How to plan a high school reunion

Heather Christie |

 

It’s about that time. Time to catch up with your former classmates and exchange nostalgic stories about your journey since high school. Class reunions can be a great way to reconnect, but how do you even begin to plan such a momentous gathering? Well, we’re here to help guide you through the steps to create an awesome high school reunion.

Plan the event

Pick your team
Planning a reunion is a lot of work, so it’s beneficial to create a committee of volunteers to help with the process. Things to remember when picking your team:

  • Make sure that you have self-starters who can work under strict deadlines and budgets.
  • You will want to make sure that your members are fully committed as planning will often take 6 months or more.

Search for your classmates
Use social media to find teachers and classmates. You can also setup an event page that your classmates can forward to their network to help spread the word for free.

  • Tip: It’s useful to setup an event page with all of your reunion information such as location, date/time, ticket registration, and fun throwback photos. Online ticketing platforms like Eventjoy offer these tools for free, allowing you to use your budget for food, drinks, and décor.

Set a date
You will want to choose a date at least six months in advance to allow ample time for your classmates to plan. Consider the best potential time that your classmates will be available. Typically, summer works best as kids are out of school and vacation time is more abundant. However, it could also be beneficial to have your reunion around big school events like Homecoming.

  • Tip: Make sure to take a look at local calendars to avoid major functions and holidays you may have forgotten about (examples: summer holidays like Mother’s Day, Memorial Day, Father’s Day, 4th of July, and Labor Day where your guests may already have plans).

Pick a venue
This is the fun part! Make sure that the venue will suit your size and budget requirements. Use your contacts here. Someone in your class could be a hotel manager or an event planner that could offer discounts. Things to consider:

  • Size, parking, and accessibility are key factors to address.
  • Make a spreadsheet to compare multiple venues.
  • Make sure you have a floor plan — including dimensions — for your event space. This is often forgotten and you could end up with a lot of empty space, or worse, not enough space for the essentials.

Assist with travel
Book a block of rooms at a nearby hotel. This will be helpful for those classmates that are travelling from out of state and don’t want to sleep on their parent’s couch while looking at middle school photos of themselves.

Spread the word

Gauge Interest
As with any event, it’s helpful to get an accurate headcount to plan for things like catering, giveaways, and space availability.

  • A great way to hedge procrastination is to offer early registration incentives like lower ticket costs or door prizes.

Use social media to your advantage
Posting old pictures or videos of the glory days is a great way to direct traffic to your event page. Simply post these blasts from the past on your social media pages and link your event website.

Create your own hashtag and use it everywhere
This will also come in handy on event day when your classmates are posting pictures and updates to their social media pages.

Manage reunion day

Check-In
It’s helpful to set up a registration table at your reunion where guests can check in. This is a great ice breaker, and can be a good way to direct attendees to the bar or the food line.

Tip: Using tools like Eventjoy’s ticket scanner app and printable guest lists can help make this part easier.

Playlist
Playing music from your high school days is a great way to get your classmates to start dancing and laughing about memories that rush back to them when they hear that old, familiar song.

  • Tip: When they’re registering, ask your guests what songs they promise to dance to if played at the reunion.

Give away swag
There’s nothing like a t-shirt, koozie, or wine glass with a recognizable logo to promote school pride. Companies like Teespring can help with customizing a design. This is a great way to remind your classmates how much fun they had long after the event has ended.

Capture the memories
Invite a photographer and/or videographer to help capture the best moments of your reunion. It will be like an updated yearbook for your classmates to look back on for years to come. Companies like Thumbtack can help you find the right professional for the job.

Photo booths are also a popular and fun addition for your guests to capture memories. You can rent them from companies like ShutterBooth.

Follow up after the event

Thank your guests
Send out an email to your attendees thanking them for coming. Be sure to remind them to share some of their own photos on social media with your event hashtag.

Thank your committee
Don’t forget to also show your appreciation for the volunteers who worked hard to make the reunion possible.

Record important information
Keep a record of photos, email addresses, phone numbers, and vendor contacts to ease your planning efforts for the next event.

Contact your Alumni Association
Send highlights or feedback of the event to your alumni association so they can share it with other upcoming reunions

If you’re getting ready to plan your high school reunion, you can create an event site in minutes with Eventjoy for free. Create your reunion now.