It used to be when looking for available prom venues, that no one needed to look any further than the high school gym. Times have changed, however. Crepe paper in the gym doesn't seem to suit the Facebook and iPod crowd like it suited their parents and grandparents. Finding the right venue can seem like a daunting task, but it doesn't have to be if you know what you're looking for.
Where to Look
Gone are the days when proms were held in the school gym. Proms today are often held the same places as wedding receptions: banquet halls or large rooms in restaurants.
Keep in mind while searching that not all high school students drive, meaning parents might be providing the transportation. Because of this, you don't want to plan for your prom to be too far away, as the parents won't want to drive far. It's understandable in smaller communities that suitable prom venues would be outside the city limits, but they should still be within thirty minutes of the high school.
What Prom Venues Should Include
The first thing you need to look at in possible prom venues is the capacity of the room that is available to rent. It should comfortably fit the maximum amount of people that could be attending.
The rented room should have bathrooms that are close, if not in the actual room. It would be difficult for the chaperones to keep tabs on all the party goers if they're traveling long distances within the facility just to get to the bathroom. For this same reason, the room should either have a separate entrance to the outside, or be close to an entrance. This way you're assured that guests aren't wandering around the facility possibly getting into trouble. Additionally, it's best not to have the room close to any bar inside the facilities. It's best not to tempt teenagers any more than they already are.
The prom venue also should be clean and orderly and be at least fairly attractive. No one will be happy spending a lot for prom tickets, only to find the accommodations are a dump. The venue should also be in a nice, well-lit neighborhood. If the prom budget doesn't allow for this, it might be better just to have prom in the gym, rather than leave the guests unsafe.
Many teens save for weeks, if not months for the event. They have had to pay for a tux, dress, corsages, and possibly a limo, as well as paying for their tickets. The meal they are served should be special to reflect this. Just as with any banquet, you have your choice of three styles of dinners:
- Sit-down dinner
- Buffet-style dinner
- Family-style dinner
Chicken, beef and pasta are all safe bets for the entree. These are things almost all teenagers like. After making that decision, the rest of the food choices should fall into place as far as side dishes and desserts. Consider putting pitchers of both water and Coke on the tables instead of having a punch bowl.
The Next Step
Providing this all fits within your prom budget, the next step in planning the prom is choosing a date. If this was already decided, you only need to make sure the desired prom venue isn't booked for the chosen date. If it hasn't been chosen yet, it's a matter of coordinating the available venue dates with the available dates for the school.