Reunions are no more than a party with a little
'reunion oriented' planning. Here is a simple list of things
to remember and handle. Start early because many times resources
are booked well in advance of events (as much as a year or more in some
A. Coordinator/Reunion Committee needs to be folks
that can donate time and resources to the effort. It does take a lot
1. Set up a bank account to handle the
Establish how the checks should be made out and put that in the
documentation that you send classmates.
b. Keep an
accounting of all money taken in and spent so that you can conveniently
report it to the rest of the committee.
Establishing a merchant charge account is not practical for such a small
endeavor but it's nice if one of the committee people has a business
already and can run the funds through their merchant account.
Decide if you can do this and say so in the documentation.
2. Either set up a PO Box or have a
predetermined address that the committee will use for ALL mailing info.
3. Contact points such as the mailing
address and phone numbers must be publicly available so plan for that.
4. In our modern age a fax (fax number) is
a must and someone should have Internet access and an established email
address for that part of the efforts.
B. Reunion Location
1. Big enough for group coming?
2. Is liquor and/or liquor permit a
a. Beer can
be on a 'donation' basis and that seems to cover the expense or you can
just buy the stuff.
that drinking is not a part of everyone's life.
liquor may have to be served by the establishment where you are having
3. Smoking... remember that non-smoking is
the word of the day and you may run some folks off if it allows smoking
inside the building.
4. Is it a 'public place' and will those
that are not part of the reunion affect it?
5. Many factors affect class reunions that
are 'family' oriented and plans must be made to entertain the children
that come. Some reunions have an evening out and a second day with
family oriented them.
6. Don't forget furniture. Is it
furnished? How much do you need?
7. Parking? Security? Keep
these in mind if need be.
C. Classmates lists
1. Sources for current addresses are
previous reunion committees, the Internet, friends and other classmates.
2. Graduation lists come from the yearbook,
commencement flyers, and possibly the school district (you won't get
addresses from the school district usually).
3. Internet resources and web pages that
are readily available for contact points.
www.switchboard.com Search by
name and by phone number. Many times spouses are listed.
name, middle name, basic location. (Note: $64.90 for unlimited 48 hour
search to get details of basic address. Contact them.)
www.usps.com/zip4 is the way to
get accurate addresses if you have a basic address.
4. Updates on line for those that use the
D. Announcing the reunion
1. Radio spots.
2. Newspaper community news spots.
US Newspaper List
3. Web pages with details of reunion.
mailing to classmates.
b. Follow up
post card is a nice addition a couple of weeks before the event.
Postcards come in three standard sizes, 4 x 6, 5 x 7, and 5-1/2 x 8-1/2.
They are commonly printed on 100# card stock.
c. Postcard and Stamped Card Rates
Postcard (commercially sold) $0.23
Stamped card (sold by USPS) 0.25
3. Postcard Rate Dimensions:
Minimum: 3-1/2 inches high by 5 inches long by
0.007 inch thick.
Maximum: 4-1/4 inches high by 6 inches long by 0.016 inch thick.
Postcards over the maximum height or length for the card rate are
charged regular First-Class Mail rates.
E. Cost factors
1. How much are you going to spend?
2. What are you going to provide and what
will not be provided?
3. List what you'll have to buy and get
some cost estimates.
badge holders, printing, database, black marking pens for name badges that
are written at reunion.
other mailing expenses.
including copying, paper, toner, etc.
charges for contacting classmates, etc.
F. At the reunion...
1. Name tags should have graduation name
and a picture if possible. People don't have a clue in many cases
what a classmate looks like now and they will need the association of the
old name and picture. Printing should be big enough to read
conveniently. Avery Labelpro will assist you in producing these name
tags and is quite easy to use. You should plan some time to scan
in the classmate pictures from a yearbook if you don't already have a
database set up.
2. Forms for folks to pick up and mail in
with updated information on classmates.
3. Cash bars are nice and convenient for
folks that drink. They upset folks that don't drink.
'Everyone' doesn't drink! My belief is that provisions should be
made for soft drinks, etc. that are not part of a cash bar.
4. Food should be something that is easy to
deal with and if catered be sure to determine exactly what they are going
to provide at what cost.
5. Pictures say a lot and plans should be
made for a photographer to catch everyone together in group photos.
A camera can be set up for classmates to stand in front of and 'make a
1. Live band, DJ and other entertainment
2. Don't forget to involve the classmates
in the entertainment.
3. It is also my feeling that the
entertainment is not the focus of the event and therefore can take a back
seat to the visiting.
4. Remember that folks are at the reunion
to visit with old friends... not so much to 'party'. Turning 'down'
the lights makes it hard to read the name badges and see just who it is
that is there and who you are talking too. In a normal party the down turned
lights would be 'romantic', etc.
5. An interesting offering to reduce the
cost of music presentation is this class reunion music offering: www.topsongs.net/classreunionmusic.htm
I personally have not yet used them but will be giving them a call.
H. And here's an option to not mess with any of the above...
Hire one of the professional reunion handlers and you're relieved of
most of the work that it requires to set up a reunion.
1. Class Act Reunions, PO Box 25063,
Shawnee Mission, KS 66225, (913) 851-4244, (800) 747-8766
(Contact Bill Creason)
2. A Reunion With Class, PO Box 2150,
Lee's Summit, MO 64063, (816) 510-7821
(Contact Diane Ferguson)
3. An Event with Class, PO Box 28312, Gladstone,
Missouri, 64188, (816) 455-5549
firstname.lastname@example.org (Contact Jesse A Hernandez)
www.reunions.com is the information page for the National
Association of Reunion Managers. It is another good resource