What Are the First Steps to Planning a Reunion?
Before you begin planning your class reunion, sign in to AlumniClass, select your graduation year, and find your school. Take a look at the upcoming reunions to make sure there isn’t a reunion already planned. You can begin planning your reunion by creating an event. You’ll want to add event details, such as the event name, graduating year, and the date of the reunion.
It’s important to start planning your class reunion at least a year prior to the reunion date. Try to be mindful of the best time of year to get everyone together. Most reunions are often planned between June and September when the weather is nicer and travel is easier.
Create a Comprehensive List of Attendees
Search through our database of thousands of alumni. Users can easily search by graduation year or by name. If you’d like to contact someone you find or send them an invite to the reunion, simply click on their profile and send them a message.
To keep things organized, consider creating an e-mail list or a spreadsheet to compile all of your old classmates. Keep notes on who you’ve contacted and a list of attendees. Make sure to share the list with the other committee members!
Visit Your Old School
Take a trip down memory lane to your old school. Not only will this give you some serious nostalgia, but will aid in the process of planning your reunion.
- Let them know about your upcoming reunion
- Ask if anyone else is planning a reunion (if so, try to collaborate with them!)
- Compile a class list with contact information
- Try to snag some old yearbooks from your graduating year
Assemble a Reunion Committee
With the proper resources, recruiting committee members doesn’t have to be a daunting task. Local schools, businesses, and churches are great places to find volunteers for the reunion committee. It’s not recommended to plan a reunion alone unless you have a significant amount of free-time and experience.
Opening a bank account for the reunion is a pivotal step in the reunion planning process. This bank account will receive deposits from donations and fundraisers and will be used to pay for the venue, decor, catering, and any other class reunion expenses. It’s important that at least one other member from the committee is authorized to use the account in the instance that you’re not available. Open a Paypal account to accept online transactions. Many attendees will want an option to pay for the ticket with a credit card instead of a check.
Plan to meet with your committee members once a month until the reunion date. With monthly meetings, everyone has the opportunity to collaborate and share their progress and updates.
Determining a Budget for the Reunion
The budget for your reunion will vary depending on the size of your class. Those with smaller graduating classes won’t need an extra-large venue or heavy catering.
If you decide to host the reunion away from the school, prepare to budget for a venue. The cost of a venue can range anywhere from under $100 to over $10,000! You’ll want to factor in how many guests the venue can hold, the theme of the reunion, location, and if the venue has any special accommodations, such as catering, parking, photography, and handicap access.
Food & Catering
Food has a way of bringing everyone together. There are a variety of food and catering options available for your class reunion, the most popular include catering services and potlucks. If you’re considering hiring a catering service for your reunion, expect to budget about $20 to $100 per person in attendance. Compare the prices and menu selections at local restaurants and discuss your selection with committee members. For smaller class reunions, potlucks are a great way to get everyone involved in the event. Not only do potlucks offer a ton of variety, but they will also save a considerable amount of money.
Determine Ticket Price
You can determine the price of admission once you have an estimated count on attendees and calculate the budget for the event. The average price for a reunion is $75. Consider doing an “Early Bird” special that gives attendees a discounted price when purchasing before a certain date, or offering a discount when ordering two tickets at once.
Raise Money and Awareness
Reach out to local businesses for their sponsorship. You might be surprised by the outcome! Events like class reunions are a great opportunity for local businesses to get their name out there. You can also reach out to other local schools and churches for their sponsorship.
Fundraisers are one of the best options if you want to raise money for your class reunion event. The options are limitless! Some fun fundraising ideas include bake sales, auctions, and car washes. To spread the word about your event, consider sharing fundraiser details on your social media page and printing flyers to hang around town.
Consider creating a free online store on Apparel Now. Add your school’s logo or slogan to create custom merchandise that attendees can purchase. For each sale your store makes, you’ll receive 12% cashback to put towards your class reunion. The more merchandise you sell, the more money that can be used for entertainment, prizes, and decor.
Choose The Perfect Location
When choosing a location for the reunion, it’s important to factor in transportation and amenities for those who are visiting from out of town. Centralized locations near restaurants and bars are a popular choice. Some attendees will want to keep the party going after the event so having other entertainment nearby is ideal. If your old school is located in the middle of nowhere, consider hosting the event in a nearby town, preferably with an airport or easy access to a freeway so visitors can easily travel back home.
Entertainment For All
The entertainment you choose will vary depending on the theme and budget for your event. Popular entertainment for higher budget events could include an open bar and live entertainment. Those who are on a budget might consider fun activities like trivia and karaoke. Consider starting a group discussion on Alumni Class to gather other attendees’ suggestions. The entertainment you choose should ultimately fit the theme of the event and should engage all of your attendees. Some other fun ideas include:
This is a great ice breaker that allows everyone to catch up with one another.
Each table is given 3 minutes to “meet” each other again.
Get everyone on the dancefloor with their favorite songs of their graduation year!
Consider holding a contest, the person with the best moves wins a prize!
Baby Picture Match
Have your guests try to match the baby photo with the graduate.
The person with the most correct answers wins!
Your class reunion invitations should be sent as soon as a date and venue is determined. Plan to send the first set of invitations out 12-18 months before the event through e-mail and snail-mail. If your reunion has a social media presence, you can also create a Facebook event to send to your classmates if you have them added as friends. It’s important to send reminders throughout the year to update your guests on activities, food, travel arrangements and any changes to your plan.
Take a Breather
After the invitations have been sent and the RSVPs start rolling in, it’s time to shift into maintenance mode. In the months leading up to the event, be sure to keep an active presence on AlumniClass, social media, email, and any other channels you’ve chosen to post updates to. You’ll not only want to monitor attendance, but get your classmates hyped up for the big day! After all of the hard work you’ve put in to make this reunion one to remember, don’t forget to set aside some “me” time. The big day will be here before you know it!
Feeling inspired? Kickstart your reunion plans now at Alumni Class!