How to Capitalize on Prom Season

by Christina Krenek

Prom is one of the quintessential high school events for students. As the big party approaches this spring, students across the country are planning or have already pulled off their “promposals” – extravagant invitations to prom from one student to another. Promposals are just one part of the growing trend of prom excess, where students and parents are willing to spend big bucks to celebrate in style. Spa days, luxury limousines, expensive restaurants; nothing is off limits for the modern prom party. In 2014, total prom spending reached an all-time high of $978 per student, according to the annual Visa Prom Spending Survey.

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It’s a competitive season for everyone, including businesses that can reap the benefits of the popular and expensive event. If your business falls in the prom season sweet spot, it’s worth promoting your services through visual communications. Here are a few ideas these businesses can use to help students and parents have an unforgettable prom experience.

School Signs

The best place to reach students and their parents is at the school itself. For a long-term approach, contact school districts about advertising at their schools. Schools use a variety of signage around their campuses, including scoreboards, scrolling digital signs and banners. Buying a spot on these signs can go a long way in building awareness of your business within your community. If school districts allow you to post banners or posters within the school, take them up on it. Your posters will look right at home next to invites to the Spanish Club’s annual fiesta.

Loud and Proud Prom Promotions

Many businesses that benefit from prom season, including tuxedo rental shops, boutiques, salons and florists are located in malls, where permanent signage space can be limited. As prom budgets have become oversized, so should your prom promotion signs. A banner or intricate window graphic could stretch the length of your store, highlighting your can’t-miss deal or unmatched selection. Prom is an exciting time for teenagers, so your signs for prom should carry that same enthusiasm.

Team Up with Other Local Businesses

There are many parts to the prom puzzle. From the dress to the hair and the tux to the limo, promgoers will be singling out a handful of businesses to bring the night together. If it makes sense for you, team up with another business in town to offer prom packages. By offering services in tandem, businesses can offer more affordable prices and make it less stressful for parents and students who are organizing the event.

Post Prom

Don’t forget post prom, where students, parents and faculty team up to throw a fun and safe party after the dance. For many of these events, local businesses offer their services to the school. This can be a great opportunity to build a relationship with your local school and community, even for businesses that don’t necessarily fall in that prom season sweet spot. You could sponsor a game, booth or event, using prom signs to boost awareness and help the event run smoothly.

Promoting and participating in prom are great ways to boost your business profile and help your community at the same time. As we all know, word spreads fast in a high school setting, so creating a buzz could establish your business as the go-to vendor for every prom season.

Resources

http://choices.scholastic.com/story/debate-prom-spending-out-control

http://www.practicalmoneyskills.com/resources/pdfs/Prom_Survey_2015.pdf

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