Yappy Hour Social Events and Meet N Sniff Parties are quite the rage in many urban areas. If your area does not have this type of pet-filled frivolity currently scheduled, it’s time you got your group in on the action!
When the weather is cooler, it is a great time to bring people to your local restaurant patios for a Yappy Hour pawty with some donated dog treats and some great appetizer specials and drink specials for humans. Getting your rescue together with restaurants, cafes and delis to host Meet N Sniff parties for dogs and their owners is a fun way to broaden your donor horizons and bring in new volunteers. A popular time of year for this type of event is a Single’s Mixer for Valentine’s Day, perfect for singles with a “Must Love Dog” attitude! But, there are some locations that host a weekly pawty for pets and their owners. What a great way to turn an ‘off-night’ into an ON night for a local restaurant or bar!
Places to Host:
You’ll need a location that works great with pets, ideally one with an outdoor patio area or a fenced-in grassy area. Doggy parks, restaurants with outdoor seating, outdoor beer gardens, and patio cafe’s are ideal. If you choose a restaurant, talk with the manager about getting drink specials for the event, coupons or discounts for specific appetizers, or some giveaway items to entice more visitors. You’ll want to pick a day of the week where business may be lower for the restaurant, that way you’ll have more space for your event, and you’ll turn an “off-night” into a party night for the hosting restaurant! Perhaps you’ll choose a catered event, and charge a nominal fee for admission to the private party. Many restaurants will allow you to book a room at their location, which works perfect for the small admission fee (or donation of canned food and pet supplies!).
Getting the Buzz Out:
Connect with several pet related groups in your area and invite their members to attend. Post fliers around the local pet scene, particularly dog parks, pet supply stores and grooming salons. Find the local MeetUp pet-related groups online and post about your event there. Create buzz by inviting the pet of a prominent local radio DJ or TV personality to be the honoree for the evening, or just your special guest. They will discuss their participation on-air, thereby creating more exposure for your event.
Ways to Fundraise:
- Nominal admission fee (or item donation) at the door.
- Special prices on certain food items like cocktail weiners, Dirty Mutt-tinis and Cat-tails
- a percentage of the food purchased that night can help bring money in for your group
- Don’t have your own pet? Rent a shelter pet! Offer to rent a pet for $5 at your next event. The pet gets some free loving, and you may make the best love connection of all!
- Host a raffle for grooming or baskets of pet-related products.
- Paw Painting station for nominal fee
- Photos with Pets
- Small silent auction table
- Host a pet fashion show with items from a local pet boutique
- Have a pet bakery host a booth
- Canine massages from a licensed therapist or groomer
Start thinking of where YOU could host an event like this….