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Hosting VIP Graduation Guests

Steps to Make Sure You Treat Your VIP’s Well!

While every guest is unique, some are considered VIP graduation guests. They may be donors to the school, high profile members of the community, local political leaders or successful alumni who have come back to show their school spirit. You want every VIP guest to feel welcomed and ultimately encouraged to attend another school function.

VIP Graduation Guests 1

Identify Mailing List for VIPs

When it comes to notable guests, the first step for the graduation coordinator is building the VIP mailing list. The coordinator has to identify VIPs, get their email address and send them an invitation to the graduation ceremony. The coordinator can also personally give the VIPs graduation invitations.


Sometimes the VIP has a close relationship with a teacher at the school or the school principal. It’s best to include a personalized note or even call that contact to invite them.

VIP Graduation Guests 2


It’s an excellent idea to provide your VIP guests with drinks before and after the ceremony. There should be a food and drink table set aside just for them.

The coordinator must designate someone who will restock depleted food and drink tables. Assigning a student this role is a terrific idea, as the VIP can converse with the student and it gives the VIP a sense of what students are like at the school.

After the graduation ceremony, the coordinator can bring the VIP guests to the refreshments table and offer drinks, pastries or cakes.


Be selective when choosing students to serve VIPs. You want polite, poised and well-mannered students interacting with VIPs.

VIP Graduation Guests 3

Seating Arrangements for Guests

The coordinator has to be in charge of designating seats for VIP guests. VIPs should be placed near the front of the stage if they’re a speaker. These spots should preferably be near the principal and the coordinator.


Offer the VIPs comfortable seats with a good view of the ceremony.

VIP Graduation Guests 4

Identify the VIP Section

The graduation coordinator has to instruct the ushers, security team and the other graduation committees about the VIP section. While designing the seating arrangements, the coordinator should also prioritize where the VIP section location. Multiple VIPs should sit in one area where they can directly see the stage along with the principals and teachers. This section should have the best seats in the venue.


Identifying the VIP section is also important to make all the graduation coordinators aware that this section should receive additional privileges.

VIP Graduation Guests 5

VIP Ushers

Since VIP guests require special treatment, the coordinator has to appoint ushers who will assist them to their seats. As coordinator, you will likely be too busy overseeing graduation to micromanage seating. Put ushers in charge of seeing everyone to their appointed position.

The coordinator has to ensure that the VIP ushers can recognize distinguished guests when they arrive at the venue. The ushers also have to be instructed on being courteous with these guests. The coordinator can designate these ushers to wait for the VIP guests by the front door or even in the parking lot.


Tell the ushers a bit about the VIPs and why they are important to the school as they undertake this task.

VIP Graduation Guests 6

Welcoming the VIP

The VIP guests are usually invited to share their knowledge, serve as an inspiration and provide students with a story on how they were able to achieve success. They must be welcomed warmly as they play a huge part in the graduation ceremony.

The principal of the school and the graduation coordinator usually welcome the VIP guests as soon as they arrive at the venue. They should have a host at the school or someone they can turn to if they need something. Assign a student or an usher to this task.

Sometimes, they are welcomed by the whole graduating class as they enter the venue, especially if they’re a celebrity. The coordinator should plan on how to properly welcome a VIP guest and make them feel at ease as soon as they arrive.


It is essential to plan how to welcome your VIP guests properly. Their time is valuable, and they are spending it with you on this day.

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Keep a lookout for additional articles if you want to learn more! There will be many articles about graduation planning on our blog in the weeks to come. 

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