Summer Prom

Round Rock, TX (Pop. 180,000) which includes proper and the outlying areas falls within the metropolitan area of Austin, and provides three pools and one waterpark to the community: Micki Krebsbach pool, Lake Creek pool, Clay Madsen Recreation Center, and Rock ‘N River Water Park. Nichole Bohner has been with Round Rock for almost two years. Here is an excerpt from her interview:
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What is Summer Prom?

Our Round Rock Aquatic staff committed to providing team-building recognition event each month and Summer Prom was our August event. Summer Prom is a three-hour event that is the culmination of our recognition and rewards activities for the summer of 2017, tuxedo and formal dress encouraged.

In 2016, we surveyed the seasonal team members, and found they wanted more opportunities for comradery. A Prom was one of the ideas that was brought up and that we could logistically hold. It took one month to iron out all the logistics and planning for Summer Prom. We used one of Round Rock’s facility rental venues: The Rabb House, as the Summer Prom site.

Summer Prom was sanctioned by the agency and allocated a $1,000.00 budget for decorations and food. The agency also allocated 2 full-time aquatic team members and 2 full-time summer camp team members to do planning, set-up, and chaperoning for the Prom with the idea both department would use the Summer Prom event as a collaboration. About 300 seasonal aquatic and seasonal summer camp team members were invited with the caveat that each staff member was allowed a date or a guest.

Why did you allow staff to bring a guest?

We wanted team members to bring a friend, and by getting the opportunity to view what the Round Rock culture is like, the friend would get excited and want to join our team next year.

How did you get the word out for Summer Prom?

We did some research on Instagram and identified a hashtag that didn’t have a lot of traction, meaning it the hashtag wasn’t being used by a lot of other people. This allowed us to use hashtag: #Summerprom as our own.

We also utilized Eventbrite. Eventbrite is free service that is a platform that allows event organizers to plan, promote, and sell tickets to events across multiple social networks: Facebook, Twitter, etc. We had staff RSVP for the Summer Prom through Eventbrite give us a strong indication of how many team members would be attending. Over 150 RSVPed, and another 200 showed up on the day of the event.

Food was mainly hors d’oeuvres for the first 2-hours; cheese trays, Chex mix in cups, veggie platters. We had an ice cream bar for the last hour consisting of various toppings and assorted ice cream flavors. Sam’s Club Market was the main source of where we got all the food items.

Were there any activities?

The first portion of the event, there was check-in which allowed the team members to vote on which members should receive various fun awards, like “Best Tan” along with Prom Queen and King, which would be announced in the latter half of the evening. Apart from Prom Queen and King, all other voting was done via Google Survey. Inside the Rabb House there was a manned photo booth, appetizer buffet, and a dance floor with a live DJ. Outside there were multiple lawn games: bean bag and ladder toss, and spike ball and various other lawn activities.

The second portion was the announcement of all the awards recipients and who was the Prom Queen and King, and followed it up with the ice cream bar. We had a slideshow projected onto the wall playing through the event where we could add photos and the team members could add photos via Goggle Photos link, and the new photos would be queued up and incorporated into slideshow on the next rotation. The team members loved it, I had a team member monitor what was being uploaded, so the slideshow feed remained appropriate. I also purchased a Snapchat filter ($14 purchase) that could be used event. It got 53 uses, 94 swipes, and over 7,000 people saw our brand from that evening.

What were some of the challenges you encounter the day of the event?

The event started at 8pm, set-up with decorations of the Rabb House started at 1pm. Most of the money was going towards food so we used balloons as a main decoration, and borrow Hawaiian/Tiki themed decorations the Senior Center. The DJ was a team member who had a side gig as a DJ, who provided his time at a reduced cost. We also had the Maintenance department construct a photo booth arch. The Food was ordered ahead, so all we had to do was do a pick-up. Clean-up took one hour after the event ended.

Was there a need for a code of conduct to be established?

At in-service, we reminded our team members that Summer Prom is city event and you will act like a professional. We encouraged them to have fun within reason. Don’t act stupid. There a strong adult presence, which curbed the need to discipline staff.

What was the benefit of hosting Summer Prom?

It got the city of Round Rock out there to teens on who we are and what we do. We do the traditional, school visits and job fairs, however that doesn’t necessarily give teenagers an organic feel on what we do. The event brings teens in the door to see the Round Rock culture.

Any advice you would give to someone who wanted was interested in doing this event?

Prepare in advance and be smart about your budget. Try to schedule the event around a time that college staff are still around and has a minimal effect on next day operations. Upgrade the photo booth, get feedback via survey from the team members immediately follow the event. And lastly, hype the event from the very beginning of the season.

In the below you will find examples of a flyer, a timeline, and a layout of the building.