Reunion Planning A to Z

A – Attendance varies by the reunion, but a good rule to follow is 25% of the class size will attend.  This includes guests.

B – Bar setups become less important the further you get from high school.  Go with the open bar at your 10 and 20-year reunions, then switch to a cash bar for your 30, 40, and 50th.

C – Classmates rarely remember where the reunion was held, but always remember how they felt seeing an old friend.

D – Don’t underestimate the amount of time necessary to plan a reunion on your own.  Block out of your schedule 45-hands-on hours, minimum.

E – Encourage your classmates to attend by making personal calls and sending personal e-mails.  A little effort from the committee can mean great reunion attendance!

F – Facebook is a wonderful reunion planning tool, but it isn’t the only tool you’ll need.  On average, only 35% of classmates join a reunion page.

G – Greet your classmates at the door personally on the night of your reunion celebration.  It eases nerves, sets the tone for the party, and gives you a chance to say hello to everyone.

H – Hiring a professional reunion planner is an easy, stress-free way to plan your reunion, and you avoid the financial liability.  Find a professional planner by contacting the National Association of Reunion Managers (NARM).

I – Invitations to the reunion should always include suggested reunion attire.

– Just because you are excited about attending your reunion, doesn’t mean all of your classmates feel the same.  High school wasn’t an easy time for everyone, and some classmates prefer not to go back.

K – Keep the class list and current addresses so you’ll have them for your next reunion.  Giving a copy to everyone on the committee ensures you can find it 10 years later.

L – Looking through your yearbook at your first reunion committee meeting is a great way to kick off the reunion planning process. It brings back memories and begins the conversation of “who still talks to who”, which will be important when trying to find classmates.

M – Money matters, but not as much as you think.  Don’t be afraid of a $79-$90 ticket price.  Classmates will pay if they perceive the value.

N – Never sign a venue contract with a minimum you are not willing to pay yourself if you have lower than expected attendance. 

O – Only one person should be the committee contact with the venue.  This eliminates misinformation and multiple calls to your venue salesperson.

P – Planning for your reunion should begin 8-10 months before the reunion celebration date.

Q – Question your classmates on Facebook about songs they would like to hear at the reunion celebration. 

R – Read the fine print on all contracts and agreements.

S – Select an appropriate way to remember deceased members.

T – Take time to answer each e-mail or Facebook posting, even the negative comments.  It will show your classmates that you value their opinion, and can help put a stop to any destructive misconceptions surrounding the event.

U – Understand the upfront costs before you take on the task of planning the reunion by yourself or with a committee.

– Videos or slide shows from your high school years are big hits.  Make a copy for each classmate attending as a giveaway.

W – Wedding months mean less availability and higher prices.  Book early for popular venues.

X – Multiply the number on your reunion guest list by 20% to come up with an estimate of the number of classmates and guests who will pay at the door that night:

100 pre-registered classmates and guests X 20% = 20 additional registrations at the door.

Y – Yearbooks are hot commodities at a reunion.  To keep your copy safe, display it at the staffed registration table, not as part of your memorabilia collection.

Z – Zipcode sorting sends your reunion invitations at the cheaper bulk rate.  But, build in extra time for the post office to deliver.

Thanks to Cyndy Clamp, Varsity Reunion Services, [email protected],