Planning A Class Reunion is really about successfully completing a lot of little tasks so that the desired outcome is achieved for the group.
One of these details is to make sure that the welcome packet you hand out to class reunion attendees is created properly.
A well planned welcome packet will serve several purposes that will reduce confusion and answer questions that attendees may have.
If you have blocked hotel rooms (Read: 7 Ways To Save Money When Booking A Hotel For A Class Reunion) for out of town classmates, the front desk can hand welcome packets to reunion members as they check-in.
Here are some of the essentials to include in a welcome packet for a class reunion.
Include information on the surrounding area including any new developments (Malls, theme parks, activities) that classmates may not be aware of. Quite a few of the folks attending the reunion moved out of town years ago and may not be familiar with any new developments that have happened since then.
Bring people up to speed on any local favorites that are still around so people can go back and visit on their own time while they are attending.
Have a classmate create a booklet that includes yearbook photos alongside recent ones with a small (140 characters?) update on what each person has been up to. You can collect this information from class members when you send out the class reunion memory book questionnaire.
Alternately, create a form that reunion members fill out on the class reunion website. You can have this list made professionally (if you have the funds) or it can be done on a simple word processing software like Microsoft Word.
Class reunion name tags are an essential part of any welcome packet. It’s tough to recognize people after thirty years, but having a name tag will yield benefits like instant recognition. Name tags can also be used in place of meal tickets if your class reunion is all inclusive. Require folks to wear them to every event to gain entry.
Agenda For Class Reunion
Have a printed agenda so class reunion members can plan their days around the activities you have planned for them. Make it as detailed as possible with dates, time, and directions to special off-site venues. You will save yourself a few hundred repetitive questions by including this in the welcome packet.
Things To Do Nearby
Directions with telephone numbers to nearby restaurants, coffee houses (Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts etc), kids attractions (Mini Golf, Chuck E Cheese), and movie theatres (You get extra credit if you include show times). Also, if you are going so far as to get show times, talk to the general manager of the movie theatre to see if they will offer your class reunion members a discount.
Vouchers, Tickets, Trinkets
Make sure to include any vouchers for breakfast, event tickets, or banquet meal tickets for the entire event. If you had any class reunion mementos made, include them in the welcome packet as well.
Some class reunions will also include a bottle of water along with some snacks (Granola bar, chips etc.) in the welcome bags.
Hand out a hotel map if you are having any banquets or are planning activities there. An area map and a campus map will also come in handy for attendees as they try to navigate streets that were once familiar.
Class Attendance List
A list of expected attendees is another great idea that was submitted by a class reunion planner. Handing out this list at check in lets your attendees know who they can expect to meet.
Though it may see like a lot of work to organize the welcome packets, it is well worth it because you will save tons of time at the class reunion itself. Instead of enjoying the reunion, you will be left answering questions, and handing out tickets. Not only will you be frustrated, your reunion members will also be dissatisfied with the lack of coordination and organization.
Lastly, if you plan to do all this alone, you shouldn’t. Learn to delegate to other members and volunteers. There should be a light burden on the shoulders of many rather than a heavy burden on a few.
What should you read next?
Check out some of our tips to plan a great class reunion.