There are many factors to take into consideration when organising a ball for your course or department, and time management is definitely the biggest one. While you are about to organise what could be the best ball of the year, you still have assignments due and exams approaching, learn to balance your college work, exam prep and down time for yourself.
You will need a group of willing volunteers to help with ticket sales if you are organising a department ball try to get two or three people from each course to help with this so you can create a ticket sales timetable that ensures no-one will miss any class time.
From start to finish:
- Setting the date
- Call into the Students’ Union and talk to your Entertainments Officer for advice on your event as well as what date will suit the students. We keep a good record of all events happening on and off campus so you can find out what date students will be free to attend a ball.
- Booking the venue
- Ring around! There are plenty of hotel venues in Carlow so compare prices and capacity. What meal will students get? Is there vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free options? You need to cater to your crowd, and the last thing you want is these issues arising on the night!
- Choosing a theme
- This is an optional side of organising a ball, but it always makes organising and designing the event much more exciting. It gives you an idea to work towards and gives the attendees something to look forward to on the night.
- Ordering tickets/wristbands
- Again, ask your Entertainments Officer for quotes and contacts. We order plenty of tickets and wristbands throughout the academic year, so we know where to go for the best prices.
For a ball, we recommend you go with thin, paper wristbands, numbered! Tickets are easily lost or broken.
- Setting up the event page
- This is where you are going to promote the guts of your event. Be very clear about dates and times of the event as well as the cost; this is the first things the students will want to know. Post daily about the event, what times will you be selling tickets and where? (Ask your Entertainments Officer to get permission for you to set up a poster board and desk outside AIB bank has proved effective for most) If your budget allows it, run a Facebook competition for a free ticket, this *like, share, comment* competition will allow your event to travel further to friends of friends and gain more traction.
- Poster design
- If you are in a design course, you will have no issues with poster design for your event. If not; we suggest you use Canva, a beginner’s web page for graphic design. If this does not work for you, call into your Students’ Union, and we can help you out with this. You can use the printing services in the Students’ Union for posters.
- Selling tickets/wristbands
- Organise a timetable that rotates the availability of all event organisers; you should aim to have someone selling tickets every day for around two weeks leading up to the event. Keep possible attendees up to date on when you will be selling tickets through the event Facebook page or any other form of social media you choose to use to promote the event.
- Your budget will be based on how many tickets you sell, the deposit on the venue and how much the meal costs per student. All profits made on the tickets after taking all costs into consideration should go into decorations and extra bits on the night, i.e. a photo booth/photographer, centerpieces, band/DJ. Again, if you need any help with this end, your Entertainments Officer is here to help.
- When hiring a band, you will want to make sure they are good, come at a reasonable cost and bring their own PA equipment if the venue does not have that to provide. Check their social media for past events, ring for a quote and check availability but do not confirm until you are sure they are the ones you want to go for.
DJ’s should bring their own equipment, make sure you speak to the DJ about what kind of music you want them to play on the night
- On the night
- You will need someone to make sure everyone who gets in is wearing a wristband / has a ticket. Some groups hire security for this; some do the checks themselves. This must be organised before the event.
Payments- if you have not paid for certain things before the night you will need to keep all of your money safe (the last thing you want is to have to pay for the band yourself)
Make sure you get in mid-day to set up all decorations etc.
Get in before anyone else to allow time to speak with management to smooth over any last minute details you may have to organise.