Planning a high school class reunion is no small task! If it’s your first reunion post-graduation, you may not quite know where to start. If you’re celebrating decades since graduating, you may feel pressured to level up from the last reunion or keep classmates engaged so many years later.
There is a lot to think about and manage from tracking down classmates, to collecting payments, to the day-of logistics. We’ve broken down this seemingly daunting process into 4 simple phases to help you prepare and execute an awesome event. Start early (some reunions start planning up to 2 years in advance!), put together a great team, and follow this guide for an awesome class reunion.
When do you start to plan a high school reunion? The earlier the better!
Planning a big event like a high school reunion is not meant to be a one-person job. Your first task is to find a group of reliable individuals who you can count on to get their tasks done. Traditionally, the event is planned by former student council members, but don’t be afraid to ask for help outside of this group! You might be surprised who raises their hand to help if you just ask. Once you have your esteemed planning committee, you can break down responsibilities and assign roles to ensure everyone has a clear understanding of their part in planning the high school reunion.
The next step is to lay the groundwork for the months ahead. If you’re not the super organized type, consider asking someone from the committee to step in and help with this. Here are a few pro tips to help you get organized:
Thankfully, the digital world we live in has made getting in touch with former classmates much easier. Social media is a great place to start – specifically Facebook & LinkedIn. We recommend starting a Facebook group for your class, as this will be a great way to share updates and your event page. You can also use it as a tool to survey attendees on various expectations and preferences to help make decisions in your planning.
Phase 1 has laid the groundwork for the real work to begin. In phase 2 your committee will really take action to start making the details of your high school reunion come to life.
The beauty of planning class reunions is that there really isn’t a right or wrong way to do them. We love to see the various ways different schools and classes celebrate reunions. We’ve seen reunions with formal sit-down catered meals, full weekends of scheduled activities, and more casual get-togethers at a local bar or bowling alley. Get a feel for what your classmates want and expect from a reunion (this is where Facebook groups can come in handy!) and use that to help decide which direction you should go in planning.
Once you know what type of event you’ll be planning it will be much easier to know what to look for in a venue and start planning the agenda. Remember, different venues will have different contracts and requirements to consider, so make sure to ask questions about things like deposits and minimums to mitigate any unwanted surprises and ensure you can plan and price accordingly.
Once those major details are planned, you’ll want to set up an easy way for your classmates to RSVP and pay for their attendance at the reunion. The event page is also a great central location to house all the important details of the event. RSVPify makes the whole process of selling tickets for your reunion super easy – and it looks super professional!
Tip: With RSVPify, there’s no need to wait until after your event to collect the funds you’ve collected from classmates. This will be helpful when it comes to making deposits for the venue and other event essentials!
You and your team are putting in tons of time to make this reunion special. Don’t be afraid to promote it! In phase 3 we’ll share strategies for maximizing attendance at the reunion.
Of course, not all your classmates still live in the local area. These attendees will need to make additional time and financial commitments in order to attend the event so be mindful of that! The best thing you can do is to get the date out as early as possible, even if you don’t have all the details finalized yet, to give them the best chance at making arrangements to attend.
Keep the event at the front of your classmates’ minds using frequent updates and reminders. To keep from feeling like you’re spamming them, get creative with your social media posts. Here are a few ideas:
Providing incentives can help push people to purchase tickets early and avoid tons of last-minute sales. Early bird pricing or incentives such as extra drink tickets or entries to win a prize or raffle are just a few ideas. For more details on incentivizing early purchasers, check out our guide to boost early event ticket sales.
As the event gets closer, make sure you have all your ducks in a row for a fun event! Here are some tips for smooth sailing on reunion day/weekend.
Start the event off right with a smooth and quick check-in process. If you collected payments through RSVPify, you’ll have free access to our integrated check-in feature (that’s right, FREE). You can send the guests QR codes and quickly check that attendees had purchased tickets in advance at the door.
Little details can make a big difference in having a memorable high school reunion! A few small details that make a big impact are…
Even when the event is over, make an effort to stay engaged with your classmates between reunions! The first step is to send a follow-up after the event thanking everyone who attended for being there! This is a good time to highlight classmates who came a long way to be there and let attendees know where they can find photos from the event. After that, it’s easy to get disengaged until the next planning season starts, but here are a few simple strategies for staying engaged.
As we said, planning class reunions is a lot of work. You are a rockstar for taking on this role. Have questions on how RSVPify can help plan your high school reunion? Create a free account and get in touch with us!