How-to: Choose a Prom Location

Metro Magic Kit Sure, you might end up in the school gym after all, but there are other possibilities to consider when it comes to selecting the venue for your Prom.

The first thing you do is to check the Prom “wallet” — how much money you have in your budget for booking a hall or banquet room. The answer probably doesn’t have to be “zero.” Here’s one reason why: If you book a nice room at a banquet or convention center, or an outdoor venue, you will not have to spend as much on materials to cover up cinder blocks and basketball court flooring! You might also decide to help make up the difference by charging more for tickets or by doing extra fundraising.

Once you have a handle on how much you can budget for room/hall rental, you can work out the following:

  • The number of people you expect will attend
  • The level of formality you are looking for
  • The amount of space you need for your planned activities, including entertainment
  • Whether you’re looking for a place that serves food, allows outside catering, or will let you serve very basic refreshments
  • As you discuss these basic requirements, a few logical options may pop into your mind. Go with that, but also be sure to check the phone book “yellow pages” for more banquet halls, restaurants with private rooms and so on. Prescreen with phone interviews. At minimum, be sure to find out the following:

  • Availability at your date and times
  • Whether the facilities meet the basic requirements, as listed above
  • Costs
  • Decorating details, e.g. who supplies the prom decorations, availability of electrical outlets, etc.
  • Dancing: will there be enough room, are there noise restrictions, do they have a DJ on staff, and so on?
  • The list will begin to narrow itself down considerably as you ask these questions. When you’ve got your options narrowed down to a half-dozen or so, schedule visits to the candidate facilities.

    Of course, in the end your school might still be the best option, financially and otherwise — but wouldn’t it be great to find out for sure?

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