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Tips and Ideas for Organizing a Post Prom Party at School

Graduation Present Ideas Tips and Ideas for Graduation Parties Graduation Party Recipes Graduation Party Venues
Tips for Post Prom Party on School Property Pictures - Post Prom Decorations

The Event

My son is a senior this year and our school district has the senior post prom party on the school grounds.  This event, which takes months of preparation, is outstanding.  The kids have a fantastic time and it keeps them safe in a chaperoned environment. Parents volunteer to plan, set-up and run the party. Yes, that means chaperones are needed for this "all night event" to keep things going.  Fundraisers are run throughout the year(s) to raise money for this event so it is free of charge to anyone that comes.  The students can attend the post prom even if they do not go to the prom. 

Our event started at 12:00 pm and continued until 5:30 am.  A large portion of our school including the gym, auxiliary gym, cafeteria, 3 or 4 hallways, and bathrooms are all decorated.  The prom goers enter the event through the cafeteria doors.  Outside this entrance is decorated to meet the theme and many times includes balloon arches and white twinkle lights.  Our cafeteria area is divided in 5 - 6 rooms by using black plastic as a divider to create walls.  The first area is the entrance/lobby area where the students check in for the event.  The second area is the coat check area where all belongings are dropped off.  The third area is the dining area.  The fourth room is the quiet room with comfy chairs and movies.  The fifth through seventh areas vary each year and are used for raffles, games or a theme related activity.  Mixed within these areas are games, activities and food which are often theme related.   At 9:00 pm the doors open to the public so that can come and walk through the building to see how it has been transformed.

Selecting Committees

First and foremost the chairperson(s) for this event must be someone who is very organized, can easily delegate, and can set clear goals and objectives.  It is their job to coordinate a chairperson for each committee, set timelines, assign tasks and keep an open line of communication through emails and meetings.   It is necessary to select a treasurer and secretary. It is the responsibility of the chairperson to work with the treasurer to determine a budget.  The first item on the agenda should be to set up a general meeting to seek committee coordinators, and determine a theme for the event.  Committees should include:

  • Activities/Games/Entertainment: Responsible for securing and organizing games, activities and entertainment for the event.
     

  • Volunteers: Responsible for staffing all of the various activities at post prom with chaperones
     

  • Clean Up Coordinator: Responsible for scheduling the post prom volunteers to take down and store the decorations.
     

  • Coat Check: Accommodates students personal belongings and secures them throughout the event.
     

  • College Donations Responsible for soliciting colleges and school families to donate college memorabilia (t-shirts, sweat shirts, jogging pants, blankets, cups etc...) that can be raffled off the night of the post prom. 
     

  • Decorating:  Responsible for overseeing and coordinating the decoration of the school with many volunteers.
     

  • Food: Coordinate all food and drinks for the event. Organize the food donations from families and businesses.
     

  • Program Book: Responsible for soliciting sponsors and creating the program book. 
     

  • Publicity: Publicize through newspapers, posters for the students and community about the event. 
     

  • Post Prom Small Raffles Organize prizes like gift cards for a small gift raffle at the post prom.
     

  • Registration: Coordinates the senior class responses and mans the registration table the night of the post prom.
     

  • Senior Raffle: Organize and run senior grand prize raffle drawings to be given away at the end of the event. 

Selecting a Theme

Selecting a theme for the event is key so that you can move forward with brainstorming.  We are the Rustin Knights so we try to come up with a theme that uses the word Knight.  For example  A "Knight" on the Town,  A "Knight" Time Story, A Knight on Broadway, A Knight in Hollywood.  Theme ideas include:  Tropical Paradise, Hollywood Gala, A Night in Paris, Mardi Gras Madness,  Storybook Night,  Magic of Disney, Dreams Come True,  Enchanted Night.

Decorating

                 

We break up the decorating areas by hallways or rooms and a co-chair is assigned to each area.  It is the job of the decorating chairperson to coordinate all activities of the co-chairs to keep the theme flowing throughout the building.

We have found that TYVEK is a great option to use for creating murals to hang on the walls.  The material is fairly light weight and can be purchased in a large roll.   An overhead projector can be used to enlarge pictures onto the wall and then place the paper over it and trace the picture to create large murals. It is best to use latex paint on the TYVEK paper to paint the mural.  We then use black metal binder clips strung with clear fishing wire to hang the murals from the drop ceiling.

Depending on your budget there are a variety of sites online where you can purchase some of your decorations.  We have used stumpsparty.com and shindigz.com in the past.  If you are on a tight budget still check out these sites for ideas.

If there are certain items that you need try sending out an email to parents requesting donations or to borrow items.  You will be surprised with what you will get.  Always ask for twinkle lights and silk trees/plants because that is something that will always be used somewhere.  You can ask for bean bag chairs for the quiet room.

The other thing that we do is swap decorations with other local high schools.  Why re-invent the wheel?  Swapping will help defray costs, cut down on the work and give you more decorations to use.

Lastly, be sure the lights are all turned off or dimmed very low to create atmosphere for the event.

Senior Hallway

We always have a senior autograph hallway.  This year the hallway theme was Jersey Shore so large paper surf boards were created for each senior with their senior portrait attached.  These are hung on the walls so visitors, parents and friends can autograph the page with well wishes and memories.  Sharpie pens ad placed in cups strategically throughout the hallway so all will have a writing tool to use.  This is a tradition at our school and it is enjoyed by all.

Entertainment

This is a very important area because you need to make it fun and interesting for the kids.  Some of the ideas that we have used include caricature artist, large inflatable's,  tattoo artists, photo booths, re-creation of game shows like Jeopardy,  casino games, magician, illusionist, and a cash cube.  Inflatable's have included obstacle course,  boulder dash, world sports and human foosball.  The foosball was a team competition progressed through the night with the winning team getting a grand prize of $300.  The illusionist was awesome and the kids loved it.

Food

This is an area where you need to solicit donations to keep down the cost.  Visit local businesses to see if they will donate or discount the food.  Solicit parents to donate trays, drinks or desserts to help defray the cost.  If possible try and tie the food into the theme.  We find that Chick-Fil-A trays are a hit.

Program Book

First, and foremost try and get someone to sponsor printing the books so avoid the costs.  We usually print about 700 copies of black and white programs to distribute to those that come for the walk through.  The book contains business, personal and inspirational ads.  It is necessary to solicit as many sponsors as possible.  The more ads that you get the more money that you will make.  We not only solicit local businesses but also the school's sports/activities booster presidents to put in ads for their graduating seniors.  Parents are solicited to put a memory page or an ad for their business.   We charged $25 for 1/4 page ad, $50 for  a 1/2 page ad and $100 for a full page ad.  Offer the option to design the ad free of charge as an extra incentive.

College Donations

The college raffle is an area that the kids love.  We solicit colleges as well as parents to attain donations of college gear.  It can be any type of items at all from clothing to blankets and coffee cups.  Send out a letter early in the year and ask parents to make a donation from a local school, Alma Mater or a souvenir from a college visit.  We normally try and have 100 items to raffle. 

Senior Raffle

At our school this includes cash gifts from $75 to $300 and the grand prize is always a $5,000 donation from a local "pre-owned" car dealership toward the purchase of a vehicle.  The dealer brings cars for the night and places them outside the entrance of the building.  It is exciting and fun for the kids. This is one of the last things that we do in the early morning and you must be there to collect the winnings.

Fundraising for the Event

It is extremely important to fundraise throughout the year for this event.  The graduating class student council must be involved with and help organize the fundraising activities.  We do a post prom campaign at the beginning of the year where parents, from all grades in the school, are solicited to donate.  The requested fee is lower for underclassmen and higher for seniors.  Restaurant nights are an easy way to raise money and the kids enjoy the social aspect of it.  We even did a yard sale where you could rent a table to sell your items or donate items to the senior class for them to sell.  A raffle with "money" prizes is done before the holidays and tickets are sent home with students with a request to sell them to family or friends.  Remember the more money that you raise the better the post prom party will be.  Something that we did not do that I would highly recommend is to charge $1.00 entrance fee to anyone that comes for the walk through.  We get hundreds of people that come to see this event so why not raise some money. 

Publicity

Advertise the event to the students as well as the community. If you are planning on charging a $1.00 entrance fee be sure to advertise it.   Put out flyers, signs and posters to build up the excitement.  You want the community to come to your walk through to see that you are creating a safe environment for the kids.  Remember this are the people that you will solicit for donations and they may have young children that will be coming to the school at some point in time. 

Enjoy

Remember that all of the time, planning and hard work pay off in the end.  The kids have a great time and love the event.  So if you school does not do a post prom party then you should consider getting a team together and organizing one.