A lot of people make a key mistake when they create a class reunion website.
They (wrongly) assume that the reunion website should be a few static pages that includes basic information about when, where, and what time the event will be.
What they don’t realize is how a well planned class reunion website can increase attendance.
Forums, chats, online registrations, and other features like “Who is coming” are all designed to increase camaraderie between your old mates. And the more they interact ahead of the reunion, the better chance that they will attend the actual event.
Listed below are the features and pages that you should add if you really want to create a class reunion website that rocks.
Create A Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) Page
When creating a class reunion website, most people just add a page or two about the event and provide an email address on the contact us page. The problem is that you end up getting hundreds of people emailing the same questions over and over again. All you are doing is providing the same answer a hundred different times.
Save yourself time and make a frequently asked questions (FAQ) page on your class reunion website. Every time someone emails you a new question, post the answer on the FAQ page. This alone will save you tons of time responding to emails or taking phone calls.
Just remember to provide a link to the FAQ page from your home page. We had a link that said “Have Questions? Here are answers to the most frequently asked ones. Also, we placed the same link on the Contact Us page. At the end of the class reunion, we realized that the FAQ page was our most visited page on the website.
Keep It Interactive With Polls and Quizzes
A class reunion website is not meant to be a one way street where you provide information to everyone else. Plan on involving your classmates in the decision making process by having polls and quizzes on the website.
For our class reunion website, we setup a new poll every two weeks.
Questions we asked (Multiple choice answers only) were:
- What type of hotel should be block rooms at? 2 Star ($100+), 3 Star ($150+), or 4 Star ($200+)
- What should be the theme for this class reunion?
- Of these four, what activity would most interest you for Sunday morning?
- Which would you prefer? A big banquet dinner or a BBQ lunch on Saturday?
- Which one of the following teachers/professors would you like to meet at the class reunion?
The quizzes were more difficult to come up with but were well worth the effort.
We asked a new question every week and would enter name of the person in a raffle for a free hotel room (We used one of the free hotel rooms we got as part of the room block so it did not cost us anything. If you don’t know how to get a free hotel room, read “How To Get a Free Room When Booking a Hotel For a Class Reunion“).
Example quiz questions were:
- In the year that we graduated, the best movie award at the academy awards went to?
- What was the name of the main actor in the TV show [Enter name of popular TV show in your graduating year]?
Add Photos And Videos
Make sure the class reunion website allows you the ability to post photos and videos easily. Ask your classmates to submit their “then and now” photos and videos to share with the rest of the class. Use these photos online and at the class reunion as part of a slideshow.
The photos and video pages are one of the first pages that classmates gravitate to when they get to the class reunion website. They want to see if they know anyone by face. Also, the more pictures and videos you have on the website, the more comfortable others will feel adding theirs.
Start by getting your volunteers, and reunion planning committee members to submit their photos and videos first and then watch other classmates do the same.
Whether you like it or not, donations are a necessary part of any class reunion. In order to be able to do everything that you want to do and still keep things affordable, you are going to have to raise money by fundraising and donations.
Dedicate a page on the website with an image of a thermometer that shows how much you need in donations from your classmates. Folks that have done well for themselves will be happy to chip in.
The important thing is that you should have the ability to take the donation online. You don’t want the person who is willing to donate money to have to pull out their checkbook, write out a check, look for an envelope, find your address, find a stamp and then get to a mailbox. By taking the donation online, you cut out so many annoying steps that will actually facilitate more donations. Read “Responsibilities Of The Fundraising Committee“.
Use A Beautifully Designed Template
A well designed website adds a look of professionalism to your event. We have seen many class reunions have a one page website with no design and all the information is crammed. There is no navigation and no interactivity. This kind of website will not help you increase the attendance at the class reunion.
Instead of trying to create your own design, use a professional looking template instead. All the companies that provide class reunion websites provide templates with great navigation and colors to match. Read more in our Class Reunion Website Builder Reviews.
When making your own class reunion website don’t over think by trying to design your own template (Unless you are a web designer, in which case, it would be okay). Just modify an existing template to suit your needs.
Sell Reunion Tickets Online
Collecting money for the class reunion is not a headache you want to take on. Keeping track of who paid, who bounced a check, who will pay at the door, and who overpaid/underpaid is a full time job best handled by technology.
When setting up your class reunion website, make sure you can accept payments online. This way, your classmates can register with their credit card and the money shows up in your account two days later.
Keep things interactive by providing your classmates with regular updates (weekly) from the front lines. Give them insider details of how things are going, ask for advice, and send out a call for volunteers.
On our own class reunion website, we asked for lots of help in getting things done. Make people volunteered to take care of things for us and others offered advice.
Classmates from all walks of life provided us advice on how to get things done more efficiently. Many happily provided us free advice on how to get better deals. An example was when a classmate who is a hotel sales manager provided us tips on how to select a hotel for the class reunion.
In order to facilitate conversation, make sure you have a message board and a chat feature set up as part of the class reunion website. As people register for the class reunion, they will be able to join others and catch up ahead of the class reunion.
If you do add the message board feature, then we have one piece of advice for you. You need to have a volunteer watch over it on a daily basis.
This person should be there to start conversations, engage classmates in discussion, answer questions about the class reunion, and defuse any disagreements online. Without someone engaging classmates regularly, the message boards will be empty.
Reunion Agenda/ Hotel Details
Lastly, make sure you have the class reunion agenda posted with all the relevant details like time, address, and dates.
Who is Coming Page
Many of your classmates won’t come to the class reunion unless they know someone there. Perhaps an old friend, or an old romance. By posting a list of people that are coming, you will encourage additional participation on the website and increased attendance at the class reunion.
The above list may seem daunting but it really is not. In fact, we only had one person that managed it in less than a two hours a week.
Creating a great class reunion website will yield a larger turnout at the class reunion. It will result in better attendance, rekindled friendships, and a ton of memories. Nothing wrong with that, is there?
What should you do next?
If you would like to create a class reunion website, read our Class Reunion Website Builder Reviews.