Graduation Party News

Graduation Party


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 13, 2011 Releases Results of 2010 Graduation Party Survey


Eden Prairie, MN –, ( the leader in online advice for parents planning a graduation party with over 600,000 visitors per year, conducted a survey of recent graduation party planners across the United States.


The survey results showed that parents put a lot of effort, time and money into graduations parties.

  • $983 was the average amount spent on graduation parties.
  • 28% of party planners hired a caterer and 26% purchased food from a restaurant.
  • 67% of party planners hosted their party in their home. 33% hosted their celebration at a party room, park, rental hall or unique venue.
  • Additional expenses were incurred preparing homes for the party, with 37% reporting the completion of some type of home improvement project ranging from a small $200 paint job to a $200,000 total home remodel. The motivation to get projects completed in time for the grad party inspired people to spend an average of $1,633 (the extreme $200,000 remodel was not included when averaging).
  • 56% of party planners rented party equipment (tents, tables, chairs, serving ware, activities like large inflatables)
  • The average number of party guests was 90.

“Facebook may be all the rage for teenagers communicating, but don’t rely on it to invite people to your graduation party,” says Ginger Venable, partner, Parents reported lackluster results from social media invites, citing lots of confirmed guests ended up being no-shows. 47% of hosts used some type of internet-based media to invite their guests. Of those using social media, 55% were satisfied with the control over who was invited, but only 39% felt they had a good idea on how many people would attend. One party planner explained her disappointment, “The people I gave paper invitations to attended the party. Of the people invited over Facebook, only about 10% showed up.”


Another party planner said, “My older son graduated back in the days of using the US Mail and handing out invites in school. Facebook can scare you. 349 confirmed guests! We had approximately 60 kids stop by.” Venable recommends using social media as a supplement to mailing or handing out attention-getting invitations to your A-list.


Most party planners reported a great experience with their party, but those who were dissatisfied with their parties were disappointed by the weak turnout and the short stay of some of the guests. Venable says, “In addition to the unreliability of social media, another problematic finding is the fact that 65% of party planners held their party on the Saturday afternoon after the graduation ceremony, creating a competition of sorts. Venable adds that weeknights or brunches are a great alternative.


Not knowing how many guests to plan for is very frustrating. It creates a huge challenge for the host in figuring out how much food to purchase. The number one response for ‘what would I do differently?’ was “order less food!” A "food formula" is available on to help party planners determine how much food to serve.


Two emerging trends/demographic changes the survey revealed are that more people are co-hosting parties with other graduates to save money in this soft economy (10%) and the number of people who face the issue of divorced spouses (25%). Graduation party planners that are divorced need to decide if they are going to host separate parties or just one event. A civilized solution is for one parent to host a big traditional party and the other a small special dinner event.


The survey was conducted between June 30 and July 30, 2010. has been researching graduation party trends and providing parents with free online advice since 1998. With 315 web pages of advice the site covers “Graduation Parties: Everything You Need to Know From Start to Finish”, which is also the name of their original book, published in 2007 by Lanewood. The Eden Prairie, MN based company has seen the number of people hosting graduation parties grow dramatically in the past ten years and estimates that 3,273,000 students will graduate in 2011. This represents a lot of party planning. They plan to conduct a similar survey in 2011.


Additional results include:


53% did not serve any type of alcoholic beverages at their parties, even to adults. Venable believes that “parent hosted parties should be spirited, but spirit-free entertainment for graduates.”


84% of users of consider the site an excellent or very good source of helpful information.


Only 1% of party planners held their celebrations as a brunch, which was defined as 10:00 am – 1:00 pm. This time slot is far less competitive.


For more information or to arrange an interview please contact:


Ginger Venable

9172 Victoria Drive

Eden Prairie, MN 55347

(952) 934-0932