A military ball is a formal dinner and dance event that is typically attended by soldiers at a military base or members of an ROTC program. The event is a highlight for the military personnel and is usually held annually. Be sure to work out all of the details concerning the ball far in advance -- at least two months prior to the date of the event. You will need to accommodate for time to raise funds as well as sell tickets. A venue will need at least two weeks notice with the final head count to set the menu in place.
How to Plan a Military Ball
Things You'll Need
Planning the Event
Determine an approximate number of guests. This will be crucial in pinpointing appropriate venues as many establishments have minimums or maximums for usage.
Choose a venue by reviewing event and banquet menus online or by contacting establishments. The venue will be your best starting point as that would determine if you need to contact caterers or what decorations, if any, you will need to provide. Be sure there is ample room for seating and dancing. Also determine what extras are included, such as table linens, beverages, centerpieces and music, by speaking to the banquet manager.
Establish a date and time for the event and clear the date details with the venue to make sure they have the date available.
Choose a menu for the ball. A military ball will typically include a sit down or buffet-style dinner.
Calculate the amount of money the ball will cost. Set up a budget with the cost of food, banquet hall rental, entertainment and decorations. Decide the amount tickets will be sold for and calculate how much money will remain to be raised after estimated ticket sales.
Coordinate fund raising activities to offset whatever portion of the balance will be leftover after expected ticket sales. A bake sale or raffle would be an appropriate way to help bridge the gap in your budget.
Establish a dress code for the event and include on the tickets, along with the location, date and time of the ball. Typically the men wear their uniforms and women and civilian guests wear formal attire.
Create your ball tickets. You can order them through a paper company or store that specializes in items like invitations. You also can make them yourself -- something simple that keeps costs down as well. In Microsoft Word, click on File, then New in your top toolbar. Type tickets under templates and select the template that best suits your ball theme. Enter all the information and print out the number of tickets you need when you have the desired presentation of your ticket. Be sure to number them so people don't create duplicates.
Promote the ball with fliers and announcements. Print fliers with the basic information such as event title, ticket cost, venue and date and time of the ball, and distribute them in mess halls and barracks as well as common areas. Send out email blasts with the information to your directory of soldiers or ROTC members. Write a press release outlining an event and distribute to local newspapers, radio stations and television stations. Include a note about fund raising and where to send donations in the press release.
Be sure to account for all costs as early as possible in the planning process so you will be aware as to how much money will need to be raised through tickets and fund raising. Elements such as gratuities, transportation, promotion and ticket printing could all add to your overall budget.