Organizing a high school reunion is a great way to reconnect with old friends and relive the glory days of youth. But it’s also a huge undertaking, and requires a lot of planning in order to be executed well.
Whether your graduating class was a few dozen or a few hundred people, following the five tips below will ensure you create a fun and successful event:
Do a People Search to Find Old Classmates
A reunion is all about bringing people that time has separated back together – no simple task when decades have gone by. To ensure no one is able to slip through the cracks, start by getting a list of alumni from your graduating class, and running their names through a people search. This will provide you with accurate contact information so that you can get in touch with them and determine their likelihood of attendance.
Even if you have classmates who have completely dropped off the radar and haven’t kept in touch with anyone else from the class, people searches will likely still be able to find them.
Form an Organizing Committee
Creating a central committee charged with planning the event is critical. The committee can consist of just a single individual if the event is small, but if your graduating class was 50 or more people, delegating the work is a good idea.
The committee should not only head up efforts to find and invite people, but also do things like communicate with the current school administration and build a website for the event. These tasks take longer than you might think, so be sure to form this committee well in advance of the planned event date – at least 1 year – so there is enough time to properly complete everything.
Divide the Work & Hold Regular Meetings
If your reunion size is large enough to require a committee, use your first meeting to discuss the strengths and weaknesses of each committee member and divide the work accordingly. Ask about core competencies such as marketing, event planning, or administrative follow up.
Once the work is divided evenly, meet at least once a week to discuss the progress of each committee member. Given the volunteer nature of planning a reunion, creating and maintaining structure will be critical to putting on a successful event.
Set a Budget
Setting a budget isn’t just about allocating money for expenses. You’ll also need to set a realistic expectation for what you can charge for attendance.
Once you establish the amount of money you expect to take in, it will give you a good baseline for what is an acceptable amount to be budgeting for the event as a whole.
Once you have an idea of how many people are going to be attending and your budget is established, you can start thinking about the activities you want to have at the reunion.
The majority of time at a reunion should be left for people to simply walk around and catch up. But it’s definitely a good idea to use structured activities to break the ice and inject a little nostalgia into the event. You might choose to have past student body presidents give a speech, play classic songs from your high school days for couples to dance to, or create a montage of old photographs that attendees might have saved from their days in school.
It might not exactly be easy to create a great class reunion, but using these methods as you plan will go a long way towards making all the hard work worth it. Afterwards, all that’s left is to enjoy what you’ve created! Sit back, relax, and take a stroll down memory lane with all of your new (old) friends.