Starting Your Own Cars and Coffee Event: A Comprehensive Guide

It’s not rocket science, but it is a lot of work if you want to do it the right way.

Cars and Coffee events have become a staple in the automotive community, offering a casual yet captivating gathering for car enthusiasts to showcase their prized vehicles and share their passion with like-minded individuals. If you’ve ever attended one of these events and felt inspired to start your own, you’re in for an exciting journey. Organizing a Cars and Coffee event can seem daunting at first, but with careful planning and a bit of creativity, you can create a successful and enjoyable experience for everyone involved. Here’s a step-by-step guide to getting your own Cars and Coffee event off the ground.

Step 1: Conceptualize Your Event

Before diving into the logistics, take some time to define the concept of your Cars and Coffee event. Consider what makes your event unique and what you hope to achieve. Will it be open to all makes and models, or will it cater to a specific niche, such as classic cars, supercars, or vintage motorcycles? Deciding on a clear theme or focus will help attract the right participants and attendees.

Step 2: Choose a Suitable Location

The location of your event plays a crucial role in its success. Look for a spacious and accessible venue that can accommodate a large number of cars and attendees. Parking lots of coffee shops, malls, or community centers are popular choices. Ensure the venue has adequate space for parking, mingling, and any additional activities you plan to include. Contact the owners or managers of the venue to discuss your event and secure permission to use the space.

Step 3: Set a Date and Time

Cars and Coffee events typically take place on weekend mornings when people are more likely to be free and eager to enjoy their day off. Choose a date and time that does not conflict with other major local events or holidays to maximize attendance. Regularity can also help build momentum, so consider making your event a monthly occurrence. You can use the event calendar on our website to find available days and times in your area.

Step 4: Organize Logistics

With the location and date set, it’s time to focus on logistics. Determine the flow of traffic for entering and exiting the venue, and plan how cars will be displayed. Think about whether you’ll need volunteers to direct traffic, manage registration (if required), and assist with general inquiries. It’s also a good idea to have a contingency plan for inclement weather.

Step 5: Obtain Necessary Permits and Insurance

Check with your local city or county officials to determine if you need any special permits to host your event. Depending on the size and nature of your gathering, you may also need to consider liability insurance to protect yourself and your venue partner from potential claims. Hagerty is a good source for automotive event insurance.  You can use this link to get your quotes:

Step 6: Promote Your Event

Effective promotion is key to ensuring a good turnout. Utilize social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram, automotive forums, and local community boards to spread the word. Also consider using neighborhood apps like Nextdoor and local newspapers like Patch. Creating a dedicated Facebook page or Instagram account for your event can help keep attendees informed and engaged. Don’t forget to reach out to local car clubs and automotive businesses—they may be willing to help promote your event or even sponsor it.

Step 7: Partner with a Local Coffee Shop or Vendor

Since coffee is a central element of the event, partnering with a local coffee shop or vendor can enhance the attendee experience. This could be as simple as having a coffee truck on-site or arranging for the nearest coffee shop to open early to serve your participants. Ensure there’s enough supply to meet the demand of your attendees.

Step 8: Plan for Amenities and Entertainment

Consider what amenities you’ll need to keep your attendees comfortable, such as restrooms and seating areas. Depending on the scale of your event, you might also want to include entertainment options like live music, automotive workshops, or guest speakers to add value to the experience.

Step 9: Establish Rules and Expectations

Safety and respect for the venue are paramount. Clearly communicate your event’s rules and expectations to all participants ahead of time, including guidelines for respectful behavior, driving safely within the event area, and adhering to local noise ordinances. This ensures everyone has a good time without any unwelcome surprises.

Step 10: Capture the Moment

Photographs and videos are a great way to document your event and promote future gatherings. Consider enlisting a photographer or encouraging attendees to share their photos on social media using a specific hashtag related to your event.

Step 11: Gather Feedback and Improve

After your event, take the time to gather feedback

Sign Up For A List of Events

Oh sure, you could come back here week after week to look for a list of car stuff to do, but why bother?

Our Basic email program is simple: Just tell us the State where you live, and we’ll send you a list of the events in that state. Simple.  And if that’s too many events (which is possible) you can opt for our Premium email program which is designed to send you a list of only those events withing 30, 60, 90 or 120 miles of your zip code.

That should leave you plenty of time to polish the car.