When to Start Planning Your School’s Graduation

Claudia Artandi For Educators, Graduation

When to Start Planning Your School’s Graduation

Before seniors take a huge step into university life or the working world, they culminate their journey with a graduation ceremony. Attended by hundreds of family members, graduation day is a complex undertaking with many moving parts. For administrators, it’s crucial to start preparing as early as possible.

By planning a graduation ceremony checklist, you will ensure that your school is adequately prepared when commencement day arrives. Below, we’ve shared when to start planning school graduation ceremony details during the school year.

Enroll in a Ceremony Planning Program

Typically, the administrators in a school’s events department start planning for commencement as soon as summer vacation ends. In some cases, the planning never stops, because a few students may graduate during the summer school session. We recommend getting an early start, and a ceremony planning program can help. These free programs serve as a handy guide through graduation traditions, with event planning tools that keep the process on track.  


Have a Detailed Strategy

As a commencement planner, you need to have a deep understanding of several things.  These could include, the venue layout, parking, and other logistics that make an event run smoothly. Moreover, you should get in touch with third-party vendors as soon as possible, to avoid mixups. Once you have a firm grasp on venue variables, schedule a meeting with campus police or consider hiring a security detail. 


Make Sure the Venue is Safe for All Ages

Safety is about more than just police protection, however. The commencement venue should be accessible to everyone in attendance, such as disabled and elderly people. Furthermore, there should be plenty of exits around the venue, so attendees can leave quickly in an emergency. By planning for every possible situation on graduation day, your team will feel confident and prepared. 

When to Start Planning Your School's Graduation

Keep the Festivities Moving with a Strict Schedule

Typically, graduation day takes place on a hot June afternoon, with attendees basking in direct sunlight.  We recommend setting a time limit for commencement speeches, and encouraging speakers to share relatable and inspiring anecdotes. You can also set up a projector and run a retrospective slideshow as guests arrive.


Start Hiring Professionals

Finally, it’s important to find talented photographers and camera operators for the occasion, so that parents can put their smartphones away. Most family members would rather pay for professional photos than compete with other attendees for that perfect camera angle. 

Ready for the big day?

At GraduationSource, we know the commencement planning process takes time, but it doesn’t have to be difficult. Call (800) 352-6162 to speak to our Graduation Concierge today, or read our Graduation Concierge FAQs here.