If you are part of a committee planning a reunion for your class you are definitely going to be looking for ways to get your classmates to attend the event. Most people aim to get 50% of their class to come when it actually ends up being more like 25%. As you are planning a reunion, it’s important to focus on promoting the event beyond planning the event details like venue, class reunion invitations and decorations. After all, if no one knows about your class reunion no one will show up. Follow these tips to ensure a great turnout at your class reunion.
Create a facebook page. It’s very easy to create a Facebook page for your reunion. It provides a space for community interaction, a place to share event updates, photos and videos and a way to private message people. It’s free and most everyone already has a Facebook account so you can invite people to the page very easily. Designate one or two people from your reunion planning committee to be the admins of the page. Choose people who will regularly update it. If no one updates it, there won’t be much point in having the page. Set your reunion page up one year to six months prior to reunion date.
Create a pinterest account for the planning committee. Create boards for games ideas, awards, food, decorations etc. Make sure you give access to all the people who are part of the planning committee. Share boards on facebook for community input to create a conversation around planning.
Create a Twitter account for the reunion committee. You can tweet the same things you are posting on Facebook. Just make sure you start following your classmates and get them to follow you. Offer incentive to follow you back – 10% off ticket price or discount on advertising their business in the class directory.
Share your posts. Get everyone on your committee to share the reunion page posts on their personal Facebook pages. The effect should be somewhat viral. The idea is that all their friends will then re-post and spread the information on to others from your class.
Engage your classmates by being active on your reunion Facebook page well in advance of the reunion. You’ll get people excited about seeing one another. Post pictures, images and videos. Start polls to help make decisions surrounding venue, activities, decor, food, etc. The key is regular posting and commenting so that people stay interested. Encourage everyone to share the memories they have.
Stir up nostalgia and share popular music from the time you were in school, now and then photos of people, give quizzes about yesteryear, apropos quotes, etc. Get people to remember how much fun they had back then. Post photos of questionable fashion and hairstyle choices popular when you were in school. Get a custom reunion guestbook and put an old class photo on it, or picture of the school back in your day. Anything to make people smile and nostalgic for their old friends and alma mater.
Start voting for awards. You can run polls on facebook and start tallying well in advance so you’ll have time to create the actual awards. Send a message to winners (if they are following the page on facebook.) Give teasers about who won and let people know you’ll present awards at the actual event. People will love voting for things like “most changed”, “lease changed”, “most kids”, “lives the furthest from home town” etc.
Make it as affordable as possible. Money is generally a deciding factor for people when they are weighing whether to come or not. Try to host the reunion in the best free place possible. This could be a local bar, park, restaurant or community center. If you want to upgrade to a more sophisticated venue, be prepared for the price tag attached. Remember the goal isn’t the venue, it’s getting people to the venue.
Create a way for attendees to pay online. Whether it’s paypal or pay it square or any other trusted ecommerce site, if people prepay, they are more likely to show up.
Send paper invites if it’s in your budget. Though using Facebook Events is good, some people like have an tangible invitation for a keepsake. Also, there may be people who aren’t online regularly to be reached via Facebook so sending out a paper invite to supplement your Facebook page is a good idea. PurpleTrail.com has a lot to offer in the way of custom class reunion invites. Be sure to send these out at least eight months in advance to give people enough time to plan for travel. Be sure to include the address for your facebook website so that they can RSVP there.
Good luck planning your reunion!