Only a handful of moments take us back to our teenage years like a time machine, and a high school reunion is one such event. A high school reunion brings in lots of special memories to everyone. Planning a successful high school reunion is both a memorable and challenging task. The person in charge should plan precisely and start the preparations early to make the event enjoyable for everyone.
Do Not Miss Anyone
It is important to send an invite to all the people in your batch because the left-out people will feel extremely bad. Get their address from the school records and try to contact every person possible. Use Leadar or Nuwber to find contact details in case you’ve fallen out with your old classmates over the years and have no idea where they are at the time. Ask them to talk to other classmates they know - to make sure everyone is aware of the reunion.
Start Making the Preparations Early
Planning a high school reunion involves contacting hundreds of people at a time. It is better to start making the preparations very early. Decide a date and communicate about it in advance to all the invitees as early as possible. Choose a weekend and make sure the reunion does not fall on a common holiday.
Most of your friends will be adults now and they will love to spend their time with their family on special occasions. A Sunday is suitable for everyone to fly over and meet their friends without having to adjust the work schedule. The preparations might seem never-ending and it is always better if you have enough time in your hand. Hence, starting early and working in groups is a must for high school reunion planning.
Pay Attention to The Key Points
Make arrangements for the five basic requirements listed below.
1. Get a list of participants, gather their current address and send an invite to them.
2. Book a venue based on the number of people who responded to come to the event.
3. Arrange for food, refreshments, photographer, props, etc.
4. Pay attention to special things like a guest speaker, a celebrity guest or bringing an old favorite teacher to the gathering.
5. Make special arrangements for people who come with children, differently-abled people, etc.
Download a good planner from the internet and note all the key points. Integrate it with your calendar and finish off the required tasks on the given date. It will prevent you from feeling overworked and skipping certain steps because of procrastination.
Use the technology to send regular reminders to the invitees, mention any special requirement like a dress code and give a clear hint on what to expect at a party. Use Mailchimp or a similar service to send and receive emails to a bulk of people. Use online templates to create a detailed event list and send it to all the participants.
Plan fun party games to be played during the reunion. Everybody likes to sit around and chat. But the games bring out the inner childishness and fond memories every one of us cherishes. Hire an event planner who excels in conducting party games or assign the task to a group of your friends. Arrange for a band to play music if you plan on partying and set up an open bar if your budget permits.
Create Lasting Memories
Every one of us has our own life and some might be successful while others might still be on their way. Mention a clear code of conduct on invitation and request cooperation from all the attendees to make the day a fun event. Do not dig the embers to rekindle old memories, pick on old fights and try to show off too much. Most of you are mature adults now and it is important to act like one.
Mention clearly what should be done and what should not be done during the reunion and avoid people who will cause trouble. If your friends want to bring their family or date, consult with the majority and allow everyone to do the same. If most people are against it, avoid giving special treatment to some people.
Keep It Budget Friendly
Do not spend too much on food and partying. The whole purpose of the party is to reconnect and refresh the old contacts. Enjoying is important, but stressing people too much to pay for over enjoyment might backfire. Most people have family commitments and they will usually shrug off when it comes to spending too much on a high school reunion.
Some might want the party to be a gala event while others want it to be simple and heart-warming. It is your job as a planner to ensure both parties are fulfilled with the right balance. Take into account the job and earning capacity of the majority of participants while planning the event. Do not take too much money from the successful ones to spend on others making everyone feeling shy or obligated towards them.
Be Ready for The Unexpected
There will be sudden emergencies and numerous challenges to your plan. The caterer might not show up at the given time, too many guests might arrive or the number might be less than you thought. Some will praise the arrangements while others will scrutinize them like a critic.
It is the duty of the planning party to serve as a graceful host. Be prepared to face the unexpected and always have a plan B ready if something goes wrong. Do not shy away from asking for help from your friends as the whole purpose of the reunion is to show you are there for each other.
High school reunions must be fun and not treated as a comparison scale or boasting stage to determine who is the best. It is one of the few places where we can have a second childhood. Good planning is extremely important to make the day memorable for hundreds of people. Plan wisely, start early and use the technology and get help to make your reunion a grand success.