The Prom is a uniquely American tradition. In fact, students from European countries who study abroad are fascinated by it. There’s nothing like that where they come from.
So to impress those students and the local ones, you need to throw an awesome prom – which includes a great prom venue. But how do you figure out where to hold it, other than in your school’s gym?
You do your research and follow the steps below.
Make a Budget
While a lot of event planning is fun, some of it can seem technical and boring – like creating a budget.
You’re going to spend a good chunk of your budget on the event center you choose including the security deposit. That’s something you need to keep in mind when you’re choosing a prom venue.
During you’re planning, ask yourself if you can afford the venue up front. Do you have the deposit to put down to hold the date, right now? Or can you get it in time?
Then what about the security deposit? You’re renting someone’s space, just like you’d rent an apartment. Security deposits are retained to cover possible damages to the venue due to the actions of guests.
Most of the time no one has to worry about losing the deposit. The event goes well, nothing happens, and the money is returned with no questions.
But like anything else in life, accidents can happen – and if they do – you may be on the hook for damages.
Check The Venue’s Requirements
Some venues require that you choose services from a list of their providers. That means if you want to hire your son’s friend as the DJ, you can’t – unless he’s on the venue’s list.
If they do have an extras or services list, don’t worry – these are entertainers and vendors they’ve worked with before. They’re on that list because the venue knows they’ll do a good job and that they’ll make you – the customers – happy.
At Midlothian Conference Center, we don’t have a required vendors list, but if you need a DJ or other service provider for your prom, we can certainly make a recommendation.
Make Sure They Have What You Need
You know what’s ultra important for a good prom? A good dance floor! Instead of dancing and building up friction on the carpet, a dance floor is nice and smooth. Dancing on an official dance floor is much easier and safer for all involved.
You can sometimes customize the size of the dance floor, depending on the size of your party. Which brings us to another thing. Here at the center, we have several dance floor sizes to choose from.
Do They Allow Custom Floor Plans?
Some event centers and venues have specific event floor plans that are the only thing they use. Such as the tables go here, the chairs go there, and so on.
That’s great for events you don’t want a huge part in planning, but not so great if you have a vision in mind.
Make sure the venue you choose allows you to arrange the room how you’d like (as we do) – or that they have a floor plan that works for you.
Will You Cater?
It’s not typical to have food at a prom, but you may want to have some snacks or a non-alcoholic bar. Those are both things a venue can work with you to make a reality.
Some venues allow outside food (we do) and some don’t. If you are going to bring outside food, please let the staff know. They may be able to provide you with serving trays and dishes – but only if they have advance notice.
Do They Have Security?
Depending on the size of your school and how many people you have at your event, your event insurance may require security. If it doesn’t, that doesn’t mean you can hire any big dude you know.
Our center provides security if requested, but not all do. Ask the venue about their security options and if they have any recommendations for contracting that service out if they don’t have someone in-house.
Are There Decorations and Linens on Site?
If you’re going to have tables at your prom, and most do (for when you’re dancing feet start to hurt) they’re going to need tablecloths. And maybe even chair covers, depending on how fancy you want to make the event.
Those are things you have to rent out from an outside company if your venue doesn’t have any in stock that you can use. Talk to your venue to find out if you can rent directly for them or if the price is included in your package.
If they don’t have linens, ask if they have a preferred vendor. Luckily, here at the Midlothian Conference Center, tables, chairs and linens are all included in the price of the facility rental.
Think About Size
While it’s great to have a ton of room to dance, you don’t want your event space to be too big or too small. If you rent a space that’s too big, it looks like not enough people came to your event.
If you rent a space that’s too small, accidents are likely to happen and too many bodies will raise the temperature of the room.
To prevent this, try to find a venue that offers different event spaces of different sizes. Our experienced event staff can recommend a space based on how many people you think will attend.
Consider the Commute
A lot of prom students take party buses, which is great! But what about those who choose to drive or anyone else that needs to get to the venue?
You need to choose one that’s centrally located. We’re located near a major highway and not too far from the DFW airport, but not so close it that it feels like you’re going out of your way.
We’re pretty happy with our spot if we do say so ourselves. We think you will be too!
Committing to Your Prom Venue
When you’ve found a prom venue, gone over the package, know it’s your budget, and are thinking about vendors – it’s time to put down a deposit. We can’t tell you how many times we have to turn people down because rooms are already booked.
For events on peak dates, you want to book at least three to six months in advance. Peak dates are weekends and holidays.
If the date you want isn’t available, we may be able to suggest another event space in our conference center or work with you to find an alternative date.
Ready to start your search for a Texas prom venue? Schedule a tour here.