Graduation party planning is not an easy task. They range from pre-school children through to police academy celebrations. (Yep there’s a lot in between) There are several things that you need to consider when planning a graduation party.
Date – Although the date is usually out of your control when you graduation there are several things you need to consider. It might not be about the actual day itself. But key things such as weather, time of week and time of year may change whether people are able to attend. If its autumn or spring you may want to consider a venue that shares a common outside area, if outside of these times, you probably should consider an indoor venue. The time of week may also change you’re guest availability and the costs as they vary depending on popular days of the week.
Budget – Whether you’re holding the party yourself or planning it for someone else. You will need to establish budget and it may seem obvious, however I see it time and time again where people start planning for a party with a grand idea and end up getting half way there and having to cut corners at the end to meet their original budget. As I mentioned above you can be smart about how you plan your party with such things as time of week or venue location as these considerations could save you a lot of money. A simple spread sheet with formulas to calculate your expenses can assist you in keeping track. Be sure to include every expense otherwise there’s no point having one (If requested I can upload a sample here)
Theme – Usually the theme dictates itself. For example if you’re a holding a pre-school graduation your theme will be limited to ideas such as Disney, Animals colours ect. (However these themes could be just as fun for adults). Ultimately the theme should suit the people who are graduating. A popular suggestion that allows people to express themselves in different ways is a dress up party. It allows people to let their hair down and have some fun at the same time. At the end of the day you don’t have to have a theme (as no theme is still a theme) but a well thought out theme can set your graduation party up for success.
Venue – As per most of the items on this list, a venue can make or break a success graduation party. The venue is like the glue that holds all of the other elements together. It needs to fit your budget, date of the party and the theme and if you get it wrong, the graduation party will lose some of its flair. Simple things you need to consider its proximity to the graduation, does the theme match the venue and does it meet your budget. If you can tick off all of these 3 considerations you’re setting yourself up for success.
Music – Music is the pulse of your party. It can bring the mood up, or it can tear it down in a moment. If you’re not close to the people who you’re holding the party for and don’t know someone who does. Its best to have a variety of music on hand. Make a playlist for all different types of genres and if you’re not sure about what people will like. With advances in technology with smart phones and internet access. Services such as spotify or Pandora will give you millions of songs at your fingertips. So if you miss you mark, don’t despair, these can save you. A live band is always a great way to get people up and dancing, or a Jukebox as people will be very selective when picking music when they have to pay for it and tend to share the fun around more by allowing others to select music. But if you want to play it safe a DJ or a smartphone with a play list will do the job fine.
Invitations – There are so many ways to create exciting invitations. You can do it the traditional way of sending out through “snail” mail. Circulate it via email or more recently you can set an event up an event via Facebook. It’s convenient and hits your target audience quickly. If it’s a graduation party for pre-teens, it’s best to send out invites and to be given to the parents rather than the child. Be sure to include all information. (Which are the listed in the topics above). If it doesn’t include all of these items in the invite then you’re not planning for success.
Entertainment – Entertainment is not limited to the music at your graduation party. Think outside the square as this can take on many shapes and forms. It could range from clowns, to magicians to street performers. Something a little bit different at your graduation party could leave people remembering the event for a very long time.
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