If you’ve attended a class reunion recently, then you know how nerve wracking an experience it can be when you are checking in.
Most are wondering “What do my classmates look like? How are they doing physically? Financially? What is everyone going to be wearing to the different events”.
These questions inevitably create nervousness and anxiety for classmates as they arrive at the class reunion.
And it is this very anxiety that the welcoming committee is there to get rid of.
Selecting the right people to be on the welcoming committee is crucial to ensuring that classmates arriving to the reunion feel like they belong.
Having someone greeting classmates helps to reduce the anticipation and nervousness that people inevitably feel when they attend a reunion.
Who should greet class reunion attendees?
Staff your class reunion welcoming committee with popular faces that most of your attendees would know. The class president, homecoming king or queen or even a popular athlete would serve well.
More importantly, make sure the people on the welcoming committee are friendly and welcoming by nature. While not a requirement, they should present a great smile and be quick with a joke.
Also, have the welcome committee go over each person’s class reunion questionnaire ahead of time to increase familiarity with the attendees. An ideal scenario would be where someone checking in hear’s the welcoming committee say “Welcome back James. Would you believe me If I told you that you are the only Interventional neuroradiologist attending today?”.
What Are Their Responsibilities
Their primary responsibility is to make sure that everyone that checks in to the hotel/campus center is provided a welcome packet and an agenda. Also, they should encourage those coming in to attend a cocktail hour (social hour) if one is planned on the date of arrival.
If you are housing your classmates at a dorm (here are reasons a class reunion shouldn’t use campus housing) then they may also need assistance in getting around with their luggage. Having a student volunteer help with this is always a benefit.
What Should You Have At The Class Reunion Welcome Table
The class reunion welcome table can be set up with simple needs like name tags and welcome packets along with additional resources to help with the weekend festivities. They can contain some or all of the following:
- Class Reunion Agenda
- Class Reunion Name Tags – Not everyone is going to recognize each other at the class reunion. Having name tags is a much better way than having to say “Aren’t you the guy that used to throw spitballs at me biology?”
- Directions To Activities, School etc – There are going to be a multitude of activities at the class reunion. From a BBQ lunch to a plated Dinner with entertainment. Don’t assume that your class reunion attendees still remember how to get around town. Give them directions instead so they don’t have to look it up themselves.
- Things To Do Around Town – There is going to be some downtime during the weekend so give folk a list of activities that they can do. A list of popular hangouts, movie theaters, Drive In’s (Do those still exist?), local pizza place would suffice.
- A list of popular local spots (ones that were popular at the time you graduated) – Were there popular spots where all the kids used to hang out? Grab a list of them and make a handout out of it.
- Bottled water
- List of all expected attendees – There are classmates whose face we may have forgotten but we know their names. Have a list of expected attendees so classmates know who they are going to run into through the weekend.
- Local restaurants
- A class reunion trinket (pen, mug, etc)
The welcome committee should serve to reduce the anxiety and fear that many people feel when they arrive at their class reunion. Many classmates have not seen each other in ten, or twenty years so its perfectly natural for them to feel anxious. Having a welcoming committee that understands this and counteracts it by being friendly and inviting is a great way to welcome nervous attendees and get them feeling like they belong.
What should you do next?
Read our class reunion planning guide to get some more great ideas on organizing a great event.