Planning a high school reunion can be challenging, but it’s worth it for an amazing gathering with old friends! Below are some a few planning steps, helpful hints, and important to-do’s and don’t do’s learned the hard way.
Start your planning early by choosing your reunion date. One of the most important decisions you’ll make is the event space. The earlier you start planning, the more likely you are to book your ideal venue, and it will give your classmates enough time to make plans to attend. Unlike high school, reunions can be planned off-season, allowing for higher attendance and sometimes better rates on rentals.
Fall and Summer months tend to be busy for most families, consider a Springtime reunion.
While your class of X, Y or Z year may have been very involved and turn out at high school events was high, generally speaking, it is common to see half of the invited guest attend a high school reunion. Even fewer will be able to help plan and execute the event.
Try to be patient when planning with others. By now, most of the graduates will have work, families, sports, and other social and civic commitments vying for their time. For this reason, we suggest that you start planning as early as 18 months before the event.
1. You’ll need to form a Committee – Historically, the Class President takes the lead by establishing a planning committee. Social media has made peer engagement much more convenient. Your committee might consider starting a Facebook reunion group page! Many high schools also maintain an alumni database, although the address may be out of date, it can be a great place to start.
2. Duty Assignment – By this time many of your peers will have planned a wedding, and you can be sure there will be plenty of opinions on how and where to execute the event. It is generally a good idea to give each committee member a specific task, and the committee can vote on decisions as they are presented. Below are a few tasks that will need delegating:
Decided on a Date and Venue – Take a poll asking for suggestions on dates, have a couple of dates to choose available.
Book your venue – Having a budget set will be essential! Look for venues that offer most of what you will need (staff, parking, bar or beverage service, food, or caterers, etc.); this will help eliminate the need for additional committees and decisions that will need to be made. Most venues require a guaranteed number of attendees at the time of reservation. It is important that you estimate a lower attendance than you expect as most venues require you to pay for the guaranteed number of guests.
By providing a lower estimate, you can save money if classmates have an emergency arise, and most venues can accommodate a shift upward in attendance if given a week’s advance notice. Keep in mind, the person booking the event is legally responsible for paying for the event.
Menu Selection – Be considerate of health interests, will you have a full meal, or appetizers and finger foods. Feeding a large, diverse group requires some consideration, the venue or caterer will be familiar with the challenges and can offer assistance in planning the menu.
Bar Service – What do you want to serve? What are the requirements of the venue when alcohol is served, do you need to provide security or does the venue provide it? Does the venue provide the bar, or do you need to hire bartenders and purchase the alcohol? Do consider the tone you want to set for your event when deciding on what to serve.
Décor – The décor committee member(s) should be included in the venue selection and tour; they will need to understand what the venue supplies and any rules for decorating. May we suggest the committee consider including games and a photo booth.
Entertainment – The entertainment committee should decide early on the type of entertainment they want. Will they hire a band, a DJ, or compile a playlist? If you are organizing a playlist, does the venue have a sound system? The venue may also be of assistance in arranging entertainment; they may have a list of verified entertainment vendors. Better yet, are any of your classmates connected with a DJ or band?
Probably most important, it to set the plans and stick with them. Don’t be swayed by those outside the committee charged with the task. It is why you have a planning committee, by staying with the plan the committee decides on, your event will go much smoother.
3. Go Online with Tickets – Once you’ve book the event space, you can start selling tickets immediately. Depending on the class size, you may want to use online ticket services such as Eventbrite or accept payment from a third-party reunion website. Online ticket payments and RSVPs can help you get a handle on the number of attendees, especially if you set the RSVP date early.
4. Get the Word Out – Enlist the help of everyone you can reach to help you get the word out to classmates. Today, social media makes staying in contact much easier, but many people have opted out of this line of communication. Encourage those in the reunion Facebook group to reach out to those they know to help pass along the reunion information!
5. Have Fun – This is supposed to be a fun event, do as much as you can ahead of time, so you don’t have much to stress about the day of the event. Remind committee members they should arrive early to help with set-up, check-ins, and last-minute needs. They may also need to stay late to help with and clean-up. Keep in mind this is a social celebration, so make sure committee members each have time to enjoy themselves and visit with old friends!
Reunion venues in Lafayette Louisiana that provide an event planner can really take the pressure off of the committee members and ensure they enjoy the reunion as well, if you need help planning your reunion consider calling Le Pavillon at Parc Lafayette.