Reunion Timetable

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 reunion has a newsletter, include some of these steps from time to time. Your 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.

 24-18 months before your reunion… [podcast]

  • Determine interest [podcast] [article]
  • Talk to other reunion organizers
  • Attend a reunion organizing class, workshop or conference [article]
  • Start collecting mailing and email list
  • Form reunion committee(s) and establish responsibilities and schedules [podcast]
  • Keep records of everything
  • Develop budget and bookkeeping system
  • Contact convention and visitors or tourism bureaus [podcast] [article]
  • Podcast: How to ask for money [podcast]
  • Search for / visit locations, facilities
  • Podcast: Hotels are looking for your reunion [podcast]
  • Set up social media presence! A website, Facebook and Twitter pages

One year before… [podcast]

  • Set dates [podcast]
  • Send Save-the-Date cards [shop]
  • Choose destination/location/venue
  • Send first mailer; tentative reunion schedule and plans (tours, souvenirs, memory books), theme, approximate cost, and missing persons list.
  • Podcast: Art of the loving invitation [podcast] [article]
  • Begin souvenir directory/list of members, memory book
  • Arrange or hire entertainment, caterer, photographer, videographer, printer, motorcoach for touring
  • Podcast: How to hire a motorcoach [podcast]
  • Reserve picnic area in the park

9-6 months before…

  • Visit hotel, meet with staff
  • Reserve block of rooms
  • Use website and Facebook pages to send announcements and build excitement
  • Send second mailer; include registration and souvenir order forms and cost
  • Send announcement to Reunions magazine;
  • Schedule events and activities — program, speakers, awards ceremony, tours
  • How to make a fundraising book [podcast]

5 months before…

  • Confirm reservations, entertainment (band, DJ, comedian, magician, face painting), photographer, caterer
  • Choose menu or make cooking/food plans [article]
  • Announce event to local news media, elected officials
  • Request proclamations from elected officials
  • Use social media regularly to update, who’s coming, what’s new and create enthusiasm

4-2 months before…

  • Meet with hotel staff, visit facility with reunion committee
  • Reserve rental equipment; tents, bounce house, tables, chairs, porta-potties
  • Select decorations, theme, signs and banners
  • To ensure delivery before your reunion, submit personalized souvenir order (t-shirts, mugs, caps …) and deliver directory/memory book to the printer

6 weeks before…

  • Review committee assignments
  • Write checklist for reunion tasks
  • Designate assignments for reunion day volunteers
  • Podcast: Don’t do it alone: recruit volunteers [podcast]

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 assigned to your reunion
  • Solve last-minute problems
  • Review final details with reunion committee

Reunion day(s)…

  • Set up registration tables, rental equipment, displays, decorations
  • Juggle details; volunteers, food, photographer, games, kids activities, entertainment, tours, ceremonies
  • Enjoy
  • Evaluate reunion

Afterward …

  • Reflect and evaluate — note what worked, what didn’t [article]
  • Complete bookkeeping; settle accounts
  • Write thank you notes to volunteers, hotel staff, caterers
  • Add a reunion summary to your website and Facebook pages
  • Add lots of pictures and videos
  • Start planning your next reunion