How to Plan a School Carnival and Fundraiser

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School Carnival Planning Tips and Idea

You have a lot of responsibility hoisted upon you when you are given the important title of school carnival organizer.  You must coordinate what seems like a thousand different things in the matter of a couple weeks.  It can be quite overwhelming if you have never done it before.

  Here are list list of school carnival planning tips and ideas to hopefully make your school carnival a little easier to plan:

  1.  Think like a carnival-goer.  If you were going to a school carnival, how would you want your experience to flow?  Think about all the things that are priorities for the people attending.  The adults want easy access in and out of the carnival.  They also want a safe environment for their kids.  You can think of this process as doing a "customer assessment".  If you want your carnival to be a huge success, you have to make sure you serve your customer, not what you think will be successful.  In this case your customers are the kids and their parents.

  2.  Parking.  This is the first thing that people experience when they arrive at your school carnival.  If parking is an absolute nightmare, your guests will start off in the wrong mindset upon arrival at the carnival.  There is nothing worse than arriving at an event and having absolutely nowhere to park.  Consider having a few teacher volunteers help direct traffic through the parking lot.  Or think about hiring professional help with parking attendants.  This would lower your school's liability risk in the end.

  3.  Admission.  When you think about admissions at your school carnival, think not only about the price, but about how admissions will be administered.  Most likely your guests will arrive right at the prescribed carnival start time.  You would like your guests to arrive earlier than the start time, but this likely will not happen.  You need to pre-sell admissions to your carnival!  This is very important.  You can even offer a discount for pre-sales.  Pre-sellling tickets and admission will help avoid long lines at the entrance.  Adults and kids get frustrated when they have to wait forever to get into the carnival.

  4. Activities. Planning the day’s activities is an absolutely crucial part of planning a school carnival. The activities are what will attract people to your carnival, keep them there, and keep them entertained. The best activities for a school carnival are ones that are interactive and fun. You will want to have a number of inflatable games and rides for the kids to play on while they attend the carnival. Rent a giant slide, bounce house, joust, bungee run, boxing ring, maze, and possibly another smaller slide and your carnival will be all set.

5. Games and Prizes. Set up an area at your school carnival for kids to play games. You can have a ring toss, pitching game, and mini-golf stand set up and hand out fun prizes or tickets to the kids when they do well in the games. This is a great way for the kids to win things to take home and remember the great school carnival they attended!

6. Pricing. There are a couple ways you can price admission and tickets for your school carnival. You can choose to charge your carnival-goers for admission into the event. This admission can be used to defray the cost of renting inflatables, buying food, and other costs associated with your school carnival. The other, and preferable, method for pricing is to charge your guests only for the things they use or buy. A great way to do this would be to not charge for admission, then sell tickets for rides and food. You may also choose to sell unlimited ride bracelets for the inflatables.

7. Food. You must serve some decent food at your school carnival. Be sure to keep it simple. A parent may offer to make their special recipe to serve to everyone at the carnival, but make sure this “carnival food” has mass-appeal. You don’t want to try to serve everyone something that nobody likes. Keep it to hot dogs, hamburgers, nachos, and serve up some sodas and candy. You can sell these items for a profit for your school. Use the food as a fundraiser! If you plan your carnival during a meal time you can really capitalize on your food sales.

8. Staffing. Make sure you have an adequate number of volunteers and other staff for the carnival at your school. Teachers, parents, students, and student council groups are a great source of volunteers for your event. You can also check with the company you rented your inflatables from and see if they offer staffing for their own equipment. There are certain items that you will want them to staff like slides and obstacle courses. Still count on having a volunteer at each inflatable, just so that you can make sure you have adequate staffing. You can never have too many volunteers at the carnival!

9. Souvenirs. You may want to consider having souvenirs like shirts, hats, or other school spirit items available for sale at your carnival. This encourages the kids and parents to support your school at the carnival and after the party is over. You could even have the souvenirs be a fundraiser for the school. You can use the proceeds from the sales of the souvenirs for student council activities in the future. Souvenirs could also be photographs taken in front of a cool background or you could even get someone to do green screen pictures at your event!

10. Clean Up. Cleaning up a school carnival can be a real pain. Make it easier on yourself by following the advice in number 8. Find plenty of staff and volunteers and your job will be much easier!

Planning a school carnival will be an easy task following the 10 steps above. Remember to cover all the details and you will be on your way to a very successful school carnival!

AZ Bounce Pro does school carnival planning. We are your source for all the inflatables for your carnival. Be sure to contact us if you have a big event coming up!