- Find Victims. I mean, Volunteers! Start recruiting after-prom volunteers early. A quick “Who’s an insomniac workaholic?” on social media would be a good place to start!
- Food: Start asking for donations early. These are teenagers. Any local restaurant, perhaps the ones that donate to your sports teams already. Make sure to save some good food for your post prom volunteers, especially the ones who have 5 kids who haven’t made it to high school yet. Give them chocolate and you may have them helping you for the next decade! Don’t forget the caffeine and glutton free, sugar free, calorie free stuff for the adults who hate their lives and want to be miserable. Seriously these people are volunteering to suffer with you treat them well.
- Call your vendors early!!! If there is a provider for décor, entertainment, inflatable rides that you plan on using, call them early and ask the following two questions:
What dates should I avoid? Most high schools pick the same after prom date, as a result, prices are always more on busy days and less on open ones.
What post prom theme would you recommend? What theme do you have the most gear? Maybe some other high school has just paid for the company to buy a bunch of new inflatables! Everyone loves new inflatables and now you’ll get them cheap!
- Curb appeal: Kids will drive past the school to look for their friend’s cars; they want to make sure they’re not the only one going to after prom. It’s very important to make a good first impression out in front of the high school. Something as simple as a fire performer will draw them in to post prom like moths to a flame!
- Put the check-in line inside! Some after-proms are in the early spring and it’s still cold!
- One time I was juggling fire outside of an after prom and the girls asked if I would be so kind as just to hold it and let them gather around. I said “no” and they froze to death (not really). Do the kids a favor and move the line inside and make sure you have adequate staffing because they will all come at once. Like a zombie horde of smiling kids.
- Everyone! After-prom is about everyone! A theme like sports is great, but a theme like “Game On” is better. As a former high school teacher who ran the push up club for the jocks, the chess team for the nerds and taught theater for the artsy kids there are a lot of different needs at an after prom. The more you can hit the happier everyone will be! Below are a few options we offer:
- Entertainers roaming the halls – stilt walkers, magicians or maybe a stilt walking magician
- Athletic stuff in the gym – inflatables games and rides
- Palm reading room
- Fire out front, they are all pyromaniacs
- Casino tables in the cafeteria
- Comedy Hypnotism show or comedy show at the end of the night on the stage.
- Food in the lounge for the volunteers
- Food & drinks for the kids
- Stage Show: at the end of the night is really important! Gathering all the kids for a show lets clean up start an hour and a half early. Once the kids are in the room for the Hypnotist, Game Show, Circus Sideshow, Magician, whatever…. Then everyone else is cleaning up. Immediately after the show comes after prom prizes the giveaways and the kids are already gathered.