In today’s political climate, it is more vital than ever for members of the LGBTQ community and their allies to have a safe place to come together, share ideas and lend each other support. In many communities, organizations already exist to help LGBTQ individuals rally together to fight back against hatred, bigotry and unjust discrimination.
But what if you live in an area where no such group exists? Or what if you’ve tried a meeting or two on for size, and found it lacking? If so, why not create an LBGTQ event to meet members of your community, plan your part in the resistance or just have a wonderful time? If you’re seeking to create your own event, follow these tips for an event that is an absolute blast!
If You Want to Get Political
If your goal for your event is to rally other members of the LGBTQ community and their allies to take action, you’ll need a bit of planning and foresight.
First, you’ll want to plan your venue. Do you want to get together at your home? At a restaurant? Or are you going a step further and planning a march or protest? Deciding on a venue and on your goal can make or break your event.
First, you’ll want to rally the troops to your cause. To make a long-term action plan, you will need people who are great managers, researchers and marketing moguls. You’ll want people dedicated to bringing about lasting change.
The more influencers you can rally to your cause, the better! Try engaging with recognized community leaders. If you have a larger budget, you can hire a known political authority to speak at your event. If your budget is smaller, why not reach out to small business leaders in your community? LGBTQ business leaders often welcome the opportunity to collaborate with like-minded individuals in exchange for nothing more than a bit of publicity for their business.
At your meeting, determine if you want to hold your event outdoors or indoors, particularly considering the unique climate conditions where you live. If you wish to host an indoor Pride event, you’ll need to locate an auditorium or theater space for your event. If you plan on hosting an outdoor event or protest march, you will want to check with your community planning board to obtain the requisite permits.
Once you host your event, it’s important to keep that momentum going! Don’t just hang up your signs and party hats once your event is over. Plan ways to stay active afterward by writing to the media, having phone dialer parties around important political events where you need your voices to be heard and, of course, planning your next big endeavor.
Make it Fun and Fabulous!
Whether or not you want your gathering to be political or more of an informal meet and greet, you want to make it fun and memorable to keep people coming back for more.
Good party planning starts with the invitations! Make your advertisements lively and colorful. If you know who you want to invite to your event, try some fun, rainbow-heart postcards to send as invitations. Advertising for a bigger crowd? Rainbow posters and banners highlighted with brightly colored balloons and rainbow garland help spread the word by catching people’s eyes as well as creating a happy, upbeat mood in participants.
If you’re hosting an event in a public venue such as a restaurant or conference center of a hotel, you may want to be able to easily identify members of your party. Invest in something fun like Pride hats or temporary rainbow tattoos.
Food and drink, of course, make everything more festive! Rainbow and double-rainbow Pride cocktails make any LGBTQ event fun and get everyone in the spirit of celebration. Try some of these tasty cocktail recipes, or, if you have any bartender buddies in your group, have them create their own bright and delicious concoctions.
Planning an event around a holiday like Halloween or Mardi Gras? Why not host a terrific LGBTQ costume contest? The prizes are only limited by your creative imagination. Anything from tickets for free drinks to creative gift baskets can help make your contest one to remember.
Celebrate Your Accomplishments
Once your event is over, take a few moments to sit back and evaluate what worked well and what didn’t. By taking time to reflect on your amazing event, you can make sure the next one is even more magical and meaningful.