“Why didn’t you pick up the name tags from the printer? They are closed now and the class reunion starts in less than an hour”.
“I didn’t know I was supposed to pick them up”, comes the reply.
“But I sent you a message on Facebook”
“Oh, I don’t check my Facebook page for weeks. How was I supposed to know”.
The conversation above is something that happens all the time. And it happens because when we’re planning with a large number of people, we assume that everyone communicates the same way.
But that’s not how it works, does it? Some of us prefer email, while others like to talk through Facebook or ask questions on twitter.
So how do you standardize a method of communication when you are organizing an event for over 500 people?
How can you control the flow of questions, comments, and suggestions without pulling your hair out.
The answer is simple. You start by figuring out the best method of communication with each group of people (attendees, volunteers, committee members, vendors, and the school).
Here are some examples:
Email and Cell Phone
Used To Communicate With Committee Members, Volunteers, Alumni Office, And Vendors
Instead of giving out your email address or cell phone number to every classmate, reserve it for just the alumni office and your class reunion planning committee members, volunteers, and vendors. Doing so will prevent emails like “When is the class reunion again?” or “Can you email me exact directions to the class reunion from my house?”
Using email to communicate with your planning committee will ensure that everyone gets the information they need and it also keeps a paper trail of what was agreed upon between the committee, vendors, and the alumni office.In the initial stages of planning, make sure every volunteer, and committee member has an email address.
Class Reunion Website
Use To Communicate With Classmates Primarily
One of the biggest advantages of creating a class reunion website is that you can have a chat room and message boards right on there for people to be able to talk with each other. It provides a great way for people to get to know each other before the class reunion and also creates a powerful reason for folks to attend the reunion. Read “Creating A Class Reunion Website”
Encourage folks to ask any questions right on the message boards. Many times, the questions will be answered by other class reunion members without you having to interject.
The forum (message board) is also the best place for a classmate to address the planning committee with suggestions or questions. In order to encourage interaction between classmates and the planning committee, have a live chat every once in a while where people can ask questions and get answers right away.
Take the most frequently asked questions and create an FAQ page on the website so you don’t end up answering the same questions over and over again.
The class reunion website should be used to primarily update, engage, and communicate with classmates.
Use Facebook As A Tool To Find Classmates And Direct Back To Website
Facebook is a great tool when you are looking for classmates but it has its limitations. For example, you can’t register people for the class reunion or collect dues on the Facebook page but you can do so on your own class reunion website.
So why use Facebook at all? Because almost a billion people use it and finding classmates without it would be quite difficult. Use the Facebook group to locate classmates in the initial stages and to spread the word. Learn how to create a facebook group for your class reunion.
While you can post new information on Facebook, it is a best practice to post a short blurb about the news with a link back to your class reunion website. Classmates should get into the habit of visiting the site so they can get updated on the latest happenings on the planning front. Plus, once they are there, they can interact on the message boards, and hopefully reconnect with friends from years ago.
The newsletter should only be used for information that is not in the “need to know” section.
What should you have in the newsletter? You should have things like interviews with classmates and popular professors. You can also write about how the school has changed, local news of interest to classmates, information on deceased classmates, and updates on classmates careers. The possibilities are endless.
If you control your communication with class reunion members, you will avoid email and cell phone fatigue which happens to all of us. And you may even end up with name tags after all.
What should you read next?
Since you’re planning a class reunion, why not get some great tips to help you organize the event.