Graduation Guide Book: Do’s and Don’ts for Planning the Perfect Commencement

Graduation season is fast approaching and now is the best time to start finalizing your plans and putting those details into action. Previously we provided some key advice for tackling the most obvious decisions you must make throughout the planning process like setting a budget and having a back-up plan. But there are still many more details to take into consideration – especially if you’re planning for thousands of guests!

To provide you with even more useful information for planning the perfect commencement, we developed our own list of the top 6 Do’s and Don’ts. With the help of this “Graduation Guide,” you will be less likely to overlook an important detail or make a common mistake that could put a damper on this very special day. Take a look!

Do match your location to the size and style of your ceremony

Many colleges and universities opt to have their graduation ceremonies outside on an open lawn or within a stadium. This is a great idea because you can design the staging to look exactly the way you want it and space is not often an issue. For winter graduations, outside is not an option, so you will want to scout out suitable indoor venues like an auditorium or sports arena.

What you must take special note of is whether your venue matches the size and style of your ceremony. For a small and intimate graduation, indoors is ideal. For a large and high-energy celebration, an outdoor venue is best. A big mistake is mismatching the style with the venue. Not only is it noticeable to your audience, it can also be confusing and uncomfortable.

This massive tent creates a comfortable graduation venue were spectators can enjoy bring outside while still being comfortable.
This massive tent creates an outdoor graduation venue were spectators can enjoy the weather while still being comfortable.

Do provide enough chairs, tents and staging with the help of a rental company

Very rarely does a college or university have enough chairs, tents and staging in their own inventory to accommodate their annual graduation ceremony. For this single event, it hardly make sense to take up so much storage space and capital for these items.

When planning your ceremony, do work with an event rental company, like Event Central, who can provide you with a high volume of chairs, tents and staging. We take care of the delivery, set-up and tear-down. We also provide fun and unique rental items as well that can make the after-ceremony celebration quite memorable!

Imagine keeping this many chairs in storage year round! It's best to outsource to an event rental company that can accommodate your large ceremony.
Imagine keeping this many chairs in storage year round! It’s best to outsource to an event rental company that can accommodate your large ceremony.

Don’t wait to secure your special guests

For your ceremony, you’ll likely want a special guest or two to provide the opening remarks or keynote speech. Prominent people’s schedules book up fast, so don’t delay securing your date with them. A big mistake is to overlook this important detail and then be stuck without any suitable backup options. Ask early – even years in advance – as soon as you know your graduation date!

Do plan your program timeline well in advance

While you are securing your special guests, you should also go ahead and outline the full program for the ceremony. This is something that should not be left until the last minute when it’s too late to iron out any kinks. Planning your program timeline will also ensure your ceremony isn’t too long or too short and that you don’t leave out something important.

Don’t forget to formally invite your audience

In the midst of all your other planning, you might very well forget to communicate the date and details of the graduation ceremony with some of the most important people – your spectators! Your graduates will want their family and friends in the audience, so be sure to create an invitation (mailed, emailed or both) and spread the word far and wide!

Don’t try and do it all yourself!

Finally and most importantly, call upon experts to help you out. Event Central offers free event consultation and we’re happy to talk with you more about the details of your ceremony and advise you on what you need to make it a success. A professional event rental company not only has the inventory to make your job easier, we also have special technology that makes our services quick, consistent and top-quality. This is something we pass on to our clients – often including a substantial cost-savings compared to the time and resources it would take you to set-up a large graduation ceremony all on your own.

Our tools and technology allow us to move large amounts of inventory quickly and safely.
Our tools and technology allow us to move large amounts of inventory quickly and safely.

What other ideas do you have for planning a perfect commencement ceremony? Share your thoughts by commenting below!

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