One of the most popular Prom traditions is the after-Prom party, and it’s almost as important as Prom itself. You want your after-Prom party to be memorable, safe, and FUN for everyone. If you need planning ideas or just a few quick tips about the process, read on for twenty-two tips for a smooth and successful after-Prom party.
1. Start planning early
There are many details to consider when planning the after-Prom party, so getting an early start can be beneficial. (You can even start at the beginning of the school year!)
2. Get the administration on board
Many parents will feel better about this aspect of Prom if they know administrators support it.
3. Recruit parent volunteers
This is one of the last opportunities for parents of seniors to do something special for their kids, and many of them will want to get involved. And don’t forget about parents of underclassmen; they will need to know the “ins and outs” to keep this tradition going.
4. Plan fundraisers
If your school doesn’t have a big budget, try piggybacking with the Prom committee to raise money for both Prom and the after-party. This may be easier if you get your booster club involved; booster club members have plenty of experience planning and executing school fundraisers.
5. Make admission affordable
Set a $25 max on the entrance fee for this party; Prom is already very expensive.
6. Solicit monetary donations from parents
An easy way to get a few more dollars from parents is to stress that if they donate a little money it will ensure that their kids are extra-safe after the Prom.
7. Give your students a mix of grown-up AND silly activities
They may be teenagers, but with these two options, students can choose how they want to spend their evening.
8. Get insurance
No one wants to think about anyone getting injured or having damaged property, so this could come in handy.
9. Keep a guest list
This could get complicated if you have a bigger school, but it will come in handy. Set a policy about who can and can’t come (e.g., do you want guests from other schools? seniors only?) and use the list to determine who should be at the party and who shouldn’t be.
10. Plan on security
Contact your local police to help with security for your after-Prom party. You will need to budget some money to pay off-duty officers to patrol parking lots, entrances, and exits. You can also secure a non-transferrable wristband to each student upon arrival.
11. Permission slips
This may seem like a “grade school thing,” but it is important for students under the age of 18.
12. Have your after-prom party at school
If your Prom is also being held at your school, having the after-Prom party there, too, is a benefit; no one can leave easily. Get a decorating committee together to jazz up hallways, foyers, and other spaces.
13. Rent a church, YMCA, or community center
These venues may not get a lot of use on a Saturday night/Sunday morning, so they make great locations for your after-Prom party. It’s important to keep your teens safe, and these are all good options for that.
14. Consider an off-site venue
Some venues to consider are a bowling alley, trampoline center, private yacht club, local zoo or garden, or event center. These may be expensive locations for an after-Prom party, but they are the least demanding for the planners.
15. Provide shuttle buses
This can add to the cost and complexity of your party, but it’s one more layer of security and safety that parents will appreciate.
16. Suggest a dress code
Wearing jeans, T-shirts, and comfortable shoes may be a welcome gift for students who are not used to dressing up to the nines.
17. Provide Food
Most teenagers love to eat. You can go with something most teens like (pizza, burgers, junk food), but you think outside the box. Go with a local/regional favorite or have a restaurant cater your after-Prom party.
18. Create a mocktail
Match a signature non-alcoholic drink to your school colors, and make sure everyone has one for an early morning toast.
19. Play music
Hire a DJ (work with the Prom committee for suggestions or use the one the Prom committee uses) or have a parent volunteer to act as a DJ.
20. Hold contests throughout the night
Have trivia or karaoke competitions keep students engaged. Other ideas include dance contests, Name That Tune, or Twister.
21. Hand out prizes
Get a mix of small (door) prizes and a few big ones (grand prizes) to reward contest winners. Swag bags are also a great idea for your after-Prom party. Don’t forget to create a rule that you must be present to win!
22. Use Signupgenius.com
This is a terrific tool to organize your after-Prom party and manage school volunteers.