Class Reunion Coming up? Check out These Tips for a Successful Class Reunion
April 18, 2012
Planning a class reunion can be a daunting task, whether you graduated 5, 10, or 50 years ago. Luckily, the internet has made the process much easier, but it still takes a strong reunion planning team, dedication, hard work, and a lot of creativity to plan a class reunion that everyone will love!
Thanks to websites like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter, what used to be the hardest part of a reunion—finding old classmates—is now easier than ever. Through the virtual grapevine, tracking down contact information for all your former classmates might just be the easiest part of the planning process!
Once you’ve tracked down your former classmates, it’s time to make the big decisions. Choose a venue for your reunion, decide on a theme, pick your date, and plan your menu. While there are dozens and dozens of small details to worry about, this article can help you cover some of the more general concerns.
- Are you planning a reunion weekend or a single-day event? The two biggest factors that influence this decision are budget and class size. If your graduation class only had fifty students, a weekend-long event probably wouldn’t be as successful as a one-night get together. And if your fellow graduates are not from affluent areas, they might not be able to shoulder the expense of a whirlwind weekend.
- If you are going to have a weekend-long reunion, are there local hotels that can handle the event and have enough nearby activities to keep everyone happy? And if it’s a one-night bash, where can you hold the party? A local restaurant for a fancy sit-down dinner? Or would a more casual restaurant make your former classmates more comfortable?
- Do you want to have a theme for your reunion? You could plan a reunion theme based on the decade you graduated, like the Rock and Roll ‘50s or the 70’s disco party theme or just have the reunion decorations based on your school colors.
- Pick a date for your reunion. If many of your classmates moved out of town, but return for a popular local event or for the holidays, coordinate your reunion with that to ensure maximum attendance. Or, have the reunion around the anniversary of your original graduation date.
Once you’ve picked a date for your reunion, send out Save the Date cards at least six months in advance. This gives your classmates plenty of notice to make arrangements and will hopefully increase the chances they will be able to attend. If your school sends out an alumni newsletter, include an announcement about the reunion and your contact information as well. Another way to get the word out, is through school custom banners. If many of the alumni are still living in the area, chances are they now have kids attending local schools. Have custom banners printed with the reunion information and your contact information on them and place them in front of the schools where the parents will see them. Since these banners are made of high-quality vinyl and built to withstand the elements, they can be left out for weeks, giving your former classmates plenty of time to see the signs and contact you for more information on the reunion!
Planning a class reunion means more than just finding the classmates, choosing a venue, and picking the dates though. You need to make sure everyone has fun too! Pick a theme that will appeal to your peers. A rock and roll ‘50s theme is always a hit, no matter what year you graduated! Start out by having everyone dress up in 50’s costumes and plan a sock hop for the first night of a reunion. Hire a DJ to play traditional 50s music and dance the night away! Acting a little silly is a sure way to break the ice if you haven’t seen each other in years.
For a weekend-long reunion, you can also plan a golf outing, a tour of your old high school, a local football game, or a group shopping trip for Saturday afternoon. Traditionally, Saturday night is reserved for the main reunion event, which is usual a formal dinner and dance. For a fun twist, recreate your senior prom theme and play the same type of music that was played at the dances you all remember attending! You’re sure to bring back fond memories! Wrap up the weekend with a casual brunch on Sunday morning before everyone heads their separate ways.
Obviously, there are many more considerations when planning a class reunion and you will need to start at least a year in advance if you are in charge of the reunion planning committee. But, if you build a dedicated team and stay organized, you’ll be able to pull off a class reunion that everyone will love and have them waiting with great expectation for the next reunion!