Planning a class reunion is an exciting endeavor that reconnects old classmates and celebrates shared memories. It requires careful planning, creativity, and attention to detail to ensure it’s enjoyable for everyone involved. From selecting the perfect date to selling tickets, each step is critical in creating an event that honors the past. This guide provides an overview of planning steps and class reunion ideas to make your event unforgettable.
Form the class reunion planning committee
Say it out loud: “I don’t have to do this alone”. Creating a dedicated planning committee is a critical step in organizing a memorable class reunion. This team will be the driving force behind the event, from initial brainstorming to execution. Here are some tips on forming an effective planning committee:
Identify Key Roles
Start by identifying the key roles and responsibilities needed for your reunion planning. Some common roles are listed below, but can be combined depending on the size of your reunion:
Oversees the entire planning process, ensuring tasks are completed on schedule.
Researches and secures the event location.
Entertainment and Activities Coordinator:
Plans and organizes games, music, and any performances.
Decorations and Set Up Coordinator:
Designs the event’s look and feel and coordinates setup on the day.
Oversees the menu selection, food, and drink arrangements.
Recruit Committee Members
Reach out to classmates through social media, emails, and word of mouth to recruit volunteers for the committee. Look for individuals who show enthusiasm or possess special skills relevant to the roles above. Include classmates from various social circles to ensure a wide range of perspectives and ideas.
Establish Clear Communication
Set up a reliable communication system for the committee, such as regular Zoom meetings. Clear and consistent communication is crucial for keeping everyone updated, sharing ideas, and making decisions collectively. When forming your planning committee, be sure to check on communications from group members.
Set a Timeline and Goals
Early in the planning process, establish a detailed timeline with specific milestones and deadlines. Key milestones may include: selecting a date, finalizing the venue, and sending invitations. This helps the committee stay focused and on track.
Establish key details of your class reunion
It’s important to complete a few class reunion milestones as early as possible. Set up a collection page where classmates can vote on these key elements. This encourages participation right from the start and gives you an estimate of what attendance might look like.
Picking a Date
The first critical step is to choose a date that works for the majority. Consider major holidays and school events to avoid conflicts. Once you’ve narrowed down the calendar, propose multiple dates and use an online questionnaire to gauge availability.
Finding a Location
The venue sets the ambiance for the reunion. Think about the size of your group and the type of event you envision.
For a formal affair, banquet halls or hotel ballrooms offer elegance and service. For a more casual gathering, consider parks, beaches, or even a nostalgic return to your school gymnasium. Unique locations like vineyards, cruises, or historic sites can also add a special touch.
Remember to account for accessibility, parking, and accommodation options for out-of-town guests when searching for venues. And don’t forget to ask classmates if they have venues or connections to venues that may help off-set costs.
While planning, stay flexible and open to ideas that can accommodate a wide range of interests and budgets. Offering multiple activities within the event ensures that everyone can participate, regardless of their budget, schedule or preferences.
Some flexible class reunion ideas include:
- A golf tournament that benefits the school + happy hour at a classmate’s bar or brewery
- Tour of the campus + formal dinner
- A reunion section at the school football game + BBQ lunch
Get the Word Out
Effective promotion is crucial to ensure your classmates know about the reunion. Create a dedicated website or social media page for the event to serve as the central information hub. Use email lists, social media, and word of mouth to reach as many people as possible. Keep communication ongoing with updates, teasers, and highlights of what to expect.
Offering an easy way to purchase tickets is essential. Cheddar Up allows organizers to sell tickets online, offering various payment options to suit everyone’s needs.
Consider early bird discounts or tiered pricing to encourage early purchases. Providing clear information on what the ticket includes (e.g., dinner, entertainment, memorabilia) can also boost sales.
Online ticket sales makes the purchasing process convenient for attendees and provides organizers with a clear overview of attendees. Additionally, reporting features make it easy to track ticket sales and volunteer responses in real time.
Organizing additional volunteers
Organizing volunteers for the day of the event is crucial to ensuring everything runs smoothly. And while some people may not be able to be a committee member, they’ll jump at the chance to help on the day of the event(s).
Start by identifying specific tasks and roles needed on the day, such as registration desk helpers, decorators, and photographers. Recruit volunteers in advance through a volunteer sign-up, clearly communicating the expectations and time commitments for each role.
On the day of the event, hold a brief meeting with volunteers to review the schedule and answer questions. Expressing appreciation for their help and recognizing their contributions can motivate volunteers and contribute to a positive, collaborative atmosphere throughout the event.
Bonus: 10 class reunion ideas to make it a little “extra”
Enhancing a class reunion with thoughtful and engaging activities can significantly elevate the overall experience. Here are 10 more class reunion ideas to make your event memorable:
Memory Lane Gallery
Create a walk-through exhibit of yearbooks, old photos, and memorabilia from your school days. Include sports trophies, art projects, and anything else that captures the essence of your time together. This can serve as a great conversation starter and a nostalgic journey back in time.
Decorate the venue in the style of the era when your class was in school. Whether it’s the vibrant ’80s, the grunge era of the ’90s, or the early 2000s, tailoring the theme can stir up fond memories.
Collect video greetings from classmates who can’t attend, mixed with clips and photos from school days, and play it during the event. This can include teachers and staff too, adding a special touch to the nostalgia.
Class Superlatives Revisited
Have fun with a light-hearted award ceremony that revisits the class superlatives or creates new ones. Categories like “Most Changed Since Graduation,” “Traveled the Furthest to Attend,” or “Most Likely to Organize the Next Reunion” can add humor and engagement.
Live Band or DJ with Era Music
Hire a DJ or a band that specializes in hits from your school years to set the soundtrack for the evening. Encourage song requests beforehand to ensure the playlist has something for everyone.
Plan interactive games that encourage mingling and laughter. Consider trivia quizzes about events from your school years, a scavenger hunt with items related to your class, or even a friendly sports match if the venue allows.
Themed Photo Booth
Set up a photo booth with props and backdrops that reflect your school spirit or the era you graduated. This gives everyone a chance to take home a personalized souvenir of the night.
Invite a beloved teacher, coach, or staff member to speak at the reunion. Their reflections on your class and updates on their lives can add a unique and heartfelt element to the festivities.
Charity or Scholarship Fund
Establish a class charity initiative or scholarship fund in honor of your reunion. This can be a powerful way to give back, fostering a sense of community and purpose among classmates. You can ask classmates to donate as they’re purchasing their tickets or while they’re at the event.
Honoring Missing and Departed Classmates
Take a moment during the event to honor classmates who have passed away or couldn’t attend. A simple slideshow or a moment of silence can be a touching tribute.
Planning a class reunion is a labor of love that brings its own rewards. Seeing old friends reconnect, sharing laughs over past adventures, and catching up on years lost can make all the effort worthwhile. With the right tools and team, you can create a class reunion that will be talked about for years to come.
Have more class reunion ideas of your own?
Start using Cheddar Up today to streamline every aspect of your event. From collecting payments to managing RSVPs, you can ensure your reunion is an unforgettable success.