Planning a Prom

The Senior Prom usually signals the end of exams (A-levels), graduation and leaving school. Unless your Prom is being organized by a professional party organizer or a willing parent(s), responsibility for organizing the Senior Prom is usually taken by a committee of young people. In the main the majority will not have organized an event before, let alone an event involving a number or people. A Prom is typically quite a formal event giving a great opportunity for everyone to dress up.

As with any event, a Prom needs careful planning and it is important not to allow costs to run out of control. The costs of the event are usually funded by selling tickets to everyone wishing to attend. The ticket price will be determined by the cost of the event divided by the number of people planning to attend. Bear in mind if you are one of the organizers that you want everyone to attend and therefore ticket prices have to be affordable to everyone.

So how do you go about it and where to start?

  • Budgets, planning and remaining organized is key. This may seem like the boring bits, but get this right and you’ll have a Prom that people remember for years to come.
  • Do some brain storming amongst the organizing committee and decide on the type of event you want it to be
  • Decide a theme – this is quite useful as it gives people a guide as to what to wear and it also helps with decorations
  • Set a provisional date – you can’t please everyone but you can ensure the date doesn’t clash deliberately with a school event or someone’s birthday party that’s been booked for the past year. You will be able to check date availability with your chosen venue and then if the two are compatible, the date can be confirmed.  Think about the start and finish time too.
  • Go to the Invite List on myEventGenie.com and insert all the names of your year group. Ask around and try and establish approximate numbers who wish to attend. You will need an idea of numbers when you are approaching a venue as it will help to establish the size of room.
  • Before you contact any venues or incur any costs it is sensible to experiment with a couple of cost scenarios and run it by your year group. For example: if you have 200 people in your year group and the ticket price is £30, if everyone pays for a ticket, you will have £6000 to spend on venue, food, drink, music, and decorations.
  • Browse the venue suppliers on myEventGenie.com and research several types of venue. You need to consider whether you will have the time to organize different suppliers (venue, caterer, drinks, music) and decorate a venue yourselves, or whether somewhere that will undertake most of the work for you (a hotel for example) is a better option.
  • A venue that is purposely set up to offer hospitality, like a hotel, will already have catering, bar facilities and resident DJ. A venue like a Village Hall will be cheaper to hire, will usually have tables and chairs, toilet and kitchen facilities and give you a blank canvas for decorating to whatever theme you fancy. Even a school hall could be a viable option, probably free to hire, tables and chairs provided, leaving you with a budget for decorations, a live band and a caterer for example.
  • Go and visit a venue, ask any questions and make sure it can do what you want for your event
  • Most venues will usually give you a package price or price per head. A venue will usually require a deposit and the remainder of the money will be due a few weeks before the Prom is due to take place. A parent may agree to pay the deposit initially but they will need to be paid back from ticket sales.
  • Once you have confirmed your venue and exactly what all the costs are going to be, get the tickets sorted. Set a date for final ticket sales and arrange with the school a safe place to store the money as you collect it, so you have it all together when required.

Several points to consider

  • Make your venue accessible – everyone needs to get to the venue and back home again relatively easily.
  • One of the potential issues with Senior Proms is alcohol. Not everyone will be of a legal age to purchase alcohol and no licensed venue (like a hotel) will tolerate under-age drinking. It’s the real world, and there will always be some in your group who will potentially spoil it for the rest. It wouldn’t be great, when you’ve been planning it for weeks, to spend your Prom night on the pavement outside the venue because the management have chucked you out. And they can.
  • Best advice is to specifically plan to have an event with no alcohol. It puts everyone on a level playing field and keeps everyone safe. There are some great non-alcoholic sparkly drinks and mocktails out there – tie them in with the theme of your Prom, and no one will be any the wiser.
  • Ensure if you go for a DIY venue option that you organize before the event who is going to do the clearing up after the event. The Prom committee will usually have to take overall responsibility, but with a bit of foresight you will have a committed team together ready to wield the necessary mops and buckets.

Whatever you decide, myEventGenie.com will take you through the planning and organizing process from start to finish.  

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