It’s the most talked-about event of the school year – it’s prom!
This special evening is a magical and unforgettable time that many students look forward to for months, so planning needs to be carefully thought out.
If you’re on the prom committee, this timeline will ensure everyone involved in making your high school prom memorable stays organized.
From scheduling meetings and determining decorations to selecting the Prom Theme, music and flowers, it’s important to stick with an efficient plan throughout these next few weeks leading up to the big night.
So let’s get started on creating a timeline for your perfect high school prom – with lots of fun along the way!
12 Months Before:
- Form a prom committee, including students and faculty advisors.
- Establish a budget based on expected ticket sales, fundraising, and any school contributions.
9-11 Months Before:
- Decide on a date for the prom.
- Start researching potential venues and caterers.
- Begin brainstorming themes.
6-8 Months Before:
- Finalize and book the venue.
- Decide on the theme.
- Begin contacting potential DJs or bands.
- Research decorations, photographers, and other vendors as needed.
4-5 Months Before:
- Confirm and book the DJ or band.
- Plan the menu with the caterer.
- Finalize decoration plans and start ordering materials.
- Design and order save-the-date cards or invitations.
3 Months Before:
- Start selling tickets.
- Confirm all contracts with vendors.
- Plan any additional entertainment, such as photo booths or games.
- Start organizing volunteer schedules for setup and cleanup.
2 Months Before:
- Continue ticket sales.
- Plan the event layout at the venue (where the DJ/band, tables, decorations, etc. will go).
- Plan transportation logistics if necessary.
- Send out a reminder for students about dress code and behavior expectations.
1 Month Before:
- Confirm all final details with vendors.
- Finalize volunteer schedules.
- Begin advertising for nominations for prom court if applicable.
- Plan emergency procedures.
2 Weeks Before:
- Distribute final tickets and confirm attendance numbers with the caterer.
- Confirm final details and timeline with the DJ/band, photographer, and other vendors.
- Check in with the venue about setup and cleanup procedures.
1 Week Before:
- If possible, start setting up decorations.
- Send final reminders to students about behavior expectations, venue rules, etc.
- Double-check emergency procedures and supplies.
- Finish any last-minute setup at the venue.
- Confirm transportation schedules if applicable.
- Have a final check-in with all volunteers and vendors.
Day of Prom:
- Have committee members and volunteers arrive early to manage the event.
- Enjoy the event!
Day After Prom:
- Manage cleanup of the venue.
- Return any rented items.
- Thank volunteers, vendors, and anyone else who helped make the event a success.
1 Week After Prom:
- Hold a committee meeting to discuss what went well and what could be improved for future events.
- Complete any necessary financial paperwork.
- Share photos from the event, thank attendees, and celebrate your success!
Remember, while this timeline is comprehensive, it might need to be adjusted to fit the specific needs and timeline of your school.
Often Overlooked Details in Planning a Prom
- Additional Entertainment: Besides music and dancing, consider other forms of entertainment like a photo booth, games, or an awards ceremony.
- Safety and Security Measures: This includes hiring security, planning emergency protocols, and ensuring the venue is safe and accessible.
- Alternative Dietary Needs: Be sure to cater for a range of dietary needs, including vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free, and nut-free options.
- Ticket Sales Management: Consider how you’ll track ticket sales and manage entry on the night. You’ll need a system to confirm who has paid and who hasn’t.
- Backup Plans: Whether it’s a backup venue in case of bad weather, a backup playlist in case the DJ cancels, or extra volunteers in case someone falls sick, having contingency plans is crucial.
- Transportation: If the venue isn’t within walking distance, you’ll need to consider how attendees will get there and back.
- Accessibility: Ensure that all attendees, including those with disabilities, will be able to fully participate in the event.
- Permissions and Licenses: Depending on the venue and local laws, you may need certain permissions or licenses, for example, to play music late at night.
- Restrooms: Confirm that there will be sufficient restroom facilities available for the number of attendees, and consider what additional supplies might be needed (toilet paper, soap, etc.).
- Final Walkthrough: Schedule a final walkthrough of the event space closer to the date to ensure all logistics are in place.
- Thank You Notes: It’s easy to forget this after the event, but it’s important to thank all the volunteers, vendors, and anyone else who helped.
- Post-Prom Activities: Some schools offer a chaperoned post-prom event to continue the fun in a safe environment.
- Event Insurance: Depending on the size and location of your event, you might need event insurance to cover potential damage to the venue or unexpected cancellations.
FAQ Prom Planning
1. Q: How do we choose a prom theme?
A: Theme selection can be done by the prom committee brainstorming ideas and then voting. Consider popular trends, the venue, and what would be feasible with your budget. You might also want to survey the student body for their input.
2. Q: How much should we charge for tickets?
A: Ticket prices should be determined based on your budget and expenses. Calculate the total cost of the prom (including venue, catering, DJ, decorations, etc.) and divide by the estimated number of attendees. Consider adding a small buffer to this amount for unexpected costs.
3. Q: What’s the best way to sell tickets?
A: Tickets can be sold during lunch hours, before and after school, and at other school events. Online sales might also be an option. Remember to keep track of sales to prevent overselling.
4. Q: How should we handle dietary restrictions for catering?
A: The catering menu should include options for common dietary restrictions like vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free. You might also want to ask about allergies on the ticket or RSVP form.
5. Q: How can we make sure the prom is safe?
A: Hire professional security or ask local law enforcement to be present. Make sure there are chaperones, and establish a clear emergency protocol. Also, ensure the venue is safe and accessible.
6. Q: What should we do if a vendor cancels last minute?
A: Always have a backup plan. This might involve having a shortlist of alternative vendors, or preparing a DIY solution, such as a student-compiled playlist in case of DJ cancellation.
7. Q: How many volunteers do we need?
A: The number of volunteers depends on the size of the event and the tasks at hand. You’ll need people to help with setup and cleanup, sell tickets, manage the cloakroom, supervise the event, and coordinate transportation if necessary.
8. Q: What kind of decorations do we need?
A: The decorations will depend on your theme and venue. Typically, you might consider table decorations, wall and ceiling decorations, a backdrop for photos, and any special props that fit your theme.
9. Q: How can we promote the prom to boost ticket sales?
A: Utilize school announcements, posters, social media, and word-of-mouth to advertise the event. Highlight the theme, entertainment, and any special features to get students excited.
10. Q: What do we need to consider when hiring a DJ or band?
A: Consider their experience, style, and reliability. Ensure they’re able to play a range of music that will appeal to your students. Don’t forget to ask about their technical requirements (like space and power outlets).
Remember, communication is key in planning a successful event, so ensure all committee members are aware of the plans and progress as you organize the prom.
Prom planning is a daunting task, but with excellent time management and help from friends and family, it can be an enjoyable journey to the biggest night of your high school career.
Although there may be some bumps along the way, it’s important to stay organized and maintain perspective. Remember that this night is about having fun and making memories!
As long as you stick to the timeline, prioritize things that are important to you for prom, and have a little fun in the process — you will be sure to have a spectacular evening.
After all, prom is an experience of a lifetime—you deserve to make it as special as possible!
- Prom Budget | A Comprehensive Guide for the Prom Committee
- Prom Checklist | Key Steps for an Unforgettable Night