Did you know that the #1 reason for low attendance/response rate is that most people aren’t even aware that the reunion is being held.
Making more people aware is supremely important and should take up a majority of your time in the initial planning phases.
In order to get the word out, you need to announce the military reunion through your contacts in the military, online and through friends.
Here are some fast and simple ways to get those reunion attendance numbers dancing higher.
Set Up A Group On Facebook
Once you have set a date for the military reunion, set up a group on Facebook. Give your reunion an easy to remember name (ex. SSN 679 USS Silversides Military Reunion 2011) and add yourself as the organizer and include your email address and telephone number.
Start adding friends you know are interested in attending the military reunion. Then add a link to the group on your personal Facebook page and on your friends pages. Events like military reunions tend to spread fast on Facebook so you should see some pretty good traction here.
On your facebook page, be sure to:
- Include your contact information so people can email you.
- Encourage people to spread the word via their own facebook pages.
- Tell folks to send in names of people they would like to see at the military reunion so you can invite them as well.
- Post any open positions for volunteers on the Facebook group page (ex. “We need volunteers to get group rates for hotels in the Norfolk, Virginia area. If you are interested in helping us gather group rates, email me and I will forward more details”).
Make An Announcement
The following websites let you announce your military reunion to the world at no cost. This is a free way to get the word out on websites that are frequented by the very people you are looking to attend the military reunion.
Military.com – Easy to list your military reunion here. You can provide a link to your website or a Facebook Group. They also have a Buddy finder service so you can locate an old friend. The website is 10 million people strong and should on your list of websites to add your reunion to.
Militaryspot.com– List your military reunion for free at MilitarySpot.com. Listings will appear below. Contact us to send reunion info. Please include dates of reunion, url link (if any), location of reunion, who is invited, additional information about the reunion, and contact information.
Reunionsmag.com – Register your military reunion: submit reunion name, date and place, contact name, address, phone numbers, e-mail and web addresses. E-mail us (firstname.lastname@example.org) to register or send to Reunions magazine, PO Box 11727, Milwaukee WI 53211-0727, fax 414-263-6331.Listings are free.
The Alliance – In order to post your military reunion, you need to become a member of the alliance of military reunions. Membership is free and so is the announcement about your reunion.
VetFriends.com – Good place to list you reunion (free) and you can also use their buddy finder service to locate potential attendees.
Don’t Forget Snail Mail
In todays world of instant connections, it is easy to forget that there are going to be quite a few people without internet access. Be sure to mail them an actual invitation/RSVP card to see if they can make it. You want to make things as inclusive as possible and reaching out to this group of people will yield great benefits.
Advertising Is Not Expensive
The following websites and publications will list your reunion for a small fee. While it may seem like a waste of money for this service, it may be worth it to try out a couple of them to see what kind of response you get. Make sure to include all your contact information, and any additional reunion information that you are allowed to include.
Set Up A Military Reunion Website
You do not have to be tech savvy to set up a military reunion website anymore. There are quite a few companies that specialize in helping you set up a great reunion website with little or no cost. One that we like is myevent.com. You can set up a military reunion website in minutes, invite your attendees, collect dues, and take polls about your reunion without ANY technical knowledge. They offer a 7-day trial with no credit card.
While listing your military reunion in all the channels above may seem like a lot to do, the results are worth the effort. Just remember to get as many people involved as possible. The more you are able to spread the word, the stronger the turnout.
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