Your Own Neighbours Potluck Drop-In

(A Step-by-Step How-To)

So you've heard that we did it. But how did we do it? If you'd like to host your own, here's how we did it. You can follow these steps exactly, or riff on them and do it your way. Whatever you do, let's start changing the city by meeting our neighbours!

The Potluck Website

  • Eventbrite is an ideal website for guests to RSVP
  • sign up, then create an event and follow the steps
  • the "drop-in" aspect is important to ease pressure on everyone and make the event flexible
  • make sure to create "free tickets" in 2 categories: adult tickets and kids tickets
  • create a fun and unique URL for the neighbourhood (i.e. cameronandyongeneighbours)
  • write up a brief description of what food guests can expect and what you'd like them to bring
  • include your personal email or phone number if people would like to help

The Invitations

  • use a slide-creating presentation program like Keynote or Powerpoint
  • find an image that is personal and reflects the feel of your potluck
  • drop the image in the background and overlay it with text
  • include when, where, and your names
  • send guests to the Eventbrite unique URL you created "for more details and to RSVP
  • create a .jpg image, and then make 4 invites to a page with a word processing program
  • find out how many invites you need by counting rooftops around you on Google Maps satellite
  • print and cut (we did it at Kinko's) postcard-sized invites
  • we stapled each invite to a baggie of cookies so it would be more attention-grabbing than "junk-mail"

The Food

  • the day before, we baked cookies and made vegetarian chilli in a large stockpot
  • the day of, we set out all the fixings: sour cream, grated cheese, corn chips
  • we filled a cooler in the dining room with ice and juice and soft drinks

The Flatware and Dinnerware

  • we went to Ikea and bought 30 glass plates and 30 bowls for 79 cents each
  • we bought several fork, spoon, and knife 12-packs from Ikea
  • we bought 3 cafteria-style cutlery canisters for knives, forks, and spoons from Ikea
  • don't forget the napkins!
  • we got compost-friendly disposable cups from Costco
  • we got a few plastic kids' plates and bowls from Ikea

The Room

  • we have a long buffet on one side of the room where we set up a slowcooker for the chilli
  • mindful of traffic flow, we arranged plates/bowls, chilli, toppings, room for brought food, cups, napkins and flatware on the buffet
  • we set up 2 small dining tables for about 12 people to sit (but everyone stood and mingled!)
  • we set up a long table in the kitchen for brought desserts with more forks and plates 
  • choose a multi-generational-friendly music playlist; we used Apple Radio's Oldies station