Proms, Project Graduations and Lock-ins are usually memorable highlights of a student’s high school years. These events allow students to spend time with their friends before they start the next chapter in their life after graduation. Students are stressing out about what they are going to wear or with whom they are going to go with in the days leading up to their high school party. On the other hand, the parents of these students are the ones stressing out about the PLANNING of the event. Debbie Accettura, Owner of Vegas Concepts, is no newbie in the industry. With years of experience backing her up, she shares some tips to make sure your high school parties run smoothly.
WATCH YOUR CALENDAR: Make sure that when deciding the date of the event, it does not fall on a holiday or that no other community event is going on. You want to have the best attendance possible.
PLAN EARLY: With so many high schools in the Dallas Fort Worth area, they are probably looking for similar things you are such as a Venue, Catering, Entertainment. If you wait until the last minute, some of the services you need might be booked. Prices are also likely to go up the closer to the date.
RECRUIT VOLUNTEERS: Get parents involved with the planning, especially the parents of Juniors because they get to learn the ropes for the following year. You can have a volunteer check-in station on the day of your event so that they know where to go, what job was assigned to them and to make sure you have their correct contact information.
CELEBRATING SOBER: Share your expectations with the students to have an alcohol/ drug-free event. You can also have students sign a pledge when they receive their tickets. Vegas Concepts uses a breathalyzer for their staff, not because we don’t trust our staff but to show our commitment to providing a safe environment for the students. You can have the parents, volunteers or students use a breathalyzer as well.
SAFETY: Speak to the school personnel that understands the building and create an evacuation plan. You want to plan ahead for the unforeseen. Make sure that students know where the exits are located in case of an emergency and that nothing is blocking the exits (such as games or inflatables).
SAFETY: It’s so important we will mention it again. Be prepared and be attentive.
HAVE A THEME: Casino theme perhaps? This is a classic that never goes out of style. Decorate your venue with black and red balloons, oversized playing cards, dice and chips. It doesn’t have to be expensive, just get creative! We recommend you have a theme that you can carry through over time. This is helpful because you can re-purpose a lot of the materials or decorations you bought and it can also make it easier to plan the next year. Just remember to have a storage place to save all the supplies.
HIRE PROFESSIONAL ENTERTAINMENT: Hiring professional entertainment can make a HUGE difference when planning your event. Vegas Concepts background checks all their employees, which gives parents peace of mind. Vegas Concepts has also been doing high school events for 30 years! If you work with an event planning company that has experience with High School Parties, you can avoid any unwanted surprises and you will be dealing with a reliable, punctual and honest company.
One of the high school’s that Vegas Concepts worked with hired an inflatable company because of the low price. However, the owners of the inflatable company never spoke to the school technicians and power went out for the four hours they were supposed to be there to entertain students. Cheaper is not always better; research the company ahead of time, otherwise, your event could turn into a disaster.
TYPES OF ENTERTAINMENT: Vegas Concepts specializes in Casino entertainment and can provide craps tables, roulette, and poker tournaments. The students can redeem the chips they receive for raffle tickets for the prizes. Students also enjoy having Photo-booths, Character Artists and Inflatable Games. When hiring a DJ, ask that they provide the playlist ahead of time to be reviewed to ensure it falls in place with what the students enjoy.
FREE IS (ALMOST) ALWAYS BETTER: You can save money by hosting the event at your school. Gyms and auditoriums are usually large enough to accommodate the students. You can also ask some parents or students (ahead of time) to bring in video game consoles for downtime. Wii games are extremely popular with high school students.
PRIZES: Solicit prizes from local merchants and thank them in an article in your local paper or find another way to advertise their donations. If you can, try to send letters months before the event, explaining your event and what you’re looking for in the way of donations. Gifts the high school students can take to college are usually a great idea. You can get mini-fridges, wall decorations, or games.
HAVE FUN: Through the midst of the chaos, remember you are doing this for your children and you should try to enjoy it! The students/teachers will appreciate your handwork and dedication.