Prom evening; a momentous occasion for all. Kids (or even young adults) will have worked all year long in order to get this one night off, so it needs to be a night to remember. As the prom organiser it is crucial that you make sure all the preparations are ready, including the venue, the food and the evening’s entertainment. This is no light task, particularly when your customers are picky teenagers!
We’ve put a small comprehensive checklist of things you need to remember when preparing your chosen venue for a prom, together with events facilities specialist Serviced Events. Depending on which venue you have chosen, some of these points may be more important than others, but they are all good to know just in case you want to be extra prepared. Good luck and have fun!
- Make sure you have all the facilities
Does the venue have everything you need? Whether you’re planning the prom at an open air venue or a village hall, make sure it has everything you need to pull off a successful prom. From a full sound system to portable toilets and showers (for open air venues and gazebo hire), make sure to phone ahead when booking your venue to check that it suits all your requirements. You need to make sure that the needs of your guests are properly catered to and if not you will need to make arrangements to ensure that requirements are met.
Many venues will provide their own menus or will offer a range of food options for your choosing. Do you want a buffet or a set menu? A barbecue or a formal meal? Try to decide well in advance or set up a poll for the students to fill out by a set time so that they get exactly what they want. If your guests have any specific dietary requirements, make sure the venue is made aware of this in advance, so as to avoid any avoidable trips to the emergency room.
- Arranging your transport
Some students will not be able to drive for their first prom and many will want to drink alcohol, so arranging group transport is essential. As with many proms, people may choose to turn up in various elaborate modes of transport, but this is normally only to the venue, they will often need a lift back. You can always hire a coach or a minibus for large groups of people that leaves at certain times, giving everyone a schedule for the
ir hometown or area if your students come from a variety of different towns and villages. As the organiser it is essential that you make sure everyone has gotten home or is at least on their way home safely.
- Sticking to the theme
Some proms will have an overlying theme or ‘subject’ for the prom. While this is less common in proms across the UK, it is still quite popular. Choose your decorations in accordance with the theme and stick to it! If you have to hang decorations up, make sure to clear it with the venue beforehand. If you are bringing balloons, make sure to give your team enough time to get all the preparations ready before guests start arriving.
- Entertainment for the Evening
A Spotify playlist, a DJ or just a set track of songs? Because of increasing connectivity to the internet, the playlist for proms can now be basically limitless. A fun way of putting together a soundtrack would be placing a suggestion box in the school or college reception and by adding songs picked by students from the box to the soundtrack. Try to make sure that all songs have been checked beforehand if you buy them or download them, to check that they are the correct version.
- Hire a Professional Photographer
While it is clear that selfies will be in abundance at any prom, a professional photographer will be able to capture the real ‘essence’ of the evening and will give the kids a great memento that doesn’t show their outstretched arms towards the camera. A good photographer will also know how to pose the prom-goers for their best sides, and may capture some great moments that would otherwise go unnoticed.
It is important to remember that a first prom, whether it is at 16 or 18 or even 21, can be an incredibly exciting and nerve-wracking experience for many involved, so it is essential that everything runs smoothly for the benefit of all involved. By doing your research and making sure that all the relevant preparations have been made, you will be able to ensure that everyone has a great evening. It won’t be the end of the world if you don’t manage to get everything perfectly, but you need to remember that you’ll be setting the bar for all future proms, so make it a tough one to beat!