Category Archives: School Dance Planning Checklist

Your Complete Prom (and Post Prom) Planning Checklist

homepage2Planning a prom and post prom party can seem like an overwhelming task even if you’re part of a large planning committee. No matter how large your committee is, using a checklist and staying organized through the prom planning process is essential to a successful dance. So take a deep breath, and start your prom planning with our prom (and post prom) planning checklist:

  • Date. If your school does not have a confirmed date, choose several possible dates that work, and contact your deejay and venue to see which date is available. Or contact the venue for available dates within the time frame you need. If you want to save money, hold your party on an “off day”—a Friday when events are typically not held—when venues offer discounted rates.
  • Venue & location. Choose a venue that fits your prom theme and budget, and has ample space for your guests and a large dance floor with space for your DJ.
  • Theme. A party without a theme is an event without direction. Decide on a theme, and use it to plan your refreshments, decorations and entertainment, even if you use it in subtle ways.
  • Food. If your prom includes a dinner, find a venue or caterer that can provide a meal before the dance. If your school normally provides refreshments throughout the dance, contact a caterer about appetizers. If you normally provide refreshments at your post prom party, book a caterer that can make food for both prom and post prom. If you are hosting your prom at a venue, make sure that your preferred caterer is allowed to come in, and check with the venue to see if you need to show proof of your caterer’s insurance.
  • Decorations. Choose decorations that fit the theme. Make sure you check with the venue if you want to put up decorations that attach to the wall or ceiling. Many venues have specific guidelines for decorations. If you can’t hang decorations, consider décor like table centerpieces and lighting. If it’s lighting you wish, check with your deejay about dance party packages with lighting that sets the mood of your party.
  • Entertainment. Want a rockin’ party? Hire a deejay to set the mood. Deejays also have a few more benefits for a party, and can also provide lighting and glow sticks for a fun, entertaining night. Remember, anybody can play music, but selecting the right DJ that has the rockin’ play list that keeps your school dancing for the whole dance (because we’ve all seen those dances where kids fade early) is important. Contact your DJ right away, because the best school dance DJ’s calendars fill up fast.
  • School Dance Packages. Now is also the time to find out what school dance & prom packages are offered, and how they fit in with your budget. You want a package that fits the size of your dance, and the gym or venue that you’re using. Selecting the right package also means making sure you have enough money in your budget for refreshments and decorations. If you set a ticket price for your prom, research your dance expenses ahead of time so you set a price that doesn’t leave your budget in the red.
  • Budget. Want to save some money? Check to see if your DJ service has a referral discount. Often, DJ services will charge you less if you refer other clients that book their services. For example, Post Prom DJ offers a 50% discount for your party when two other schools, corporations, family members of friends confirm their party. So think BIG within your network. Save money for your school dance by asking your company to book with the same DJ for their corporate Christmas party, and ask one of the previous school classes to book with that same DJ for their 20th Class Reunion.
  • Post Prom Party. Looking for a rocking party with dance music for your post prom party with a monster laser light show? Or are you looking for an outdoor movie inside (think huge screens in a gym)? How about an LED light up dance floor? Or a party with gaming systems that keeps everyone’s feet moving even after prom? Don’t make the post prom party your second thought. Assign a committee or volunteer specifically to plan the post prom party.

Don’t procrastinate your prom planning. Get started by setting a date (if needed) and booking a quality DJ (remember the best DJ’s are booked quickly!). An experienced DJ can also make recommendations that can help during your party planning. If you are working as part of a committee, make sure you stay in contact with fellow committee members to make sure your planning goes smoothly, and the result—a rocking prom!—is a night you and your classmates never forget.

School Dance Planning Checklist: Plan early, enjoy success later.

homepage2You’re planning the next school dance, and you’re feeling like a rookie on the first day of training camp. No worries. You can put together the ultimate, fun dance party. You got this. Take a deep breath and use this handy school dance planning checklist we’ve put together for you and your dance planning committee:

  • Date. You may be given a pre-approved date. If you have to set the date, do it early. You may have to get approval from a school board or administrator to get the date on the school calendar.
  • Space & Location. If you have to use the school gym, make sure that the gym has been reserved (don’t assume!). For dances held off school property, do your research. Does the school need to be concerned about liability and insurance? What are all the expenses involved with each location?
  • Approval (if needed). If you need to get approval for a date, location or budget, don’t procrastinate. Submit your proposal early to ensure that you can make all the important reservations early: hall space, DJ, after dance party entertainment, caterers, etc.
  • Budget. Set your budget, or use the budget given to you. Remember that you can negotiate prices with many vendors. Share your budget numbers with everyone on your dance committee so they know their financial parameters before they research locations and vendors. Doing so will save you precious planning time, and minimize wasted energy.
  • Ticket prices (if applicable). If you have to set ticket prices, settle on a number as soon as you know your budget. You may also need to get approval for this aspect of your dance as well.
  • Pick a theme. Selecting a theme gives your dance committee direction for every aspect of your dance. Use your best judgment as to the appropriateness of the theme for your school.
  • Food. If you have to find a caterer, start contacting local caterers now. Make sure you know your budget, amount of food needed, dance date and time and the availability of a kitchen if one is available. Don’t know what kind of food you need? Ask the caterer for suggestions. Select your food based on your theme (i.e. candy beach balls for a beach theme, neon cupcakes for your glow-in-the-dark party, etc.).
  • Lights. Usually the lights come with the DJs, but make sure you ask. Find out what school dance packages include lighting. If you need lights for the chaperones, look around for the best deals. You don’t want to waste your whole budget on flashlights. Find out before the night of the dance how to turn off your gym or event location lights.
  • Music. You can’t have a dance without a rockin’ DJ. Don’t cheap out—the best DJs make the party, and make the party great for everyone. If you want a good DJ, book early. If you want a good deal, refer the same DJ to your boss, other schools, friends and anyone else throwing a dance party. Many DJs offer referral discounts.
  • Decorations. Select one of your most reliable dance committee volunteer to cover your decorations. Give them the theme and budget so they can find deals, while still setting the atmosphere. If the DJ is providing lighting, let them know so they can factor the lighting into their decoration purchases.
  • Set the play list. If your school wants input on the play list, contact the DJ before the party and give them your play list or parameters for songs that can be played.
  • After dance entertainment (if applicable). Outdoor movie? Gaming party? If you need after dance entertainment, talk to your DJ. Many DJs offer after dance entertainment packages perfect for your occasion.
  • Chaperones. Put the word out early so parents can get the date on their calendar. Make personal asks for the best chaperone turnout.
  • Set up. Plan for the worst, celebrate the best. Plan to set up earlier than you think is necessary to accommodate emergencies. Early set up is essential to a successful dance.
  • Dance, dance, dance! Your work is not done. Once you’ve got everything set, make sure that you have volunteers willing to talk to vendors to make sure all your planning is being executed smoothly. Having someone for each part of your dance—DJ, caterer, chaperones—ensures that you are not trying to fix all the emergencies at once. When all the pieces of your dance puzzle fall together, relax and dance, dance, dance!