If you were put in charge of planning your upcoming class reunion, you’re aware that it can be a daunting but rewarding process. It may take a lot of work, but with the proper planning and task delegation, you can plan a beautiful reunion your fellow alumni will remember for years to come. Stumped on where to start? Browse these class reunion ideas for tips on selecting venues, reunion planning websites, activities, class reunion invitation and other ideas that will make your reunion weekend remarkable.
Class Reunion Ideas: Events and Locations
Typically a class reunion is divided up into several activities spanning two or three days. This is done for numerous reasons: it makes it more worthwhile for alumni to travel from out of town, it gives people more opportunities to catch up, and it allows guests to choose the activities they’re most comfortable attending. A good idea is to have a Friday night “ice breaker” get-together where guests can check in, pick up their name tag or reunion packet, and enjoy catching up with their classmates over cocktails and appetizers. This is a great way to ease people’s nerves. The rest of the activities will depend on the time of year, class size and interests of the guests. Here are some sample activity ideas for a weekend class reunion:
This is the initial gathering where classmates will come together to register for the reunion or pick up the schedule. Keep this event simple! Many people will be tired from traveling, and some may be nervous about seeing people they haven’t seen in ten years. The rest of the weekend will be reserved for more extravagant affairs.
- Reserve the banquet room of a restaurant or the back room of a bar. Set up a table where each guest will be greeted and given a name tag as well as anything else they’ll need for the weekend (drink tickets, schedule, souvenir packet). Place plenty of photo collages on the walls so people can reminisce. Serve hor d’oeuvres and offer complimentary cocktails or have a cash bar. For activities, play some ice breakers.
- Block off a section of seating at your high school or college football game and attend as a group. Set up a table for attendees to check in before taking their seats. Host an “after party” at your classmates’ old haunt, like a favorite burger joint or ice cream shop.
- If your class was very small, consider a casual BBQ or potluck at someone’s home. The relaxed setting will ease nerves, and guests will have a chance to show off their culinary skills or bring treats from their hometown.
- Run or walk a 5K together if there’s a race in town that weekend. Make all donations on behalf of your school.
- Have a picnic in the park. Make it a fun, family-friendly activity so parents can bring their kids. Plan games for the little ones to play as well as games for adults to enjoy.
- If there’s a big local event going on the weekend of your reunion, such as a wine tasting, a jazz festival or a county fair, plan to attend together. You could even rent a party bus if it’s outside the city limits.
- Take a local sightseeing tour together. This will be especially fun if your town has changed quite a bit since your school days.
Typically, Saturday night is reserved for the “big party,” which can be anything from a small get-together in the old high school gym to a swanky soiree with a live band and a catered dinner. Depending on your budget, class size and preferences, this party can be anything you want it to be. Polling your classmates months beforehand and getting their input on reunion ideas will give you a good idea of what everyone wants. Some groups choose to spend their budget on a delicious catered dinner, keeping the decor and entertainment minimal to save money. Others choose to rent a beautiful venue with custom banners and host an open bar while only serving small snacks or desserts. Keep the interests of your classmates in mind and your big event is sure to be a hit.
- Get everyone together for a family-friendly farewell brunch. Invite your old teachers and school staff if any of them were close with your class. It will be a great opportunity to see anyone you may have previously missed, talk about how fun the weekend was and gear up to see each other in another five or ten years.
- Arrange for a tour of your old school. You’ll be surprised at how much has changed!
- If you didn’t have a picnic on Saturday, a Sunday picnic is a great way to send everyone off.
- Plan a group golf tournament or another sporting event.
Class Reunion Ideas: Organizational Resources
Though you’ll surely assemble a committee of alumni that will work hard to contact your classmates, brainstorm reunion ideas and work hard to make it a weekend to remember, a wide variety of resources exist online that will help you get organized as well. Check out these websites and articles meant to help you have your best class reunion possible.
These resources will help you create reunion websites where you can organize data, post reunion updates and get reunion ideas from your classmates.
- http://classreport.org Odds are, your high school is probably listed in this enormous database. ClassReport was launched in 2003 by Tim and Barbara Davis after they grew frustrated while planning Tim’s reunion. There are plenty of reunion resources here and they are all free!
- http://reunions.myevent.com This is an easy-to-use website creator.
- http://www.classcreator.com This is another great site for building your reunion website.
- http://www.classquest.com/WebSites.htm Yet another site builder, and this one is free!
Use these websites to help locate your classmates to inform them of reunion plans:
- http://classmates.com This site allows you to create a profile for free. Sending a message to a member, viewing full member profiles, and posting to the message boards requires a paid membership which is $36 per year.
- http://www.graduates.com This site allows you to add a profile, contact class members by email, view and post to message boards, and view member profiles for free.
- http://reunion.com This site allows you to register, add a profile, view and post to message boards for free. Sending and receiving messages to other class members as well as viewing member profiles all require a paid membership of $24 per year.
- http://www.anywho.com/whitepages A modern day version of using a phonebook, this site will be helpful if you know your classmate’s name and location but need their address and phone number.
Reunion Planning Websites
- http://www.reunionsmag.com Reunions magazine will give you reunion ideas for all types of meet-ups, from college reunions to military reunions.
- http://www.reunionplanner.com This site has lots of reunion planning resources worth utilizing.
For a class reunion planning timeline and checklist, check out this post. Enjoy the planning process and have fun making beautiful memories with your friends from the past.