How to Get Teens to Participate in Prom Planning

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As your school’s Prom advisor, one of your first tasks is to recruit students for your Prom planning committee. They are the ones who will choose the theme that resonates with other teens attending the Prom. And they are the ones that will benefit from all of your decisions. We’ve put together a few tips to help you recruit the teenage students you need to help pull off the perfect Prom night!

Offer Free Prom Tickets
It may sound bad for your budget, but try offering FREE Prom tickets or a discount for joining the committee. The incentive of free tickets for student volunteers is a big draw, considering how much their gowns, limo ride, etc., may cost them. Hand out the free tickets toward the end of the planning, so students don’t drop out of the committee as soon as they receive the tickets.

Have a “Bring A Friend” Meeting
This is one of the first meetings your Prom committee should have. Offer free refreshments and encourage your students to bring their friends to learn more about Prom planning. Students tend to get more involved with school if they know their BFFs are in it with them.

Play The College Angle
Lots of colleges and universities like to admit students who get involved in sports, clubs, or committees during their high school years. Emphasize how student participation with your Prom committee will look on their college applications.

 Give Extra Credit for the Extra Mile
If your high school offers courses that focus on public speaking, civics, or units that focus on citizenship, approach the teachers that teach those courses. Ask them if they would offer extra credit for any student who gets involved with the Prom planning committee. Then spread the word!

Create Worst Case Scenario Displays
Have some fun with your students. Choose a well-trafficked area of your school and create a display of a Prom that doesn’t look good (i.e., little to no decorations, boring tables, a dated sounding theme). Then offer students an alternative: “Get involved to get the Prom of YOUR dreams.”

Answer the “What’s In It for Me?” Question
Without a doubt, this is a question every student will ask, because being on the Prom planning committee will take up a lot of their time. Keep reminding them of the end result, like elegant decorations, fancy or unique photo ops, and of course, amazing memories.

Hand Out Thank You Gifts
This may seem like a no-brainer, but it’s actually very important. Handing out thank you gifts (water bottles, T-shirts, etc.) once the planning is over and Prom is close is paramount. Everyone likes to know that their hard work and dedication to Prom planning is acknowledged. And if you recruit juniors and sophomores, they may be more likely to volunteer again next year if they know that their contributions were important.

Ditch the Drama
Sometimes when teenagers get together, personalities can clash, but drama doesn’t really have a place on a Prom committee. Be upfront with your students and let them know that you won’t tolerate any personal issues and extra drama. And make sure you don’t play favorites, or you may find student volunteers quitting the committee.