Could organizing a Prom be more efficient with some sort of web application?
A promenade dance, more commonly known as “prom” (to anyone living in this century), is a semi-formal dance generally for the graduating class. It’s a pretty big deal if generations of high-school students and photo-happy parents and American films are all to be believed. Starting in colleges in the 1850s, prom migrated to high-schools by the 20th century, and has thrived in that space ever since.
And in many ways, it’s easy to see the appeal: prom is graduation’s equivalent of a wedding reception 一 pompous ceremony’s fun counterpart. For many teens, eager to leave the rigidness of school and tread their own path, prom is the first step into adulthood, the first venture into the ‘real world’. It’s also a chance to see friends, have fun, and celebrate 4 years of secondary school as well as the many years ahead.
Of course, it wouldn’t be a high school event (or a high school… anything) if there weren’t at least a laundry list of stressors involved: elaborate promposals, other prom rituals passed down from grad class to grad class, and the navigation of social seas at their murkiest, as well as unrelated issues like exams, summer jobs, scholarships, and plans for life outside of public education’s cage. But at the bottom of that laundry list of stressors, circled and underlined, is preparation 一 just because it was originally called a “promenade dance” doesn’t mean it’s a walk in the park.
The logistics of the prom are bigger than the event itself. Despite prom season lasting only from late April to the end of June, prom planning is a year-long process. Unless a school is willing to hold prom in its gym, the venue is usually booked anytime between June and September. The options for the venue will usually be limited by factors like size, proximity, availability 一 and that’s before affordability can even be considered. Next on the to-do list is what the “theme” or motif of the prom should be to inform the choice of decor: flowers, lighting, colours, et cetera.
While the logistics pot is on the backburner, the prom committee will have to get cooking on fundraising. Even though the cost of prom for attendees has dropped over recent years, fundraising covers the cost of vendors (catering, decorating, etc.) and entertainers that elevate prom from a mere dance to a memorable event; however, if the committee doesn’t generate enough money, it will be limited in how many services it can bring in. Fundraising ventures like silent auctions, cake auctions, bake sales, clothing sales, and other activities also require a great deal of coordination themselves, so there are usually only a few of them per year.
Then there’s the vendors. Different proms will usually have different combinations of caterers, DJs, photographers, and entertainers at the event proper, but organizers will also need to contact a linen service for laundry and another service for party favours. Additionally, school-sanctioned proms will pay the salaries on the night of the event for community safety officers to be off in the background to make sure everything is safe and, hopefully, have an uneventful night.
Throughout the planning process, prom committees will be advertising to and communicating with students and parents: permission and liability forms, fundraising and planning updates, parental and student input beforehand and feedback afterwards. These days, schools have many electronic means at their disposal beyond the traditional paper form/letter. Email is the primary method of communication; however, with the growing prevalence of online learning, google classroom and similar applications are becoming just as essential a tool for teachers as email. This allows for various places, both physical and digital to be used to advertise for upcoming events.
But these are just problems for the handful on the committee side. Attendees, on the other hand, can sympathize with the plights of renting a dress or a tuxedo, getting a haircut or other special grooming, buying boutonnieres or corsages; some people even rent limos for themselves, their date, and/or their friends, which requires coordinating timing and payment details that aren’t very easy to organize at the best of times, let alone amidst the chaos of late spring to early summer.
And as if there weren’t enough chaos, 65% of all weddings happen from June through September. Why is this a problem? Because weddings and proms rely on the services of caterers, DJs, clothing renters , florists, photographers. Despite weddings tending to gravitate towards Saturdays and proms tending to be a Thursday or Friday affair, prom-goers will still be catching these vendors at their busiest: May and June were the second and third most popular months to book wedding dates for in 2020 (respectively).
No matter which way you cut it, prom is a huge undertaking; it requires coordination for organizers and attendees alike. Since prom season is 6 weeks long, during which an entire region’s worth of schools try to fit in their own within that time, there is a lot of competition for the services and spaces needed for a successful and memorable prom. And with the stressors of exams and summatives and any other final evaluation teachers try to cram into the last few weeks of school, planning the details 一 what to wear, how to get there, who to go with 一 for prom night can be especially difficult.
All these complications are what Prom Planner, an app designed specifically for planning prom, aims to eliminate. Prom Planner offers a platform for prom-goers to connect with their dates and with their friends and to register their dress, as well as to buy tickets, to book limos and score some great deals from local prom vendors.
Prom Planner helps answer prom’s most pressing questions: “who will I go with”, “what should I wear”, and “how will I get there”. If you don’t have the time or the myriad of connections to be in ‘the know’ about who is going with who and who is still available, Prom Planner couples feed and singles feed lets you do exactly that, no supernatural foresight or insight required. Getting outfits for prom is pretty expensive, so most people buy or rent off-the-rack to save money; however, shopping off-the-rack risks choosing the same thing as someone else. The dress registry is an innovative way to see what other people will be wearing and to show what you’ll be wearing. There are so many dresses out there; why risk wearing the same one as someone else? Or what if you wanted to match on purpose? Knowledge is power, and that power is in your hands now. And how about showing up in style as well as dressing in style? PromDate lets you book limos, invite people to ride along, and track to see who has and hasn’t pitched in money to cover the fare. Then there’s the vendors. PromDate has negotiated with prom-related businesses to get you the best deals on a wide variety of services.
The end of a school year is a stressful time, especially for soon-to-be-graduates; it can be hard to peek up from your projects to prepare properly for prom, but a lack of coordination and organization can turn a memorable evening into a night to forget. So let Prom Planner help you make your prom memorable for all the right reasons.