Knowing what to discuss during the first few class reunion planning meetings is crucial.
The success or failure of an entire event can reside on the expectations set during the initial planning stages.
In this article, we have detailed a list of items that should be discussed during the class reunion planning meetings.
Where to Start?
A few weeks before the meeting, the reunion chair should email everyone a class reunion meeting agenda of what needs to be discussed during the first meeting.
Keep in mind that the first meeting needs to be less about actual decisions and more about brainstorming and developing a plan of action.
If a reunion chair or any of the committee positions have not been filled, the first meeting is the time to do it. There is no sense in starting a discussion about responsibilities if everyone attending does not know what they will be accountable for.
If you would like to learn more, read “Tips On Putting Together A Class Reunion Planning Committee”
What To Discuss?
Date, Location, Type Of Class Reunion
Start by discussing potential dates that are acceptable to the committee and the alumni office. Keep in mind that many schools prefer to host class reunions at certain times of the year (Homecoming weekend etc.) so your choices may be limited.
The length of the class reunion needs to be discussed as well. If the event is not a milestone reunion, then a one day event may suffice as attendance will generally be low.
If it is a milestone reunion (10th, 25th, 50th etc), then a weekend event is more practical. The alumni office can also help with this decision as they have different events planned for different milestone reunions.
There are many different types of class reunions that you can plan. Should your class reunion be formal or casual? Should it have a party theme or a more subdued theme. Should you plan a specialty reunion like a class reunion cruise?
For more information, read “How To Select The Date, Location, And Type Of Class Reunion”
Decide On A Per Person Price
Before discussing catering, hotels, or entertainment, decide on a per person price that you would like to charge for the class reunion.
For example, once the committee has decided on a $100 per person cost, they can focus on what activities, hotels, and menu choices are suitable under that budget.
To learn more, read “How Much Does A Class Reunion Cost Per Person”
Start The Process Of Creating A Budget
Banquet costs, decorations, activities and entertainment have significant costs associated with them. Creating a budget early on will help you estimate the total cost of the class reunion and the cost per person.
Once a class reunion budget is created, it serves as a guideline for committee members by ensuring the expenses don’t get out of hand. If expenses are higher than expected, the budget provides advance warning to either cut costs or raise additional funds.
To begin the process of creating a budget, ask every committee member to tabulate expected expenses in their respective areas.
For example, if you are blocking hotel rooms, the hotel selection committee will need to provide a rough estimate of the deposit needed at the time of contracting along with a timeline of additional expenses.
A list of potential expenses should be submitted to the finance committee by a due date so they can prepare an overall budget based on the expenses.
To learn more, read from our selection of articles on “Planning A Class Reunion Budget”
Discuss How You’re Going To Pay For Upfront Expenses
- Previous money from reunion
- Call a big beneficiary
- Sell ads
- Pre sell tickets
- Committee loans in lieu of their own costs
- Committee donations
- School Supported
To learn more, read “Ideas On How To Raise Startup Funds For A Class Reunion”
Discuss Hotel Needs
Do you need to block hotel rooms for out of town guests? What are the advantages of getting a group rate instead of letting people book on their own? Should you only look at hotels with banquet space so a dinner can be hosted there? Will you need transportation from the hotel? What kind of group hotel rates should be budgeted? What kind of star rating is acceptable?
Answers to these and other questions related to hotels can be found here: “Need A Hotel For A Class Reunion?”
Discuss Potential Activities
Your reunion can offer as many activities as the budget permits. Deciding on the kinds of activities that may be suitable varies by age, and interests. Since most of your classmates are of the same age, planning activities should not be too challenging.
There are two easy ways to figure out what activities classmates will enjoy at the class reunion.
- Take a poll on the class reunion website
- Ask the alumni office for a list of activities that other class reunions have enjoyed
Many different types of activities and events can be organized. You can schedule Karaoke night, bowling night, hire entertainment, have a dance etc.
The possibilities are limited by your own creativity and budget. Read “Class Reunion Games And Activities”
Most class reunions choose to have their catering events on campus. However, some may choose to use outside vendors. If that is the case, then have the catering committee put together a list of potential venues that can host your event.
Keep in mind that the venue should be close to the school, and the hotel so transportation does not become a hassle.
In selecting caterers/venue, the alumni office can often provide a list of vendors/venues that they have worked with in the past.
Also, consider hosting your banquet at the hotel where the rooms are blocked. Most hotels will offer a sizeable discount for any food and beverage needs if you have rooms reserved there.
When looking at catering venues, don’t limit yourself to a catering hall or a hotel. Consider parks, museums, community centers, elks lodges and even churches. The choices are many so keep your options open.
Learn more by reading “Class Reunion Catering Tips”
Ideas On Searching For Classmates
Discuss different ways of announcing the class reunion so everyone in your graduating class is made aware of the event. Informing your classmates is significantly easier nowadays since most everyone has an email address or a Facebook account. To learn more, read “How To Find Classmates For A Class Reunion”
Discuss Communications Needs
The person responsible for the communications committee needs to understand how crucial a responsibility this is. Encourage this person to recruit volunteers to help out in creating “Save The Date” cards, registration materials, newsletters etc. Here is a list of responsibilities for the communications committee.
Discuss Creating A Website
Another form of communication is the Class Reunion Website. Have one person solely responsible for creating, and updating the website. Nowadays, it is easy to create a website with no programming knowledge so setting one up does not require a designer or a coder.
The website should be the main point of information and interaction for all your classmates. Encourage everyone to visit the website and interact with other classmates through message boards, chat rooms, and polls.
Doing so creates a community of former classmates that regularly meet in chat rooms, ask and answer questions, and provide additional direction to the planning committee.
Continue Reading “What To Discuss In The Class Reunion Planning Committee Meetings – Part 2“