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Ultimate Bid Day "To Do" Checklist

Ultimate Bid Day "To Do" Checklist

If you're involved with planning your chapter's bid day celebration, being creative, developing an eye for the details and getting organized is the key to executing a memorable event.

Certainly your sorority has it's own traditions and training, but maybe there are a few new ideas you'd like to try. Or, you need a little help with planning and inspiration. Maybe you belong to a small chapter and you could really use some bid day advice.

For all of those situations, I have prepared this "checklist" of sugary things you can do to maximize your sorority's bid day fun. Attention to every detail is what will take your celebration to the next level. Make it a spectacular day to remember! 

🍭 Prepping for a Fabulous Bid Day  Master Checklist 🍭

• #1 - Pick a fantastic theme! Choose one from the sorority sugar Master List of Bid Day Themes from A to Z! Everything flows from your theme, so choose wisely and use your theme consistently when making all your other creative decisions.

• Pick a fabulous slogan to match your theme. Once you pick the overall theme, you need a catch phrase to go with it. This slogan can be used on banners, signs and photo frames. For example ~ 

  • "Welcome to the Ivy League"
  • "Kappas in Wonderland"
  • "Chi O'Merica"
  • "The Greatest Sorority of Them All"
  • "Under the Sea with KD"
  • "A League of our Own"
  • "From Her Cowboy Boots to Her ZETA roots."

• Order bid cards and envelopes for each new member. These are filled out when your final new member list is confirmed.

• Invite alumnae and other special guests if it’s your chapter 's tradition to include them in the celebration. If you need helping hands, send out a request for alum volunteers to assist with bid day.

• Order bid day tee shirts/tank tops for actives and new members. A fun idea is to use the same design, but print it in two different colors. One shade for actives and one for new members. Also keep in mind your sister's figures and personality when selecting an apparel style. Super short crop tops and slim fit tanks don't look amazing on all body types. Be kind.

• Coordinate the chapterwear 'look’ for all the actives. What is everyone going to wear with their bid day tees shirts? White shorts, white pants, denim shorts, or themed leggings are all good ideas.

• Order coordinating accessories for your sisters to use on the big day. Customize each piece to fit your theme. Cute accessory ideas include ~

  • fanny packs
  • caps
  • socks
  • foam fingers
  • flower leis
  • buttons
  • bandanas 
  • sunglasses
  • foam crowns or hats
  • plastic bead necklaces
  • temporary tattoos
  • face paints
  • mini megaphones
  • handheld flags or pendants
  • paper fans
  • feather boas
  • lanyards 
  • whistles
  • hair ties
  • nail wraps

• Order your customized bid day tote bags and new member goodies to go inside. Choose from the full spectrum of promotional sorority swag. Buttons, magnets, pencils, pens, decals, koozies, socks, key chains, luggage tags, note pads, pillowcases, tumblers, lanyards, etc. 

• Make themed notifiers for each new member. These can be attached to a stick, hand held, or hung around the neck with ribbon or string. Leave a space to add specific names the night before bid day. 

• Craft several "on-a-stick" decorations.  In addition to your name notifiers, make several more with greek letters, symbols, your sorority mascot and/or your bid day theme. For example, if your theme is Under the Sea, create some mermaids and shell decorations for your sisters to hold on high when you greet your new sisters.  

• Make themed name tags for everone to wear. Name tags are a key component in showing off your bid day theme. For example, if your theme is military, dog tag shaped name tags are cute. If the theme is nautical, choose anchors or sailboats. 

• Craft flower crowns or flower headbands if they match your bid day theme. 

• Create tutus out of strips of colorful tulle and satin ribbon. 

• Make several ‘photo frames’ for pictures. Use materials that are firm enough to withstand lots of handling. Cardboard and poster board will probably crease and bend, so choose something more rigid, such as foam board, plywood or fiber board. Decorate with text, flowers and other embellishments that accent your theme. Photo frames can be handheld, or much larger and stand on the ground.

• Paint posters to welcome your Rho Gamma/Gamma Chi sisters back to the chapter. Also paint a few posters to welcome new members to the sisterhood. 

• Check on the condition of your lawn letters. They may need a completely new paint job, or just a touch up. Polishing your lawn letters for bid day is a must. Consider creating a new themed set especially for bid day. 

• Craft some hand-held greek letters and other props for your bid day photo booth. You can make or collect accessories to match your theme such as ~

  • thought bubbles on a stick
  • themed hats
  • oversized glasses
  • themed inflatables
  • lips on a stick
  • musical instruments
  • chalkboard signs
  • mascot plush toys

• Paint a special backdrop banner for your photo booth. Include your bid day slogan, sorority name/greek letters, colorful images and the date.

When painting a banner for photo booth purposes, be mindful of where sisters will stand. It's a shame to cover up all the words or beautifully illustrations. Think about the placement of people in front of your banner and make sure your arrangement wisely accommodates bid day posing. 

As an alternative to a photo booth banner, you can also use these materials for a backdrop ~

  • crepe paper streamers hung in a row
  • colorful fabric hung flat with tassel garland overlays
  • feather boas hung in a row
  • wall of tissue paper flowers attached to a tall board
  • wall of balloons attached to a tall board
  • sheer fabric overlaid with twinkle lights
  • strings of paper harts, stars, discs or daisies

• Buy "side" and "foreground" props for your photo booth. For example, if you're planning a home-sweet-home country theme, add bales of hay, sunflowers and cornstalks in and around the edges of your photo space. 

• Craft 'dorm door decor’ for each new member’s dorm rooms if that's a tradition in your sorority. New members will return to their dorms after the bid day party to find their doors decorated with cute signs, paper flowers, greek letters, mascots and other themed decorations.  

• Order helium balloons, streamers and extra decorations for your party space. Consider a balloon arch to welcome your new members to the sisterhood. Balloons can also be shaped into large symbols such as palm trees, anchors, cactus, hearts, flower pots and ice cream cones. Mylar balloons with your sorority initials, chapter name, or founding date look terrific behind your buffet table, or in the entry hall of your house. 

• Coordinate how everyone is going to get from the bid announcement location back to your sorority house. Book transportation if needed. Also plan how new members will get back to their cars or their dorm rooms later that night. 

• Plan a buffet of food and drinks for your bid day celebration. Set your menu, order catering, or determine who will cook the food. Offer plenty of water and a variety of soft drinks as well. The more you can match your food and beverages to the theme, the more spectacular your event will be. Make it Pinterest worthy. 

• Add a little extra fun to your party by renting special food machine! Choose from these delicious ideas ~

  • cotton candy machine
  • snow code machine
  • popcorn machine
  • slushy drink machine
  • fondue fountain 
  • hot dog griller
  • pretzel warmer
  • waffle maker

• Consider setting up a candy bar for dessert. Cupcakes, a layer cake, and/or sorority decorated cookies are wonderful too. Each of your desserts should be designed to showcase your theme and your sorority name. Ask a talented professional baker to create some edible magic for your sisters.

• Rent tables and chairs if needed. Rent or buy colorful table linens (paper or cloth). Decorate plain folding chairs with fabric bows to make your party space look even cuter.

• Purchase your paper and plastic goods such as trays, plates, solo cups, utensils and napkins. 

• Plan props for your party space. For example, potted palm trees with twinkle lights, large Tiffany boxes, circus booths, giant dice, huge lollipops, lemonade stand, etc. 

• Plan your party entertainment. Sisters will have fun just hanging out together, but it's also nice to have some great music playing and a little dancing. Book a surprise serenade, or a live acoustic performance Another idea is to host your party at a private home with a swimming pool and offer swimming as your activity. Roller skating, bowling, large inflatables, carnival games and corn holes are more entertainment ideas.

• Determine the trash capacity for your party. Make several XL 'lined’ trash cans available though out the event space.  

• Order your new member presentation items. In addition to your bid day totes, if your chapter gives a single sorority flower, floral lei, or other symbolic sugar to each new sister, make sure to order those in advance. 

• Order flowers for your party room. At a minimum, a centerpiece for the buffet table and modest centerpieces for each additional table is needed. These can be simple DIY creations, such as mason jars filled with fresh flowers and tied with several helium balloons. 

• Remember to decorate the front of your sorority house as well. Paint one or two extra large banners, order a balloon arch, tie bundles of balloons around the entry, place props and other decoration on the front porch area. 

• Record the magic. If you have the budget, arrange for a professional photographer to shoot all the excitement of your bid day. Book a professional videographer to shoot an amazing bid day video as well. If those services are not in the budget, ask several talented sisters, alums, or friends to help out. 

• If your mascot makes an appearance on bid day, confirm who is going to wear the costume. Make sure that the costume is clean and in good shape. Make any necessary repairs.

• If the chapter President, Recruitment Chair and New Member Chair give speeches at your bid day event, plan their talks and and set a time limit for their presentations. Host a rehearsal of  your program if needed. 

• Plan lighting if your party is held at night. Candles, portable lights, twinkle lights and walkway lights might all be necessary. Keep safety in mind. 

• Determine if you need a sound system and a microphone for speeches and announcements. Rent equipment if needed. If your campus, sorority house, or party venue is extra large, determine if you need to rent a few walkie talkies to keep in contact with your team. Walkie talkies save a lot of steps and help everyone on the recruitment team stay coordinated.

• Schedule a deep cleaning of the sorority house right before bid day. Stock up on lots of extra toilet paper, kleenex and feminine supplies. Place some fresh flowers and air freshener in all of the rest room facilities. Make sure plenty of paper towels are available for hand washing. 

• Make a Timeline in 30 minute increments to keep yourself on schedule and keep the pace of bid day on track. Every sister should also be given the final schedule and be required to honor the arrival times. 

• Provide a fully stocked first aid kit for medical emergencies. Also have your chapter recruitment survival kit on hand for handling smaller problems. 

Assign duties for everything that needs to be done, from who carries the lawn letters to the sports field, to who sets up the food on the buffet table, who empties the trash cans, who assembles the photo booth, who distributes the tote bags, etc... Things won't happen by themselves and you don't want to "wing it." Careful planning reduces stress. Delegate. 

Hopefully with your chapter's careful planning, bid day will go off without a hitch. If problems arise, remain calm and handle them with grace. Keep your timeline with you at all times and gently guide the activities along. Go "all out" with the creativity. Your sisters will appreciate the extra effort and your bid day will go down in history as one of the best!  

How to be the Best PNM from A to Z

How to be the Best PNM from A to Z

Master List of Bid Day Themes from A to Z

Master List of Bid Day Themes from A to Z