Class Reunion Planning Guide
If you have organized a class reunion, you understand the challenges to accomplish this. Class reunions are typically celebrated on your 5th or 10th year anniversaries from graduation.
If your class would like to use the SVEAAI Annual Banquet as your venue for your class reunion, please contact Deb Hodges ’69. The SVEAAI Annual Banquet is an open event for all alumni, however we can arrange group seating for your class, provide a table of class memorabilia, and if you wish to bring a class slideshow we can accommodate this show. Feel free to use social media tools to promote the event and help insure the planning for a successful reunion.
12 months to go
Gather a group of like-minded classmates to assist you in the planning and execution of the event. You should have a Chairperson, a Treasurer, and a Class Roster Coordinator. If you do not have a Facebook Group page for your class, now is the time to set this up and post the reunion effort. The class roster coordinator should be attempting to contact as many of the class as possible. Reach out to the Roster Chairperson at the SVE Alumni Association Inc. to see what help they can provide with contact information on your classmates.
Pick dates for the reunion – do not be afraid to pick two options and survey members from a social network platform and/or email.
9 months to go
Send letters to your classmates that aren’t getting the word through your Facebook page. Will you attach a questionnaire to put together some type of program?
Do research on a venue for your reunion, which will include, location, food choices, and perhaps entertainment. Contact the venue owners to determine the minimum size group that they are willing to serve. Also find out with them what the deadline is for booking the facility. Will there be a holding or deposit charge? What is the last possible date to cancel with reimbursement of the deposit?
Start a checking account immediately with money from your core working group. It’s not wise to just work out of an envelope. Update your class Facebook page!
6 months to go
If you decide to put together any type of program, now is a good time to get started as you are receiving back any questionnaires you sent out.
Announce the venue, date, time, menu, and ticket cost to your classmates. Update your class Facebook page!
3 months to go
You should have a pretty accurate count by now of how many of your classmates are attending. Now should be the time most critical on whether your event is a Go or No-Go. Keep cancellation dates bookmarked in your calendars. Place the deposit on the venue. Start receiving payments for event tickets from your classmates.
If you are using the SVE Alumni Banquet as your venue, connect with the Alumni Association Secretary to secure enough space for your reserved alumni.
Purchase your Alumni dinner tickets. Update your class Facebook page!
1 week to go
Will you need name tags? Update your class Facebook page!
Depending on your venue and the services they provide, you may need to setup and decorate the tables for the event. Set up a sign in table for receiving your class mates.
Take lots of pictures at all your events. Update your class Facebook page!
1 week after
Post pictures to your Facebook page. Make sure all your bills are paid. Share with classmates how much money is left to start your next reunion. Keep locating classmates and updating contact information as they will keep popping up over time. Get feedback from your classmates, but remember this effort is a labor of love, from you to your class, so don’t take it to heart.
Update the SVE Alumni Association with the latest changes in your class roster.
Update your class Facebook page!
Entertainment – Be careful what you pick. You do not have to have entertainment, but if you do, choose wisely. Depending on what the entertainment is, it can alienate people and/or dampen the mood in that alumni may not easily mingle and talk.
- Consider the upfront costs of the entertainment.
- Search within the alumni for talent.
– Name tags: – reduce possible embarrassment, not everyone looks the same as they did graduation day – indicating First Name – Maiden/Last (for women – most people remember maiden not married name) Keep it simple and cost effective, like pre-hand written tags at the greeting table.
– Greeting Table – manage with assigned volunteers. Check payment and registration status. It is also an opportunity to get them to update their Contact information.
– Pictures – if there is a class photographer use them (sub-team).
– Mementos– you may want to offer t-shirts (or other type of memento) to commemorate the reunion. Again added costs have to be paid.
– Raffles – Having a 50/50 drawing at each major event is a great way to raise some funds. Keep the price enticing.
– Memorabilia – memories are going to be the starting point of your reintroduction of the class. Encourage alumni to bring and share old pictures and memories and set up a table to display yearbooks etc.. Creating a slide show of your class highlighting before and after photos is nice. Be sure to recognize your classmates graduated life ahead of us, with either recognition highlights in the slide show and/or a memory poster board of the deceased.
– Surveys – at the table sets – have a quick survey asking what they liked, what they would change, or any suggestions. Keep it simple but relevant. You can also post on web site or social media.
– Communication – Utilize all forms to contact as many classmates as possible:
- Classmates – Word of Mouth
- Post cards – this will incur the cost of printing and postage, so use sparingly.
- Social Networking Facebook (free) – Set up a site just for your class. Twitter – great for quick announcements.
- Leverage the SVE Alumni website for additional communication.
- Be sure all reunion communications come from one source and the information is agreed on by all reunion committee members.
Document! Keep meeting minutes and other records (ex.: emails) of what your ideas were, why decisions were made, contacts, etc. Remember, either you or other classmates may want to plan a future reunion and your previous actions, hurdles, and contacts can be helpful.