“At the two events run here in the past 10 yrs at least 50% of the tents were things like tents for domestic violence help, police giving home security tips & opportunities to report problems, STD clinic tents etc etc.etc. These are obviously incredibly important but it made the event really depressing. It made me wonder what kind of place I had moved to, and made a few things hard to explain to my then small children.“
I agree, these organizations and their work IS important.
But, how do we get them to be more interesting?
In Webster City we had an event where we invited everyone to set up. The non-profits could set up for free. It was a street party!
We did one thing different. We told them they could not hand out flyers or business cards. They couldn’t sit behind a table, chatting with their friends, and ignoring everyone else. They had to bring their A game. They had to make their tent interactive!
The Ladies at the Depot and Visitor Center would normally pass out flyers about their location. Instead they took an old wooden puzzle and cut it into blocks. On one side they put pictures of old buildings in the community. On the other side they put what that building was. People came and tried to guess what the buildings were, and they told stories of who owned those buildings, what kind of work they did there, and more info about the families that owned them. It was a very popular place for the over 60 crowd to hang out! They also had chairs for people to sit at, and we put it next to the water table.
Tiffany with Building Families, a local child based non profit, set up two long tables with chairs. She had kids color their own super hero capes!
Crimestoppers sponsored the nickel toss. Put a tarp down, cover it with sand, and bury nickels. Look at their crowd!