How Many Kids in your school – This is your potential. Now Not everyone in your school can attend. Jobs, no interest, other responsibilities all play a factor. A good goal might be 80%. If you have 1000 kids in your school you should have a potential number of 800. If you 400 kids in your school than 320 is your potential. If you get more than that, Bonus!
Take your biggest and most well attended dance of the year. Compare the attendance of that dance to the total number in your school. This number doesn’t include kids that attend from other schools.
Once you have the potential attendance, play with the numbers.
List your expenses
Cost of the DJ
Cost of the Decorations
Cost of the Refreshments
Cost of the Venue/Location
Cost to Advertise
What amount of profit do you want to make
Keep in Mind when you are figuring your Budget
Decorations should be focused on the Entrance
Refreshments – Breath Mints and Water
Photographer – Should be a separate cost
Venue – School location. I often hear kids say that: “everyone wants the dance to be somewhere other than the school”! Well what that says is that the experience at the school is not good enough! Check out our post on Improving the experience.
The DJ – Is responsible for a good share of the experience.
Question: With your list of expenses, what does each expense contribute to the success of the party? Some better ways to ask this question…
What do kids complain about?
Why would kids leave early?
If your DJ doesn’t show up, will the decorations be enough to save the party?
If there is no music will people stick around for 3 hours to enjoy the decorations, breath mints and water?
Do people leave early because the decorations are bad?
While these questions seem obvious, typically school traditions say spend most of your budget on decorations. However, when the dance starts, please turn off the lights! Often times decorations cannot be seen with the lights off.
So, the question still stands… What percentage of your expense list contributes to the success of the party?
DJ – Responsible for 80% of the success!
What do we do with the other 20%?
Which part of the experience are you spending your budget on?
Play with the numbers – Example
Let say you have 300 kids show up to your Dance X 5.00 per person = $1500. 80% of 1500 = $1200. If 80% of the outcome of your dances is the DJs Responsibility. If your attendance is 100 X 5.00 = $500. When you start calling around to DJs to find out prices and $500 is the cheapest you can find than raising your fee to get in is the next best option. Remember if you cut the experience you cut the attendance. Let’s say that 50 kids don’t come because the music experience is bad. 50 X 5.00 = $250. In some cases that might be the extra amount needed to pay for the DJ anyway.
The 80% of your budget is a suggestion. You might be able to have a great experience spending 50% of your budget on the DJ. This might be some trial and error. If you can spend 50% of your budget on the DJ and have an incredible experience – Awesome!
Now, let’s say you achieve your goal of getting 80% of your student body to attend – play with the numbers…
What if you raise your price 1 or 2 or 5 dollars, could that make a difference? See our post on Experience.
Being consistent with your budget is key to the success of your dances. Now Kids might say well we don’t know the numbers?
This could take some work. Looking at the history, making sure that you keep track during the year. Have a spread sheet that keeps track. Keep track of your students as well as kids from other schools. Kids from other schools can’t be included with your budget, this would be the hoped for bonus. If the experience is good, the bonus will come. The numbers are key for decision making and success.