Tips for Successful Post-Prom and Grad Parties
Each year parent volunteers and school administrators spend a great deal of time, money and energy planning annual events in order to keep their students safe and entertained. Of course, the ultimate goal following the school’s annual prom or graduation is to ensure the students have a night to remember while keeping them safe.
G.L. Berg understands the overall goal of these types of events and annually works with hundreds of schools in providing event consultation and entertainment for these “lock-ins.” The following are helpful tips collected from our expertise in working with many clients, entertainers, and students to ensure a successful Post-Prom and/or Post-Graduation party!
Important Tips for a Successful “Lock-In” Party!
Make it a night to remember! Make sure there is plenty of activity and entertainment to engage and energize your students! Successful events limit down-time, which can allow students to get tired and groggy.
Evaluate and optimize your space. Ensure that your students are enthused and active during these events by trying to maximize your space. Whether your event is taking place in a gymnasium, a community center, the local YMCA, or another venue – ensure there is enough activity to engage your students throughout the entire night.
Plan ahead! The most organized and structured events start planning well in advance, often having their first meeting a year prior to the event. The earlier you are able to plan some of the major aspects of the night such as renting a facility or purchasing entertainment – the better for you and your event. By doing this, you’ll have the best selection of entertainment and often are able to get “block” savings by collaborating with other events within the area. Use this typical planning schedule to assist in your efforts:
- 1 Year to 9 months prior to the event. Schedule your “main entertainment,” whether that’s a hypnotist, magician, comedian, game show, etc. The most popular entertainers get re-booked and scheduled for the following year approximately 9-15 months in advance.
Special note regarding hypnotists: Hypnotists are still the most popular choice for the main entertainment of the event. Many times committees and schools contact us 2-3 months prior to the event asking for a hypnotist for their event. These groups are usually very adamant that they “need a hypnotist”. Most post-prom and post-grad events occur on weekends in May and June and since these dates are limited, so are your opportunities to find a quality & experienced hypnotist (unless one is already scheduled in your area). If you do end up booking these types of entertainers late – try to have flexibility. While your first choice of a hypnotist may not be available, perhaps another type of entertainer, such as a great magician or ventriloquist, might be available and they may be just as successful for your event.
- 9 – 5 months prior to the event. Work on the other large aspects of your event – such as inflatable games, laser tag, mechanical bull, game/trivia shows, photo booths, caricature artists, airbrush tattoos, etc. While these are often considered “secondary” entertainment options for the event, they typically are the longest scheduled portion of your event (typically 3-5 hours of your event, while the “main entertainer” is only 1 hour). Do not downplay the importance of these aspects… the earlier you plan these portions, the better options you will have.
Find ways to save! Post-prom and post-grad events are often funded entirely by donations and sponsors from the community… and times and budgets can be tight! Here are some helpful ways to save money and ease the burden on your budget:
- Have flexibility in your schedule. If you want some type of entertainer (hypnotist, magician, etc.), you can often times save money by collaborating with another school in the area and bringing the same entertainer. One may need to have the entertainer at the beginning of the night and the other at the end of the night… then maybe next year it switches!
- Explore package discounts. Discounts are usually offered by packaging options together. This is typically accomplished with the interactive & novelty attractions (inflatable games, laser tag, caricature artists, airbrush tattoos, etc.)
End the night together. End the party on a positive note; hopefully with an event that has built community amongst the students. Rather than just saying “time’s up” and letting everyone leave, plan on distributing your prizes, gifts, and awards at the end of the party – preferably in a space where everyone can see each other and see who is winning what prize. This is usually best accomplished on a stage with the students in the audience – perhaps immediately following the main entertainment.
Have one person act as the main contact. Even if you have a committee selecting entertainment, have only one person act as a contact for the entertainer prior to the day of performance and the night of the performance. Things tend to get mixed up when three different people are telling the performer three different things.
Choose the right entertainment! If you consistently provide your guests with good entertainment and a high-energy event, they will come to the event looking forward to the show no matter what you have chosen. By the same token, if you get something mediocre on stage, they will be looking to run away at the first chance they get.
For more assistance in booking the right show for your next event, please give us a call at 888-654-6901!