Feeling nostalgic about your former classmates? If so, there’s nothing better than getting on the planning committee for your next high school or college reunion so you can help get the word out and plan an unforgettable celebration.
Step one: Create an overall budget and prioritize in ways that are most meaningful to your class.
Step two: Use this blog post for guidance on party planning so you can have a successful, enjoyable event.
When should the class reunion be scheduled?
Popular times include:
- Summer months: This can be especially helpful for class members who still have children in school because their weekends may be filled with family and school activities during the academic year.
- September/October: If the reunion will be held within reasonable driving distance of the alma mater, you could hold a weekend event and take in a football game.
- Thanksgiving/Christmas season: If you know that a number of classmates come to their old hometown during the holidays, it may make sense to schedule a reunion then—but schedules may be hectic and it class reunion venues may get booked up. So, plan especially early for a holiday reunion.
What class reunion venues should the committee look into?
First, an easily accessible location with ample parking is key. It’s likely that former classmates will be coming from numerous places around the country, so choosing a venue that’s close to an airport with convenient highway routes to the location can be helpful. It also makes sense to pick a reunion venue that’s located near nice hotels and/or other lodging facilities.
If you get last-minute sign-ups, which aren’t unusual, can the venue reconfigure rooms to make space? Are there enough parking spots for your expected attendance? Are they conveniently located by the venue and are they free?
Here are other considerations:
- What is the ambiance of each venue? If you want a relaxed atmosphere among friends, is that possible at the location? What if you want a more elegant celebration?
- What are the hours of operation? Do they fit what you have in mind?
- Does the venue have on-staff experts to help you plan your event? Help on the night of the class reunion?
- Are there reunion rental items available that will streamline the process for you?
Because the location is key to the event, here is an in-depth look at choosing the right class reunion venue.
How do we track down classmates?
Fortunately, social media makes this easier than in the past. You can create a group for your reunion on Facebook—and then ask every classmate whose contact information you have to join the group. Then, ask each of them to reach out to people they know who haven’t been included yet.
Some people from your class may belong to online sites such as Classmates.com, where connections can be made—and don’t forget LinkedIn, where you can search by school. Again, each time you find someone, ask him or her to reach out to others.
What menu should we choose for our class reunion?
Class reunion menus range all the way from picnic type foods served buffet or family style to classy sit-down meals. If you’ve got a theme for the reunion (perhaps the one you’d used for your senior prom or other special event), then it can make sense to match the menu with it. Or, you can create a theme just for the reunion, whether that’s a western event with barbecue ribs, a night in Paris with French delights, or something else.
Find out if the class reunion venues you’re considering recommend or require certain caterers to be used. If you can choose your own, what needs to be done ahead of time? If you’re planning a big reunion, will the venue have enough kitchen space?
How can we make the reunion fun?
Decorate according to your theme and make class yearbooks available. You can create a slideshow of images, whether from your school days or to catch people up with what everyone has been doing since graduation day. You can order and sell t-shirts with your high school’s name and class motto. Designs can be created ahead of time and voted upon in the Facebook group.
Class reunions are an ideal opportunity to collect oral histories of class members. Classmates can download the StoryCorps.org app and ask one another questions for the record. These memories can then be uploaded to Congressional archives, either made public or with privacy settings.
What about a photo booth with fun props that would appeal to your class? Unique name tags with the appropriate senior picture on them? Playing songs that were popular when you were in school?
Book Thrasher-Horne Center for Your Class Reunion Venue
Our 6,135-square-foot facility provides the flexible options you need to hold a class reunion to remember, with customizable special event rooms—including what you’d need for a band or DJ, plus room for dancing. Thrasher-Horne is conveniently located on the lovely St. Johns River State College campus, with plenty of free parking.
Choose your own caterer or use one of our time-tested recommendations—and also benefit from the support and expertise of our event coordinator. To schedule a tour or to reserve your space, call 904-276-6815, ext. 2, today.