Here’s what you should plan to do during these last 24 hours:
Tour the Area
If you haven’t already done so, arrive at the place where you’re holding your reunion and check it over. If you have a contract that includes pre-event cleaning, is the venue clean? Is everything working? Do the refrigerator, oven, and other food-preparation areas work properly? Do you have all the equipment and supplies stipulated in the contract?
Have Final Meetings with Volunteers, Employees, and Committees
Have one last meeting with the planning committee to make sure that everything is good to go. If you have multiple committees, you may need to have more than one meeting. Or you can simply meet with committee heads.
Meet with all volunteers (such as childminders, registration helpers, photographers, and event coordinators) and make sure they know their assignments. And thank them for all their hard work! Better yet, treat them to a nice lunch or a special gift bag.
Meet with venue employees, if any, who will be on hand during your reunion. Be clear on what you can and cannot expect the workers to do during your reunion and when they will be available.
Troubleshoot Last-Minute Problems
Schedule (yes, schedule!) some time to deal with last-minute snafus (someone needs directions, the van is late getting to the airport, the cake needs to be picked up a different time than scheduled). You don’t have to assign these a specific time slot in your day, but factor in an extra hour or two for the unexpected. If you don’t need the time, you can spend it relaxing with a book or chatting with friends. But if something does come up, you won’t be behind schedule.
Check Rentals and Supplies
If you’re renting equipment, make sure it has been delivered or will be soon. Keep a copy of all your contracts handy so you can refer to them if needed. Make sure all supplies are on hand (or send someone to do a supply run).
Decorate the Venue
If the venue isn’t cleaned, clean it first, then decorate it. Note: If you’re holding your reunion outdoors, check the weather. In most cases, you can set up tents, chairs, and tables the day before. But leave the balloons, streamers, signs, and photos until shortly before the guests arrive.
Prepare Events and Activities
Set up kids’ games, photo stations, and other activities before you expect guests to arrive. Even if you don’t plan to have the activity available until later in the day, get it set up in advance. This saves time (and possibly some frazzled nerves) and keeps impatience to a minimum. Double-check that each activity has all the supplies, tools, and other items it needs.
Set Up the Registration Area
You’ll want to place the registration area so it’s easy to find — it should pretty much be the first thing guests see. Make sure volunteers are scheduled to cover the registration area while guests are arriving. Keep plenty of all relevant forms on hand, and make sure volunteers can find out details about guests’ lodging, dining, transportation, and event/activity participation as needed. You may also want to have some local information available too, especially if the venue does not provide it.
If your reunion requires tickets, have those available at the registration area too. And don’t forget the welcome bags for each guest!
Put Up Signs
Put up your signs, making sure they all point to the correct areas. You can do this a good bit before the reunion starts, but you should also check on all signs just before the reunion begins to make sure none have fallen down, blown away, or otherwise went missing.
Check Social Media
If you’re using Facebook or Twitter to keep in contact with reunion attendees, check your account regularly and keep it updated.
Rest and Relax
If possible, take some time to have a good dinner, relax, and get a good night’s sleep before the reunion — especially if you have to be up extra early that day. You’ll feel more energized and be much better able to cope with any very-last-minute problems.
Enjoy the Reunion!
You’ve done it — the reunion is here, guests are arriving, and things are beginning to pick up. Now put down your clipboard and enjoy yourself. You’ve earned it!