How to Plan a College Graduation Event

July 1, 2019
By: Marquee Event Rentals

Whether you’re planning a graduation event for your family or for an entire class, here are some helpful tips to get you started in the right direction. 

A college degree requires countless hours of hard work and represents a significant benchmark in someone’s life. Of the millions of students who enroll in college each year, only about 60 percent eventually finish their degree. In short, a college graduation is truly something to celebrate.

Planning a celebration for a recent college graduate? Follow our experts’ tips below to plan a graduation event that honors their accomplishments and is enjoyable for all.  

Graduation Event Planning

Preparation is the key to success before starting to plan an event for your grad. Consider your resources and budget before choosing a guest list or setting a date. Ask the honoree for honest feedback about the kind of party they would like and present them with a few different options.

Choose an appropriate venue for your graduation event. The family home may be convenient for you, but some graduates may feel self-conscious inviting professors and peers to a location where their baby pictures are in full view. Reserving a banquet room, restaurant, or event space are popular alternatives. At a third-party location, caterers and planners can handle many of the details, not to mention clean-up. Planners on a budget might choose a local park or a friend’s backyard.

Make your graduation event fun and festive. Create a playlist of popular music from the years your graduate spent in school, decorate using balloons, table linens, and napkins in their school colors, and invite guests to share a favorite memory - either aloud or written on a notecard and pinned to a board.

Create a college graduation event planning checklist. Here are a few “to do’s” to get you started:

  • Book a venue (if applicable)
  • Send out invitations and ask about dietary needs
  • Reserve event rentals (see below)
  • Designate someone to shoot photos and/or video
  • Create an event hashtag (make sure no one else is using it first) 

What to Rent for Your Graduation Event

Here are some items you may need to rent for a graduation event:

A/V Equipment - Every fun party needs music, and most graduation parties include at least one speech honoring the graduate. In addition to a microphone and speakers, a video screen and projector can be used to share photos, videos, and other memories.

Buffet Tables - Buffets are a simple, cost-effective way to keep guests happy and fed. You’ll need a few tables for food and at least two more for drinks (one for non-alcoholic and another for adult beverages). Consider providing an additional draped table for gifts, and/or a guest book.

Tents - Use one or more tents to provide shelter from the elements for both food and guests.

Rentals for Graduation Events

Whether your event is on the grounds of a winery, in a local park, or your own backyard, the event experts at Marquee can help you plan a celebration that will make your graduate feel loved and appreciated.

No event is too large or too small. We’ve helped clients with simple celebrations and formal, country club events. Contact one of our event experts in Chicago, Kansas City, Milwaukee, Austin, Dallas, or San Antonio and let us know about your event goals and budget.