Graduation Party News

Graduation Party


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 19, 2013 Releases Results of 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 graduation parties.

  • $578 was the average amount spent on graduation parties.
  • 24% of party planners hired a caterer and 17% purchased food from a restaurant.
  • 71% of party planners hosted their party in their home. 29% hosted their celebration at a party room, park, rental hall or unique venue.
  • Additional expenses were incurred preparing homes for the party, with 23% reporting the completion of some type of home improvement project ranging from a small $75 deck staining job to a $10,000 kitchen makeover. The motivation to get projects completed in time for the grad party inspired people to spend an average of $1,420.
  • 30% of party planners rented party equipment (tents, tables, chairs, serving ware, activities like large inflatables).
  • The average number of party guests was 67.
  • 51% served alcoholic beverages to their adult guests.

“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. In addition to traditional mailed invitations, 88% of hosts used some type of internet-based media to invite their guests. Of those using social media, 58% were satisfied with the control over who was invited, but only 47% felt they had a good idea on how many people would attend. One party planner explained her disappointment, “The people I gave traditional invitations to attended the party. Of the people invited over Facebook, only about 20% showed up.”


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. 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 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 (13% up from 10% in 2010) 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. One solution is to hosting a party outside of your home.


The survey was conducted between July 25 and August 31, 2012. 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 book. 3,300,000 students will graduate from high school in 2013. This represents a lot of party planning.


Additional results include:


One troubling statistic is the number of parents serving alcoholic beverages to adults at their parties increased to 51%. Venable believes that “parent hosted parties should be spirited, but spirit-free.”


Only 2% of party planners held their celebrations as a brunch (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