Great ideas and tidbits for your reunion
Reunion Wrap Up Time
As class reunion season draws to a close around Thanksgiving, the holiday season takes over. Then it's the family phase. Time to celebrate, decorate and anticipate family gatherings. More on that next month.
But, before we talk about the holidays, it's especially important to complete the "After the Reunion tasks" while the reunion glow is still ablaze. It will keep the kindle shining even longer. The organizers can relax for a few weeks and enjoy the exhilarating after affects of thanks, pats-on-the-back and appreciation for your efforts.
The Aftermath tasks can be summarized in three parts, 1) organize, 2) be gracious and 3) think smart. In her book, "The Reunion Planner, How to Make Your Reunion a Social and Financial Success," Linda Hoffman outlines what needs to be done:
1. Stay Organized.
The Memory Album. (Page 187). Getting the Memory Album out as quickly as possible should be uppermost on your list. After the reunion, it's difficult to muster the energy to approach another project, and often it takes months after the reunion. Linda highly recommends the committee work hard to get it out as soon as possible because not only is everyone is anxious to get it to maintain contacts with those who attended, but the pictures tell the story of the event.
The photographer should send the photo proofs within a few weeks after the reunion. Verify that the names have been spelled correctly and prepare the pages. Including:
- Design a cover page. Choose from templates on the Internet and personalize it.
- Compose a brief statement from the Committee thanking everyone who attended the reunion and why it was so successful along with a request they keep you notified of any contact information changes. If available, include a picture and the identities of the committee members.
- Title Page: Contains the reunion particulars, i.e. reunion year and title, date and location of main event.
- Secondary pages: pictures of the reunion location, the school, class mascot or logo, family crest, military emblem.
- List of any award winners such as the one who travelled the furthest.
- A memorial page
- Roster of names, address, phone numbers and email addresses.
- Collage pages—candid or posed pictures taken at the event
- Business card page, if you charged for business card ads,
- Once completed, send to all attendees and to those who didn't attend but bought the Album, and those who paid to attend, but didn't.
Bank Account: (Page 189) Prepare a budget review very soon after the reunion. Tally up the revenues and expenses including any remaining costs to be paid. If you have budgeted carefully there should be a balance remaining. Open a Savings Account for the surplus for the next reunion, and donate some of the remaining money to the school in honor of your reunion.
2. Be gracious.
Thank-you Notes (Page 189) should be written to special guests, the facility event coordinator, those who donated services and prizes, and others deserving appreciation including everyone who participated in making the reunion a success.
Follow up Letter. (Sample shown on page 190.) This will keep the reunion glow glitter while accomplishing several objectives:
- reminds guests to update the committee with changes in contact information,
- provides another opportunity to purchase any reunion items as a video, memory album, t-shirts, cook books or other souvenirs,
- include a discount coupon to purchase any left over reunion items,
- offers information by sending a roster with attendees' email addresses so continued connections can happen right away.
3. Keep smart.
Store Supplies. (Page 191) Place remaining memory albums, photo books, name tags, memorabilia, and other reunion files and supplies, in a clearly marked storage box. This will be very useful when getting ready for the next reunion, no matter who plans it.
Reflect and Revise (Page 191) While everything is fresh in your mind plan a post committee meeting—go for a potluck dinner at a committee member's house to show the reunion video. In the midst of reminiscing about the reunion, take the opportunity to reflect and revise for the next time as what worked and what didn't.
Keep in Touch between Reunions (Page 192)
- Maintain contact between reunions by sending occasional newsletters via email. Include any alumni news, solicit ideas for the next reunion or ask for help in planning the next one. After all, you expect the next reunion to be even better than the last.
Congratulations on a job well done, you deserve it!
Your next reunion will be much easier as Linda Hoffman's book starts well in advance of any reunion (The Reunion Planner). Neal Barnett's accompanying software program (version 7.05) has everything you could possibly hope for to assist you in keeping data, budget info, "To Do" list, email alerts, nametags and more. Go to the Store/Books and Software atwww.reunionplanner.com to order.