Blog - After party and lock-in events

Everything you need to know about after-parties and lock-ins!

The new year as come and gone, and now the school year is coming to an end. With everyone bustling to tie up loose ends before summer, it’s hard to focus on planning those end of the year events. That’s why we’re here to step in and give you the 411 for a successful planning process.

Why do you need an end of the year event? It’s simple: these events are important for making memories that last a lifetime! Events that surround proms, graduations, teamwork, and other pivotal moments in life are frequently looked back and remembered. Young people want to get together to enjoy these moments together.

Another important reason is safety. Project Proms and Graduations are one way to offer participants a safe, fun environment to enjoy their after-party without fear of alcohol, drugs, or other worrisome activities. Peer pressure is at its highest during after parties when young people have lots of energy and feel invincible. Consider an “All Night Party” for your group that will start a tradition and provide a stress-free alternative. In addition, everyone is invited which means no one is left out. Your student’s parents will rest easy knowing their children are safe and entertained.

Besides Project Proms and Graduations, other end of the year parties might include team wrap-ups, award ceremonies, banquets, lock-ins, and graduation parties. Whatever your need, you can follow the steps below to plan the perfect event.

So where do I start?

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First, select a theme for your event. Themes can encompass a great deal and set the tone for the event. Decorations will tie in to your chosen theme and help pull the whole night together, so be creative and find the perfect message for your specific event!

Examples & Suggestions:

  • Hollywood: Roll out the red carpet, use camera-ready backdrops, place stars and spotlights all over the room, and set up director’s chairs to set the tone. Go with a black and red balloon tower with gold stars at the top to line the entry.
  • Casino: Go black, red, and white all over! Use a deck of cards to spiral out centerpieces or room décor. Cut out hearts, clubs, clovers, and diamonds out of butcher paper to place around the room. Give everyone a fedora to wear for group photos.
  • Memories: Print off large prints of photos from past events throughout the year, and place them all around. If hosting your event at Cinergy, we can fill almost every poster frame with a picture from your school to give it a yearbook feel.

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Your theme will also tie into the activities. You should select activities that will entice your group to come while providing enough to do so they’ll stay entertained for the duration of the event. An “All Night Party” can be as successful in your own high school as it can be in a different venue, such as Cinergy. We suggest selecting a venue that already has all activities available, which helps eliminate the worry of selecting third-party vendors and headache of ensuring they arrive night-of.

Examples & suggestions:

  • Hollywood: Have a private showing of a movie, have attendees walk the red carpet and have their photo taken, have an award ceremony, and close the night with ‘credits’ to the volunteers!
  • Casino: Set up blackjack, roulette, and poker. Give out chips to everyone to play out on the floor.
  • Cinergy Activities: Play games on the Cinergy game floor including guitar hero, fruit ninja, Laser Tag, and more. Hook up your own gaming system to a projector and have a competition. Prepare and watch you own slide show on the BIG screen.

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Will all the activities you are offering, your group is bound to get hungry and thirsty! Make sure you’ve planned ahead to have enough food to feed everyone. We recommend having your event at a place that has a kitchen and offers catering. This reduces the stress of food arriving late, cold, or not having enough of it!

Examples & suggestions:

  • Hollywood: Dress up hot dogs with black & white tissue paper so they look like tuxes. Serve popcorn, red liquorish, and cupcakes with stars on top.
  • Casino: Cut brownies into squares and place white frosting dots on them so that they look like dice. Make fruit skewers with red strawberries, and blackberries or grapes. Serve up a nacho- bar in martini glasses.
  • American Favorites: Everyone loves delicious pizza, tasty burgers, chicken tenders, and nachos – especially when they are Cinergy chef-prepared. Popcorn and soda make a great snack for in between meals.

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Have a meeting at the venue beforehand, and invite parents, friends, volunteers, business leaders, and booster clubs out to explain the importance of having such an event. The event can provide an opportunity to get strong support from parents and the community. It also raises awareness amongst students, parents, and in the community. See if members of the community are willing to partner with the project by donating time or money.

You may decide to seek donations or free involvement from local restaurants, tech stores, or hangout spots. This will help provide you with fun giveaway items as well as provide an interesting activity for your event. (Need some tips for fundraising? Check out our Fundraising blog!)

Provide a theme, have many activities, and get involvement from the parents and community, and your event is sure to be a success (and hopefully become a new tradition)!

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We’re experts in Event Planning, so think about Cinergy for your end of the year event! By having your post-graduation/post prom at Cinergy, we’ll provide you with the event planning that you need to make sure that your participants are in a safe environment and having fun all night. We offer adrenaline-pumping Laser Tag and Sky Walker high-ropes challenge, a fully-loaded game floor, delicious food and the latest movies that will have your participants making memories all night!