Class reunion planning is an important first step for reuniting with old friends. And in this day and age, you will want to do all the bulk of the planning online.
This article will focus on the high school class reunion, since these reunions are the type most likely organized by a core group of friends who still live in their hometown.
Compile everyone’s email address. Start searching email addresses 18 months prior to your reunion date.
Think in terms of six degrees of separation. No one in the planning group may know whatever happened to Joey, but perhaps your Aunt Liz works out at the same gym as Joey’s cousin Carrie.
Track down classmates through college alumni associations, whitepages.com, and social networking sites such as facebook and linkedin.
Send a group email. This is important in class reunion planning. Twelve months prior to the reunion date, let your classmates know the date you’ve chosen to set aside for the reunion. This is important since your classmates may be busy planning big events in their own lives, such as weddings, anniversaries or landmark-birthday parties. At this point the location is not yet important.
3 Decide how tech savvy you are. If this is your tenth reunion, chances are you or someone in your core group will be quite comfortable with internet technology. If this your fortieth, well, you may have to look to one of your grown kids for advice. Either way, decide how much technology you’re willing to take on.
4. Research online sources if you’re unable to create a website on your own. Compare products and prices. Will this be a permanent website, or one that will be dismantled shortly after the reunion? Are there pre-existing websites that are easy for your class to “piggyback” on?
Have your website up and running two months prior to the reunion. Send your classmates a group email giving the domain name of the site. Once your classmates log onto the site, it should be user-friendly. Make sure it’s easy for them to find the location and time of the reunion, to pay for their tickets through Paypal, to update their personal and work information and to find out the latest news on their classmates.
The personal information section MUST be password protected in a secure section of the site. This is a vital step in class reunion planning.
5. Suggest that everyone type in their information no later than two weeks prior to the reunion. This will give you and all your classmates enough time to get up to speed with one another in advance of the big day.
6. Attend your reunion and ENJOY. All that hard work will have been well worth it!
TIPS and WARNINGS
- Choose a time of year that will best serve the majority of your classmates. If your high school is located in the desert southwest, don’t plan a reunion when the temperature may soar to 114-degrees. Conversely, if your school was a short jog to the Canadian border, summertime or the fall foliage season would be preferable.
- Thanksgiving weekend is a popular time for reunions. Many of your classmates will already have plans to return home for the holiday. Why not combine a visit to the old homestead with a class reunion?
- If you plan to drink at your reunion, make sure you have a designated driver or take a cab home.