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...
Talk to other reunion organizers
Attend a reunion organizing class, workshop or conference
Start mailing and email 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/visit locations, facilities
Contact convention and visitors or tourism bureaus
Hotels are looking for your reunion
Set up social media presence! A website, Facebook and Twitter pages.
Send first mailer; tentative reunion schedule and plans (tours, souvenirs, memory books), theme, approximate cost, and missing persons list.
Art of the loving invitation
Begin souvenir directory/list of members, memory book
Arrange or hire entertainment, caterer, photographer, videographer, printer, motorcoach for touring
How to hire a motorcoach
6-9 months before ...
Visit hotel, meet with staff
Reserve block of rooms
Use website and Facebook pages to send announcements, build excitement and enthusiasm.
How to make a fundraising book
Send second mailer; include registration and souvenir order forms and cost
Send announcement to Reunions magazine