Establishing A Timetable For Your Reunion

Planning well ahead of time is critical to the success of your reunion. This easy to follow bullet-list will get you started

  • 18-24 months in advance determine if there is enough interest in holding a reunion
  • Talk to other reunion organizers about their experiences, positive and negative
  • Attend a reunion organizing class, workshop or conference, often hosted by a Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB)
  •  Inquire with CVBs and hotels about familiarization (fam) trips to scout potential locations and facilities
  • Start a mailing and email list of potential reunion attendees
  • Form reunion committees; establish responsibilities and schedules
  •  Consider hiring professional reunion planner if your group is large, complex or recruiting committee members is proving difficult
  • Develop budget so everyone on your guest list is able to participate
  • Create bookkeeping system, keep copious records and notes of exact time and monetary expenditures
  • Choose your reunion location, keeping in line with your budget and the geographical radius your reunion attendees may need to travel
  • Reserve hotel room block
  • Set your dates. Summer is often best because kids are out of school, but prices may be higher at popular destinations.
  • Create a simple website, Facebook page, Twitter and Pinterest account
  • Hire entertainment, secure caterer, photographer, videographer, printer
  • Send save-the-date cards, first mailer or reunion website information.
  • Choose your reunion location, keeping in line with your budget and the geographical radius your reunion attendees may need to travel
  • Reserve hotel room block
  • Set your dates. Summer is often best because kids are out of school, but prices may be higher at popular destinations.
  • Create a simple website, Facebook page, Twitter and Pinterest account
  • Hire entertainment, secure caterer, photographer, videographer, printer
  • Send save-the-date cards, first mailer or reunion website information.
  • Include tentative plans, suggestions for tours, souvenirs, memory books, theme, approximate cost, memory book contributions, missing persons list
  • Visit hotel, meet with key sales and catering staff, and review pick-up on room blocks
  • Begin souvenir directory/list of attendees/memory book
  • Choose a reunion theme. Themes are great icebreakers for reunion members who do not know each other well and can also trigger ideas for activities, food and invitations.
  • Send formal invites with full event details and any TBA info
  • Keep your reunion website updated and post regularly to social media to build interest
  • Schedule events and activities – establish your program, confirm any speakers
  • Plan reunion activities for adults and children, awards ceremony, tours, entertainment, games for kids
  • Distribute order forms for family memorabilia like T-shirts, mugs, hats and keepsakes
  • Send second mailer: registration form, cost and updated list of missing persons (along with souvenir ordering information above)
  • Contact missing persons and send “time is running out” card
  • Email your reunion announcement to media sources for press coverage
  • Reserve rental equipment such as tents, chairs, porta-toilets
  • With your theme nailed down, select and order decorations, signs, banners
  • Choose menus for group events
  • Confirm reservations with entertainment, photographer, caterers
  • Calculate rental needs like tents, chairs, tables, coolers
  • Submit personalized souvenir order (T-shirts, mugs, caps)

  • Complete directory of participants/memory book; deliver to printer
  • Send out follow-up email reminder, mail to those who don’t use email
  • Keep social media updated with attendees, comments and photos
  • Create checklist of reunion day tasks and assign tasks to reunion day volunteers
  • Secure non-perishable items like name tags, raffle tickets, craft supplies
  • Check with committee chairs to confirm plans, arrangements, progress report
  • Reconfirm all meeting, sleeping and eating arrangements
  • Contact facility managers and department heads to obtain staff contacts for your reunion days
  • Juggle last-minute logistical or transportation issues
  • Review final details with reunion committees
  • Assemble welcome packets, name tags and goodie bags
  • Send one week out notice to all participants, tying up any loose ends and provide “in case of emergency” contact information to all attendees
  • Set up registration and decorations early (day before if possible)
  • Have contracts handy for rental equipment, displays, caterers
  • Set up children’s activities/games early so they can start/finish on time
  • Manage details of volunteers, food, photographer, games, tours, entertainment, ceremonies
  • Encourage participants to post photos and memories on social media
  • Salute volunteers and committees
  • Enjoy the day!
  • Reflect and evaluate – note what worked, what didn’t
  • Consider an evaluation form to get honest, not anecdotal feedback
  • Complete event bookkeeping, settle all accounts
  • Write thank you notes to volunteers, committees, hotel staff, caterers and entertainment who excelled
  • Send follow-up mailing/e-newsletter to entire family, including those who could not attend
  • Post reunion recap on social media, send to family members who could not attend
  • Start planning your next reunion!

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