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I've had the opportunity to plan three of my high school class reunions, smaller class parties, as well as fraternal and family get-togethers.
It is funny, because there are some people who avoid these types of events. But over and over again I'm told "I've never been to one of these before, but I'm so glad I came - I had so much fun!" If you haven't been to one, I encourage you to go. But if you are reading this, you are probably the one in charge of planning it! So, here are some helpful hints - whether you are planning something for your class, family or other group.
First, you'll want to gather as many helpers together as possible. The more volunteers, the better. You can do it all yourself, but it will be a lot more work.
First you'll need to pick a tentative date or two. It is good to have a backup date if possible, just in case the venue where you would like to have your party is booked.
Next you'll need to find a place to hold everyone that is available for your target date. With all your planning, it is a good idea to go ahead and plan for the "usual attendance rate" - which would be 1/4 to 1/3 of those invited attending. If you have more than that who attend, the better! Some popular ideas for a reunion are:
After you have a date and location, it is time to get the word out! Send a save the date postcard and email, and set up a Facebook page for the group as well. That is handy place to be able to quickly and easily post updates to all invitees.
Your budget should include the location, mailing expenses, food and drink, and any favors or mementos to be furnished to attendees. You'll also need to decide how to collect money from attendees, and when to do it. I think it is helpful for everyone to pay in advance, since you usually have to pay all the vendors the night of the party (if not before.) Having everyone prepays allows you to have cash flow to meet these expenses.
Promote your event repeatedly, contacting potential guests in as many ways as possible.
Ask people for their memories - this can be a great way to get people excited about the event. Share them with everyone by printing or emailing them out.Do you have old photos? Create a slide show. You can even sell copies to help offset the cost of the party.
My biggest piece of advice is to remember that the reason everyone is getting together isn't to spend a lot of money and have a fancy time. The purpose is to see each other and reminisce. That is what it is all about!
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