Whether you are selling reunion tickets or collecting payments or donations to organize the event itself, event management software can help
Reunion events offer a great opportunity to relive old memories and establish new ones. Sure, you could host a reunion that’s more casual or informal, but for large group reunions (such as a graduating class, a military unit, a fraternity/sorority, etc), putting some thought into your event planning can transform a simple get together into something lasting and truly memorable. So, whether you are planning a high school reunion, or just a weekend getaway with an old group of friends or co-workers, collecting payments for a reunion can help you plan an event that’s truly special. But how do you plan a reunion that requires collecting payments and donations effectively? How can you easily sell reunion tickets or collect payments for a reunion without needing to wait on snail-mail, or annoy your potential attendees? Let’s look at how event management software can make it easy to sell reunion tickets and give you the resources you need to host an event that everyone will love.
Estimate your costs and choose your venue and vendors first
Before you worry about how to sell tickets to your reunion, you first want to create a budget estimate to know how much you want to charge for tickets, or what your suggested donation might be. To do that, here are some of the considerations you and your co-event planners should discuss first:
Guest listmanagement – First, create a rough draft of the guest list (including +1s) to get an estimate of your potential event size. While every guest won’t attend, you will want a ballpark figure to make it easier to choose the right venue and vendor options.
Venue – Do you want a memorable venue that might cost more but impress attendees? Something more casual that will allow you to conserve your budget for food or party favors? Consider how big or small you want to go with the setting, since this may be one of the biggest upfront costs associated with your reunion planning.
Formal or Informal – How fancy your event is can have some ripple effects in planning you might not anticipate. Does it require a fancy caterer? Will a DJ work, or do you plan on a more extravagant entertainment option? Decide on the feel or tone of your event before moving on to your vendors.
Vendors – Aside from the venue, food/drink is probably the next biggest required expense to consider during reunion planning. Once you have a head count and a feel for the formality of the event, talk to potential caterers to get an estimate for feeding your expected guest list.
Entertainment – Music is always an essential part of any get together, so choosing a music option is probably a must. Do you also want extra fun items like a photo booth, or lawn games? Depending on the type of event, you may want to offer your guests more options than simply eating, drinking, and dancing the night away.
How will you collect payments for your reunion?
Once you have finalized your estimated budget, the next step is to decide how you will ask your guests for money to help cover the costs. Remember, while you certainly want to create an event your guests will love, it can seem tacky to some guests to assume they will spend lavishly on tickets for a high school reunion. With this in mind, you have a few options for collecting payments for a reunion to choose from:
Sell tickets to your reunion – the most straightforward option is to calculate how much you will need each guest to pay individually (or for themselves and a +1) to cover the expenses, and then simply sell tickets at that price. While this may turn off some potential attendees, it will also give you a much clearer picture of how much you are recouping your costs.
Collect donations for your reunion – there are actually two variations to this, a suggested donation or just a solicitation for guests to donate as they see fit. Suggested donations tend to be a bit more convincing in indicating to guests that they should contribute if possible, but also may run into the same issue as ticket sales. Meanwhile, a donation request gives guests more leeway (especially if you don’t know everyone’s financial ability to attend), but might leave you at more risk for not recouping expenses.
Creative alternatives, such as sponsorships or auctions – a third option is to “outsource” the fundraising by working with partners to create auction items guests can bid on at the event (such as gift baskets or vacation packages), or by soliciting sponsorships for advertising. This requires significantly more work for you, but may also reduce how many attendees choose not to attend because of cost issues.
Choose the right event management platform to sell reunion tickets
Once you are finished with all the planning leg-work, the final step is to choose an event management software solution that can make collecting payments for a reunion easy. While there are some simplistic options that focus solely on selling tickets, you can also find more comprehensive event planning software with features that can make event management even easier, such as:
Online RSVP collection
Seating chart makers
QR code check-in to make event registration easier
Mass email communication tools to contact your guest list in a flash
In addition to these features, you’ll also want to consider how much control and flexibility your event management platform gives you in terms of selling tickets or collecting payments for a reunion. Can you create multiple options, such as selling tickets OR collecting donations? What are the fees the ticketing platform will collect that will be taken away from your overhead? Can you embed online ticket sales directly on your own website? Can you create your own unique branding, or will there be watermarks from the platform on your correspondence? Make sure to examine the features page of your event management software before committing to a specific solution
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