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Choosing a reunion date

These are suggestions for steps and the time it takes from the time you start your very first reunion. For someone organizing a reunion with a history, this list is also good for checking your progress or as agenda considerations for committee meetings.

If your family has a newsletter, include some of these steps from time to time. Family members can better appreciate what their part is, if they know what you need to do when. For example, they might return reservations and t-shirt orders if they realize your deadline date is not arrived at arbitrarily.

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 24-18 months before your reunion...

  • Determine interest
  • Talk to other reunion organizers
  • Attend a reunion organizing class, workshop or conference
  • Start mailing list
  • Form reunion committee(s) and establish responsibilities and schedules 
  • Keep records of everything
  • Develop budget and bookkeeping system
  • How to ask for money
  • Scout locations, facilities
    • Contact convention and visitors or tourism bureaus
    • Hotels are looking for your reunion

  • One year before ...

    • Set dates
    • Choose location/ venue
    • Contact convention and visitors or tourism bureaus
    • Send first mailer; tentative reunion schedule and plans (tours, souvenirs, memory books), theme, and approximate cost
    • Art of the loving invitiation
    • Begin souvenir directory/list of attendees, memory book
    • Arrange or hire entertainment, caterer, photographer, videographer, printer
    • How to hire a motorcoach

    6-9 months before ...

    • Send second mailer; include registration and souvenir order forms and cost

    5 months before ...

    • Confirm reservations, entertainment (band, DJ, comedian, magician, face painting), photographer, caterer
    • Choose menu
    • Announce event to local news media, elected officials

    4-2 months before ...

    • Meet with hotel staff, visit facility with reunion committee
    • Select decorations, theme, signs banners and order printed items
    • Reserve rental equipment
    • Submit personalized souvenir order (t-shirts, mugs, caps ...)

    6 weeks before ...

    • Complete directory/memory book; deliver to the printer
    • How to make a fundraising book
    • Write checklist for reunion tasks
    • Designate assignments for reunion volunteers
    • Don't do it alone: recruit volunteers

    2 weeks before ...

    • Purchase last minute decorations and incidental supplies
    • Reconfirm meeting, sleeping and eating accommodations
    • Review final checklist

    The day before ...

    • Determine location staff contacts for your reunion
    • Solve last-minute problems
    • Review final details with reunion committee

    Reunion day(s) ...

    • Set up registration tables, rental equipment, displays
    • Juggle details; volunteers, food, photographer, games, entertainment
    • Decorate
    • Enjoy

    Afterward ...

    • Reflect and evaluate — note what worked, what didn’t
    • Complete bookkeeping; settle accounts
    • Write thank you notes to volunteers, hotel staff, caterers
    • Start planning your next reunion

    Choosing a date

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