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HOW TO ORGANISE A DANCE/PROM

Historically the PTA and Schools have not organised the Years 11-13 Proms. These have been organised by student and/or parent committees. However, we have supported with decorations we already own, helped with bag and ticket checks at the door and advice. As best practice we suggest you use these categories as a start for organising your event.


1. Prom Committee - If you plan to organise an event between the two grammar schools then we suggest you form a team of students from both schools. Distribute the roles and responsibilities equally between members – eg. Co-Chairs (boy/girl), entertainment/ lighting/sound, photography and decorations, food/drinks, tickets/registration/ finance, social media/promotion/communications.

2. Communication with the two School Heads and PTAs - informing the schools of your plans is essential before planning too far. You must realise that, even though this is not an official school event, there is an association and if there are any queries then they need to know who to pass information to.

3. Venue – ensure you research your venues for numbers, dates available and costs. We have previously had proms at the Salisbury Racecourse and Arts Centre but there are plenty more prospective venues to research. Check their rules and regulations and exactly what they provide in the cost – security, bar staff, food prep, number of rooms etc.

4. Discuss the schedule – eg. Decorations/prep, Start time, check tickets, wristbands, drinks on arrival? Photographer/photobooth, live band/DJ/entertainment, food/drinks, last dance/other events? Transportation/leaving procedures, clean up.

5. Theme – Crucial baseline to any event – a theme sets up everything from dress to food/drinks, decorations, and entertainment.

6. Entertainment – DJ or band or Playlists? Stand/ sound/ lighting?

7. Bar – due to age restrictions Year 13 (Licensed) vs Year 11 Prom would have different set ups. Wristband based ID systems could be provided by the venue to protect their licence.

8. Food – canapes vs pizza vs meal - look at venue options versus external suppliers and how it will contribute to the cost per ticket.

9. Photography – we have a list of photographers and different settings/payment agreements to assist. Casual vs Formal. Or perhaps a photobooth which is a more expensive option.

10. Tickets – finally, but most importantly, all this adds up to the ticket price. How are you going to break them down. We recommend a 3-tier ticket offering - an Early bird ticket price to cover venue deposits; Grammar student ticket price; Plus one ticket price. Estimate how many early bird tickets you need to cover basic costs and allocate that number for opening up the next tier. Eg. Early bird £15, Grammar student £20, Plus one £25. How are you going to sell/ distribute/ communicate with ticket buyers?

11. Promotions – have a social media platform set up to communicate to all prospective ticket holders (eg Insta and whatsapp). Website? Set up an event website (you can contact us for assistance/advice).

12. Staff/Organisation – How many people do you need to ensure the night runs smoothly? What staff does the venue provide? Do you need people to check tickets? Check bags? Wristbands/Drinks? Security? Food? Bar?

13. FINANCE – do you have a paypal account or online payment system set up? Who is going to take responsibility of this? Who will hold the bank account where payments are deposited and bills paid? What will you do if you need to refund tickets?

14. IT’S A WRAP/ CLEANUP – At the end of the night/event who is responsible that everything is cleaned up? What are the timings – on the night or by midday the following? Who ensures all the bills are paid? Who is responsible for managing the photography distribution?


But above all – have a fabulous event! It is all worth it and you will have lasting memories.