  

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Summer is an ideal time for hosting events that can bring your association’s members together, foster community engagement, and support your organizational goals. Here are 15 event ideas that can help your association make the most of the summer season. 

#1 Outdoor Networking Mixer 

Host an outdoor networking mixer at a chic rooftop venue. This informal gathering provides a perfect opportunity for members to connect in a relaxed and vibrant setting, while enjoying the summer weather. We recommend having a photographer or photo booth to capture memorable moments. These photos can be used in future marketing materials and shared with members to extend your association’s reach and visibility. 

Pictured above: an event hosted by the Sponsorship Marketing Council of Canada 

#2 Summer Picnic 

Organize a summer picnic to foster community bonds and attract new members. This relaxed, informal setting offers a perfect opportunity for members to connect on a personal level. While also allowing potential new members to experience the welcoming atmosphere of your association. Ensure there are plenty of opportunities for interaction, such as group activities and games, to strengthen relationships within your community. 

#3 Charity Run/Walk 

Plan a charity run or walk to raise funds for a cause related to your association’s mission. Encourage members to participate and collect sponsorships from friends and family. By hosting a charity run or walk, your association can make a significant impact on the chosen cause. It also strengthens member engagement and attracting new supporters. 

Pictured above: a charity run held by Fertility Matters Canada. 

#4 Workshops and Seminars 

Offer workshops and seminars on topics relevant to your members, leveraging the pleasant summer season by hosting these events outdoors or in scenic venues. This approach not only provides valuable educational content but also creates a refreshing and inspiring environment for attendees. Topics can range from professional development and industry trends to personal wellness and creative skills. Utilize local parks, botanical gardens, or waterfront locations to enhance the experience, making learning both enjoyable and memorable. Also, incorporate interactive elements, such as group discussions, hands-on activities, and networking breaks, to foster engagement and connections among participants.  

#5 Summer Speakeasy  

Host a summer speakeasy cocktail evening to transport your members to the glamour and intrigue of the 1920s. This themed event features vintage decor, jazz music, and a secretive ambiance which encourages members to dress in period-inspired attire. Members can participate in enriching conversations over a curated selection of classic cocktails. We recommend hiring a mixologist to showcase the art of cocktail making, by doing this you offer an engaging and educational experience. This sophisticated setting is perfect for networking and socializing in a relaxed yet elegant atmosphere. Additionally, a summer speakeasy supports member engagement by providing a unique, fun, and memorable event that fosters deeper connections within the association. 

#6 Golf Tournament 

Organize a golf tournament for members, providing a relaxed yet competitive environment ideal for networking. This event offers a unique opportunity for members to connect on the golf course, fostering relationships in a leisurely setting. Raise funds through entry fees, sponsorships, and additional activities such as raffles or auctions. Enhance the experience with special awards for various categories, such as longest drive or closest to the pin. Branded merchandise can also be offered as prizes. Include a catered lunch or dinner, providing further opportunities for socializing and engagement. By hosting a golf tournament, your association can combine leisure, networking, and fundraising, creating a memorable and impactful event that strengthens community bonds and attracts new supporters. 

#7 Community Service Projects 

Coordinate community service projects, such as park clean-ups, beach restoration efforts, or volunteering at local shelters, to actively engage members in giving back to the community. These hands-on activities not only contribute to the betterment of society but also strengthen the bonds within your association. By working together towards a common goal, members can connect on a deeper level and build lasting relationships based on shared values and experiences. Additionally, participating in community service projects showcases your association’s commitment to social responsibility and can enhance its reputation as an organization that cares about making a positive impact beyond its immediate membership.  

#8 Member BBQ 

Host an unforgettable beach or pool party that promises fun and camaraderie for all members. Set the scene with lively beach volleyball matches, swimming competitions to test everyone’s aquatic prowess, and a delicious BBQ feast featuring a variety of grilled favorites and refreshing beverages. Complement the activities with music, games, and a relaxed atmosphere, ensuring there are plenty of opportunities for socializing and building connections. Whether it’s basking in the sun, taking a refreshing dip, or enjoying the delicious food, this event will offer something for everyone, creating lasting memories and strengthening the sense of community among members. 

#9 Outdoor Fitness Classes 

Offer outdoor fitness classes such as yoga, Pilates, or boot camps to promote health and wellness among your association members. Take advantage of beautiful outdoor spaces for these activities. Imagine starting the day with a peaceful sunrise yoga session that enhances flexibility and mindfulness, or joining an invigorating boot camp that boosts cardiovascular health and strength amidst the fresh air and natural surroundings. Pilates classes can offer a balanced approach to core stability and muscle toning, providing a holistic fitness experience. These outdoor sessions not only encourage physical well-being but also foster a sense of community, allowing members to connect and support each other in a positive, healthy environment. You could even charge a small fee or “entry by donation” to bring in revenue to your association.  

#10 Food and Drink Tasting Events 

Host food and drink tasting events to delight your association members’ palates and create an engaging social atmosphere. Organize a wine tasting evening, where members can sample a variety of fine wines while learning about their origins and unique flavor profiles from knowledgeable sommeliers. Alternatively, plan a local craft beer festival, featuring an array of distinctive brews from nearby breweries, complete with informative sessions led by expert brewers. Partner with local vendors and artisans to offer gourmet food pairings, artisanal cheeses, charcuterie, and other culinary delights that complement the beverages. These events not only provide a fun and educational experience but also support local businesses and foster a sense of community among members as they explore new tastes and share their favorites. 

#11 Brunch Event  

Organize a brunch to start your members’ day with delicious food, refreshing drinks, and a vibrant social setting. Hosting brunch at a picturesque outdoor venue or a trendy café creates a welcoming atmosphere. In addition, members can enjoy a variety of brunch favourites, from gourmet pastries to hearty breakfast bowls. Including interactive elements such as a DIY mimosa bar or live cooking stations adds an element of fun and engagement. To add even more value, invite a dynamic industry expert for a 30-minute fireside chat, offering the latest insights and updates that can spark meaningful discussions. Brunch events are perfect for fostering community spirit in a casual and cheerful environment, allowing members to connect and network in a relaxed setting. This type of event not only strengthens community bonds but also enhances member satisfaction and involvement in the association. 

#12 Educational Excursions 

Offer educational excursions to museums, historical landmarks, or scientific institutions to provide enriching learning experiences for association members. Organize trips to renowned museums where members can explore art, history, and culture through curated exhibits and guided tours. Visit historical landmarks to bring the past to life, offering insights into significant events and figures that have shaped our world. Arrange visits to scientific institutions, such as observatories, research centers, or natural history museums, where members can engage with cutting-edge discoveries and innovations. These excursions not only broaden knowledge and stimulate intellectual curiosity but also foster a sense of camaraderie as members share these enlightening adventures together. 

 #13 Photography Contest 

Organize a photography contest centered around a theme that resonates with your association’s industry, encouraging members to capture and submit their most striking and relevant images. This theme could range from showcasing the day-to-day activities within the industry, highlighting innovative practices, to capturing the essence of the industry’s impact on the community. Create an online gallery to allow a broader audience to engage with the captivating imagery and vote on their favourite shots! Recognize outstanding contributions with awards in various categories, such as most creative perspective and audience favourite. We wrote a step-by-step guide on hosting a photo contest with real life examples you can check out here.  

#14 Virtual Events 

Incorporate virtual events to ensure all members, regardless of their location, can stay connected and engaged with the association, especially during the quiet summer months. Host a variety of online activities, including informative webinars led by industry experts, interactive workshops that offer hands-on learning experiences, and virtual meetups that foster networking and community building. These events can cover a wide range of topics relevant to the members’ interests and professional development, from the latest industry trends and technological advancements to personal growth and wellness. By leveraging digital platforms, you can create an inclusive and accessible environment that allows members to participate in real-time discussions, ask questions, and share insights, ensuring they remain active and involved even if they cannot attend in person. Additionally, recording these sessions provides valuable resources that members can revisit and benefit from at their convenience. 

#15 Board Retreat 

Organize a transformative day-long or weekend outdoor yoga retreat in a serene natural setting, designed specifically for board members to recharge and bond. Offer a variety of yoga classes tailored to all levels, from invigorating morning flows to gentle evening stretches, led by experienced instructors who can adapt to individual needs. Complement these with guided meditation sessions to enhance mindfulness and reduce stress, creating a holistic wellness experience. Provide nutritious, delicious meals made from locally sourced ingredients, catering to various dietary preferences to promote overall health. Schedule ample free time for relaxation, whether it’s exploring nature trails, enjoying quiet reflection, or engaging in informal discussions. Finally, this retreat not only fosters personal well-being but also strengthens team cohesion, equipping board members with renewed energy and clarity to lead effectively. 

Tips for Hosting Successful Summer Events: 

  • Plan Ahead: Start planning early to secure venues and resources. Early promotion helps maximize attendance. 
  • Volunteer Involvement: Recruit volunteers from within the association to help with event planning, setup, and execution. Engaging volunteers not only lightens the workload but also fosters a sense of ownership and camaraderie among members. 
  • Leverage Technology: Use social media and email marketing to promote events and keep members informed. 
  • Ensure Accessibility: Choose locations that are accessible to all members, including those with disabilities. 
  • Follow Safety Guidelines: Ensure that all events comply with local health and safety regulations, especially if hosting large gatherings. 
  • Sustainable Practices: Implement sustainable practices in event planning and execution to minimize environmental impact. Consider using eco-friendly materials, offering recycling and composting options, and reducing single-use plastics. Educate attendees about the importance of sustainability and encourage eco-conscious behavior. 

By considering these event ideas, your association can create a vibrant and engaging summer program that enhances member satisfaction and community involvement. 

Need help planning your summer event? Reach out to our team by clicking here.  

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