Planning games and entertainment for the class reunion weekend is the responsibility of the activities committee.
While it sounds like an easy assignment that anyone can do, mistakes are common.
Planning activities that no one participates in, entertainment that does not entertain, and ice breakers that don’t break the… well you know what.
The problem is that many planners don’t even know their responsibilities.
They may not know that their games should mesh with the overall theme of the class reunion or that the bowling is an idea that did not sit well when classmates were polled (Here is a list of some great Class Reunion Games And Activities)
Having a list of responsibilities will help them get started in the right direction.
Responsibilities Of The Class Reunion Activities Committee
Activities and entertainment for a class reunion need to be planned for different locations. Entertainment should be planned for the Saturday evening banquet, ice breakers can be planned at the location of the individual event, and games can be planned at the hotel that your classmates are staying at (If you have not reserved a block of hotel rooms for out of town classmates, we suggest you get moving. Hotels fill up fast, especially during busy periods.).
Here is the list of responsibilities:
Poll Classmates For Ideas
A great source of ideas is your class reunion attendees themselves. Solicit ideas on your website or Facebook Group page. Send out a survey or conduct a poll on the Class Reunion Website asking for suggestions on classmates would like to do while they are at the class reunion. Limit the choices to 3-4 activities per time slot so you can manage the answers.
Arrange Schedule For Weekend Activities
When should the bowling tournament be? When should you do the class reunion slide show? Let the activity committee decide on the optimal time for each.
Plan Theme Based Activities
Keep the theme in mind when planning a class reunion. Different aspects of the theme can be incorporated in various ways. For example, If the Class Reunion Theme is the 80s then have a dance based on the song Thriller. Everybody can come in masks and clothing that resembles the hit Michael Jackson video.
Plan Social Hour
Get people acquainted by getting everyone to talk during the social hour with ice breakers. Plan games that will make people feel more comfortable in their surroundings. Make sure to select activities that will get people talking about their past, new accomplishments, and anything funny that they could relate.
The idea is to get people to open up about themselves so everyone else in the room can get to know them. Having a good MC helps getting people to talk so many class reunions hire a professional to come in and get the ball rolling.
Plan Daytime Activities
The alumni office is a good resource for ideas and inspiration. As they are host to several class reunions a year, they know which activities go over best and which ones fail miserably. They can be a great resource for vendor contacts and recommendations as well.
Popular activities include organizing a high school or college skit, a dance party set up just like the prom, or hiring entertainment.
When looking for talent, don’t be shy about hiring one of your own classmates. Why not have them perform for the class. Get some classmates on the piano, guitar and drums and you got a good show (with no cost too!)
Regardless of the type of activities are being planned, it is important to incorporate as much of the theme as possible. Doing so simply creates a more memorable class reunion.
Other activities include college tours, athletic activities (golf, usually), movie night in the ballroom.
When planning activities, make sure that you have the space available for any acts, skits or entertainment. Also, make sure that you have the appropriate AV equipment reserved well in advance.
Another regular feature at class reunions is a guest speaker. This can be anyone that classmates would be interested in hearing from. It could be an old principle, a favorite teacher or even a highly successful classmate. Having a good speaker can have a memorable impact on the reunion itself.
In order to make the class reunion your own, encourage the activities committee to be creative. Let them explore things that may be different and will provide a change from the average class reunion.
Keep Everything Under Budget
Don’t break the bank when planning activities for the class reunion. It is easy to get carried away so keep the budget in mind when signing contracts. Some things to consider in terms of cost:
- Location – is the event or activity at the college or the hotel porters and off-site
- Individual or family event – is the event only for the class reunion attendee or does it include the entire family. The cost may be different depending on how many people are taking part in the activities.
- Decorations – what is the cost to decorate for the activity. Remember that any costs for decorations during activity will be taken out of your budget and not the decorations committee. Same goes for any party favors, memorabilia or trinkets that you may have bought.
Some Tips For The Class Reunion Activities Committee
Know Your Time Slots
If you do plan on having a program after your banquet dinner, then make sure the alumni office knows about the hours that you will need. Some colleges will restrict the amount of time you have for your activity to an hour or less. If you plan on having the activity going on for longer than that (Like a dance), then you may want to rent a ballroom at the hotel or have the dinner and a different menu altogether.
AV Equipment May Be Free
Your school can provide most of the AV equipment. Make sure that you request it well ahead of time. Some universities will schedule multiple reunions on the same weekend (Homecoming weekend) so it is a first come first serve kind of deal.
Another advantage of getting the equipment from your school is that they may set it up for you as well.
Most hotels will throw in AV equipment for free so long as you reserve your hotel rooms there. You can get AV equipment, computer equipment or musical instruments like amplifiers as part of the deal. Make sure to discuss this ahead of time with the hotel. They will not provide anything for free once you have signed.
A class meeting is usually when the class holds elections for new officers, the treasurer gives an update on the budget, and the reunion chair provides updates on the class gift.
Set up this meeting right before the big banquet dinner to maximize attendance. The meeting should last about an hour to your schedule.
Planning class reunion activities is a fun filled, and rewarding endeavor. Not only do you get to choose which activities will be enjoyed by the class reunion, you also get to see how it all plays out at the reunion itself.
Just remember to plan well ahead of the actual class reunion. Stanley Judd once said “A good plan is like a road map: it shows the final destination and usually the best way to get there”.
What should you read next?
Take a look at our class reunion planning guide where we have a list of articles to you plan a great class reunion.