Tips and Ideas for
Organizing a Post Prom Party at School
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.
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:
Responsible for securing
and organizing games, activities and entertainment for the event.
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.
Accommodates students personal belongings and secures them
throughout the event.
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.
Responsible for overseeing and coordinating the decoration of
the school with many volunteers.
Coordinate all food and drinks for the event. Organize the food
donations from families and businesses.
Responsible for soliciting sponsors
and creating the program book.
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.
Coordinates the senior class responses and mans the registration
table the night of the post prom.
Organize and run senior grand prize raffle drawings to be given away
at the end of the event.
Selecting a Theme
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
be sure the lights are all turned off or dimmed very low to create
atmosphere for the event.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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
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.
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.
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.