TIMELINE FOR ALUMNI REUNION PLANNING COMMITTEES
One Year Before Reunion
- Hold first committee meeting and recruit committee members.
- Select date and location of reunion event(s.)
- Update class mailing list.
- Decide on reunion committee meeting schedule. Can we do conference calls?
- Decide whether you wish to invite other classes to your event (do multiple-class event?)
- Decide whether to do a class gift and consider what it might be. Do we need a separate committee to do the class gift?
- Decide whether to do an alumni "yearbook" with classmates completing survey forms describing what they've been doing since graduation or the last reunion.
- Do you want to offer tours of your school for returning classmates? Contact Paly Alum Association. Tour fee: $50.
- Reserve a block or blocks of hotel/motel rooms for returning classmates at reduced prices
- Send "Save The Date" postcard to classmates with information about reunion and ask for volunteers willing to help with the planning. Give contact name.
- Appoint reunion treasurer and be certain proper accounts are in his/her name so deposit checks can be written and income and expenses properly recorded.
- Post reunion information and start an email directory on your class webpage.
Six Months Before Reunion
- Begin preparing reservation letter to classmates with prices and reservation form.
- If doing class gift, be certain major donor prospects are being solicited.
- Reunion committee chair should be certain specific tasks are assigned to specific committee members.
- Begin compiling list of former teachers to invite (they love to meet former students).
Four Months Before Reunion
- Mail reservations letter to classmates with reunion details and pricing. In the letter include email address of class web page.
- Create a link on class web page. for the reservation form for classmates' convenience.
- As reservations come in, post names of classmates coming to reunion on class website.
Two Months Before Reunion
- Organize class "phonathon" to call classmates and encourage them to attend reunion.
- As reservations come in, adjust arrangements on food/accommodations to reflect numbers.
- Invite former teachers to reunion.
One Month Before Reunion
- Do email reminder to classmates about getting reservations in for the reunion.
One Month After Reunion
- Reunion committee holds follow-up meeting to analyze reunion strengths and weaknesses.
- Chair(s) for next reunion should be selected.
- If reunion generated surplus, be certain money is properly accounted for and a treasurer for next reunion selected to oversee "startup" funds.
- Send updated class address list to your class website so it will be available for planners of the next reunion.
Here are some items to consider when planning your class reunion:
When To Hold Reunion
- What time of year would most classmates be available to attend?
- Do many classmates come back to your hometown for Thanksgiving?
- Would a summer or fall event be more convenient?
- Do we prefer an outdoor (warmer weather) event?
Where To Hold Reunion
- Do you prefer a more casual or formal site?
- What pricing level is most appropriate for classmates?
- Do we want to hold one function or more than one? (one formal/one informal)
- Can the facility provide alternative meals (vegetarian, vegan, for instance)?
- Do we want a sit down meal, buffet, or just hors d'oeuvres and cocktails?
- Do we want the event and classmate accommodations in the same facility?
- Is the location easily accessible with sufficient parking?
- Can the facility accommodate the expected attendance yet have flexibility if numbers come in larger or smaller than anticipated?
- Get great group hotel rates for your classmates at Group Travel. Just fill out their form here.
Organizing Your Reunion Committee
- Select a chairperson who is responsible for seeing that others do their assigned task.
- Determine who should handle specific tasks (such as preparing invitations, receiving reservations, organizing speakers, greeting classmates, organizing raffle, obtaining music, and inviting former teachers).
- Bring a diverse group of classmates onto the committee so you get a range of opinions.
- Committee members should be individuals willing to do the tasks required.
- Representation from previous reunion committees can be helpful in assessing what went well at previous events and what should be done differently.
Pricing The Reunion
- How much can classmates afford to spend to attend the reunion?
- How much do we have to add to the cost of each ticket to cover expenses?
- Should the ticket price also include a small fee to establish a "kitty" for early up-front expenses for the next reunion?
- Should we consider a raffle or other fundraiser as an alternative way to raise money for expenses and/or the next reunion's startup "kitty"?