An event planner can be an enormous benefit and can ultimately contribute to the success of the entire event. When a new committee is elected each and every year they need to remember the many elements that must come together on the big night: entertainment, food, location, security, décor, and overall making this grad night unforgettable. The task of coordinating all of these elements may seem daunting and the help of an event professional can be a cost effective, one stop shop option for the Grad Night committee to consider.
It’s important to find an event planner with years of experience in Grad Night. One of the first questions you should ask when talking to event planners is “Have you ever done a grad night?” and don’t hesitate to ask for references and sample proposals from previous successful events or for the current list of school names and contacts. Your planner should get a vision of what you expect and want your Grad Night to be. Remember event professionals come in different shapes and sizes. There are full service event planners that will handle every detail of your event. Others will consult with the committee and will provide assistance in only those areas where the committee needs help, while others only deal with two elements, for example entertainment and catering.
Once you have narrowed your search down it is important to determine what projects can be done effectively by parents, and what elements are best left to a pro. Do you have a group of artistic volunteers who like building props and painting sets? Are there some parents who enjoy cooking and can bring and serve food all night long? Do you have some dads who are police officers and can provide security? If so, great! You can focus your budget elsewhere. If the answer to any of these questions is “NO“, then an event professional can help. When looking for an event professional, it is important to find one that specializes in the areas where your Grad Night needs help.
Venue: The majority of schools are now holding offsite events. When working with your planner to find a site, approach venues with an open mind. Look at what each venue can become with all the attractions, games, vendors, lighting, décor and attendees in place. Does the facility have the space needed to bring your vision to life and fit all the great things you want to have for the Grads? Look for not only the ascetics details but also the necessary things like restrooms, rest areas or quite rooms, bus assess and parking, sound restrictions, chaperone space and food prep and service spaces. On or off campus all these details need to be provided in order to have a successful night.
Caterers: While snacks and drinks are relatively easy for the committee to provide, prepared foods, especially hot food for several hundred graduates is often beyond the capability of the parents.
Entertainment: Another area where an event professional can be invaluable is entertainment. Grad night attendees need to be kept involved in activities all night long and a wide variety of entertainment is needed to satisfy the tastes of this diverse group of young adults. An event professional that specializes in entertainment can save a grad night committee weeks of research, lots of paperwork and help the grad night stay within their budget.
Producing a grad night is the culmination of many months of hard work and the seamless integration of many elements. After careful assessment of a Grad Night committee members’ skills, there will be areas that the committee can handle themselves and other elements where help may be needed. The use of an experienced event professional can be an invaluable resource to fill in the gaps and provide your grads with the memorable event they deserve. Just keep in mind, your grad night will reflect the planner you choose.