How to Use Facebook to Promote Your High School Reunion

How to Use Facebook to Promote Your High School Reunion

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Facebook is a great tool to promote a high school reunion and build excitement about the event.  Classmates who are part of the reunion committee can easily take turns posting on the class reunion Facebook group or page, as well as responding to posts by other classmates. The more active the page, the better.

Posts may be interactive, with open ended questions to involve your classmates, reminders about the reunion, or used as a way to pass along specific information.  Below are posting ideas to keep your classmates engaged before the reunion:

Interactive Posts

  • What song reminds you of our senior year?
  • What was your most embarrassing moment in high school?
  • Who was your favorite teacher?
  • Who was your prom date?
  • Tell about a time you almost got busted in high school.
  • How did you spend spring break our senior year?
  • What songs would you like to hear at the reunion?
  • Who did we beat in the homecoming football game our senior year?
  • Who can’t you wait to see at the reunion?
  • What is your favorite memory of high school?
  • You know you were a 1994 (mascot) if _______________.
  • What advice would you give to an incoming freshman at our high school?
  • What advice would you give to a graduating senior?
  • Complete this sentence:  In high school, I wanted to have a career as a _______, now I am a ______.
  • Post the yearbook photos from your senior year.  Encourage classmates to use their senior year photo as their profile picture the week before the reunion.
  • Ask classmates to post a picture of their family.  Create an album for the photos.

Reminder and Information Specific Posts

  • Provide an update on the reunion venue or hotel room block.  Include a link.
  • Share the reunion night menu.
  • Let classmates know to watch their mailbox because their reunion invitation has been mailed.
  • Remind classmates of registration due dates.  Include a link to your online registration.
  • Tag classmates who are considered lost because you don’t have a current mailing address.
  • Post a thank you to the reunion committee, and list everyone who helped with the planning.
  • Share a link of the weather forecast for your town the weekend of the reunion.
  • Post updates about your high school.  Did they beat your biggest school rival in the homecoming football game?  Have students recently received impressive academic recognition?  Was there a dedication for a new music facility?  Post photos and links to stories about the events.

You may have ideas that are specific to your class, maybe a “where were you when…” or “who else failed (teacher’s name) class?”  If you have an idea for a post, do it!  The goal is to reach your classmates, create fun and excitement for the reunion, and reconnect as your celebrate your reunion year.

 

Does the Class Reunion Ticket Price Matter?

Reunion Truth

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There is a simple reunion truth we learned early in our reunion planning business:  classmates who want to attend the reunion will, classmates who don’t want to attend won’t, and there isn’t much you can do to make a difference.  This includes ticket price.

Here is what we know:

  • This year, our average ticket price is $75 per person, and we’re seeing a higher percentage of classmates and guests attend their reunion than we have in the past 3 years.
  • Last year, our three highest priced reunion tickets, ranging from $82 to $85 per person, were also our three best attended reunions.  The reunion with the $85 ticket price had a 39% attendance rate of their class size.  The national average is 25%.
  • Also in 2012, our 5 least expensive reunions, at $54 to $64 per person, had an average attendance rate of 15% of the class size.

     So, what does it all mean?
1)      Classmates who want to attend to the reunion will go.
2)      Classmates who don’t want to attend the reunion won’t.
3)      Ticket price doesn’t make a difference.

Bottom line:
As a Reunion committee, you should be reasonable in planning a reunion that is accessible to all of your classmates.  Recognize not everyone can afford an expensive night out or that priorities on disposable income have their limits.

But also remember that your classmates know a high school reunion is a once-in-every-ten-years event.   It is something special, much like prom night or your high school graduation, and classmates expect the event to be an event, the type of event that makes you want to fly to your hometown, hire an overnight babysitter, buy a new dress, and be excited about the chance to see friends you haven’t seen in far too long.

Make your high school reunion memorable, make it fun, make it reasonable, but don’t worry too much about ticket price.  

OTHS 1993 Reunion Committee Says Thanks!

The O’Fallon Township Class of 1993 20-year reunion committee not only hosted a great party with a great turnout, they also took time out to celebrate Jennifer, their amazing reunion committee chair.  To say thank you for her fantastic leadership, positive attitude, and for being the all-around reunion cheerleader, the committee presented Jennifer with a basket featuring some of her very favorite things:  a gift certificate to a spa, a gift card to Mike Shannon’s Restaurant, Cardinal Bucks, and a bottle or two of her favorite beverage.

Way to go, O’Fallon Township Class of 1993!

OTHS 1993 Thank You Basket

Time to Plan Your High School Reunion!

High School Reunion Planning

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It will be 2014 before you know it!  Now is the time to start planning your high school reunion!

Easy DIY Reunion Decoration Idea

Decorating at your high school reunion doesn’t have to cost a lot of money.  It is easy to provide color and nostalgia with a hand punch and a little creativity.  Use scrapbook paper in your school colors and punch circles to add school spirit to a white or black tablecloth.  Then, print out the senior yearbook photos on cardstock and hand punch the pictures. 

For the McCluer North 1993 20-year reunion, we also added a printout of their senior panoramic photo, copied a page from their yearbook celebrating 1993, and included our megaphones and pom poms in their school colors.  Easy, inexpensive and fun!

Your Chance to Win an iPad2!

Who doesn’t want an iPad2?

Well, here is your chance to get this nifty, little, how-did-I-ever-live-without-it gadget for free.

The National Association of Reunion Managers (N.A.R.M.), of which we proudly belong, is giving away an iPad2 to one lucky winner.  And all you have to do for your chance to win is to “like” their Facebook page.

Don’t worry about spam or too much unwanted information.  NARM is a non-profit association promoting high school reunions.   That’s all.

Click HERE to enter today!

Oh, and if you already have an iPad2, you can always give this one away, donate it to your kid’s school, use it as a door prize at your high school reunion, or make a soon-to-be graduate very happy.

Good luck!  Let us know when you win!

The 8 Personalities You Meet When Planning Your Reunion


Planning your high school reunion is certainly a fun experience, but managing expectations, staying organized, and dealing with many different personalities can have its challenges.  Here are a few personalities to watch out for, and a few hints to make your reunion planning stress free.

 

1. The Class President
The classmate everyone else expects to take the lead in reunion planning, but who often feels the decision made at 17 to be a class officer wasn’t a lifetime commitment.

Hint:  Not everyone wants to take on the planning of the reunion, and that’s okay.  Pass it on to someone else or hire a reunion planning company to do the work for you.  Check out the website for the National Association of Reunion Managers to find a reunion planning company in your area.


2. The Anti-Reunion Bandwagon Leader

A wave of negativity about the reunion is usually started by this one person with a “I don’t like the way the reunion is planned” complaint.  The bandwagon can grow exponentially if it isn’t addressed, but is not a true sentiment of how most classmates view the event.

Hint:  Meet the complainer head on, and as soon as possible, to explain your thinking behind the reunion plans.  Once a complainer understands there are valid reasons for your choices, he or she usually backs down and stops instigating negative feelings.  Remember that you can’t please everyone, and if you polled all of your classmates, you’d get 100 different answers about how your reunion should look.  Plan the type of reunion you’d want to attend (within reason) and stand by your decisions.

 
3. The Bitter Classmate
After attending the reunion, this classmate makes a harsh, sometimes public, comment which stems from his or her personal reunion experience not being what he or she wanted or expected.  The former football star is now treated like an average guy or the girl hoping for the “look at me now” moment is ignored by her former high school boyfriend.

Hint:  Take the comments as an outlet for someone not happy with themselves to complain about something out of their control.


4. The Reunion Cheerleader
Appreciate this classmate who will take time to send you a message before the reunion to let you know how excited they are about attending, and a note afterwards to thank you for all your hard work creating a memorable event.

Hint:  Get your picture taken with this classmate at the reunion as a reminder of why you planned the reunion in the first place.


5. The Committee Slacker
The reunion committee member who quickly volunteers to help plan the reunion, but never attends a meeting, doesn’t have an opinion, and shows up late to the event.

Hint:  Don’t rely on them for anything – obviously – but don’t criticize either.  It isn’t worth the bad feelings, and they are probably a non-issue anyway. 


6. The Committee Imposter

A reunion committee member who enthusiastically agrees with all the decisions made by the committee, but who later complains and then chooses not to attend.

Hint:  Extend the olive branch one time only.  Let them know you’d still like them to be involved, but don’t allow them to ruin your experience.  If they aren’t receptive, move on.


7. The Committee Worker Bee
The reunion committee member who exceeds expectations by accepting the jobs no one wants – stuffing 500 invitations – and expects little recognition in return because they are just happy to help.
 

Hint:  Buy this person a drink at the reunion and follow it up with a friendly thank you note afterwards.  Everyone likes to feel appreciated, even if they don’t act like it.


8. The Reunion Committee Chair
Part politician, part peacekeeper, part planner,  the reunion committee chair will earn every thank you he or she receives the night of the reunion.   

Hint:  If this is you, forget everything that happened before the reunion and enjoy the fun party you created.  Feel good about the reunion, and know even if classmates don’t act like it, deep down they appreciate all you did to make the night happen.  After all, who else can claim to create an evening where memories are made?

5 Things to Know When Selecting Your Reunion Event Venue


Since many reunion committees are first time reunion planners, we wanted to provide a few definitions and helpful hints for some common terms you’ll see as you begin deciding which venue will host your reunion event.


1) Venue Sales Person

Your contact at the venue who will work with you to sign a contract, answer questions, and coordinate requests. Although your point of contact throughout the reunion planning, you may or may not see this person the night of the reunion.

Hint: Send, in writing, a list of everything you are expecting the venue to provide the night of your event, and request a written confirmation.


2) Tax& Gratuity (also known as plus/plus ++)

Can increase your food and beverage per person cost by 30%, but is rarely mentioned when your venue sales person talks about the $26.99 dinner buffet.

$26.99 + 22% gratuity + 7.5% tax = $37.40 (the new per person cost)

Hint: Bring a calculator with you when meeting with the venue sales person so you can see the actual costs upfront.


3) Minimum
Often required – and included in your contract – by a venue, this number can be a dollar amount or an expected number of people. It is up to you to ask about the minimum, so make sure it is one of your first questions. If you are the one to sign the contract, be sure you are willing and able to cover the cost if the minimum is not met.

Hint: Ask your venue sales person to create a proposal so you can see exactly what is due after the event. Factor in that number when determining ticket price.


4) Open/Host Bar or Cash/No-Host Bar

An open bar means all drinks are included in one set price, which you then include in your ticket price. With a cash bar, no drinks, not even soft drinks or water, are included and must be paid on consumption by the classmates attending.

Hint: How to decide between cash bar and open bar? Check out the cash bar prices. If one mixed drink per hour is greater than the 4-hour open bar cost, including tax and gratuity, go with the open bar.


5) Banquet Manager/Captain
The go-to person at the venue the night of your reunion. This person is in place to help ensure your evening goes as planned and to help with any night-of needs (extra tables, turning down the A/C, providing food for the vegetarian classmate, etc.)

Hint: Arrive early enough to meet your banquet manager and introduce yourself. If your banquet manager provides exceptional service or helps you out of a bind by setting up 5 extra tables to accommodate your 40 at the door attendees, a $20+ tip is appreciated.

Next week, we’ll take a look at a few of the personalities you’ll meet while planning your reunion!  Be sure to check back!

Reunion Planning A – Z (or 26 Tips to Planning Your High School Reunion)

A – Attendance varies by reunion, but a good mark to follow is 25% of the class size will attend.  This includes guests.

B – Bar setups become less important the further you get from high school.  Go with the open bar at your 10 and 20-year reunions, then switch to a cash bar for your 30, 40, and 50th.

C – Classmates rarely remember where the reunion was held, but always remember how they felt seeing an old friend.

D – Don’t underestimate the amount of time necessary to plan a reunion on your own.  Block out of your schedule 45-hands-on hours, minimum.

E – Encourage your classmates to attend by making personal calls and sending personal e-mails.  A little effort from the committee can mean great reunion attendance.

F – Facebook is a wonderful reunion planning tool, but it isn’t the only tool you’ll need.  On average, only 35% of classmates join a reunion page.

G – Greet your classmates at the door the night of your reunion celebration.  It eases nerves, sets the tone for the party, and gives you a chance to say hello to everyone.

H – Hiring a professional reunion planner is an easy, stress-free way to plan your reunion.  And you avoid the financial liability.  Find a professional planner by contacting the National Association of Reunion Managers.

I – Invitations to the reunion should always include suggested reunion attire.

J – Just because you are excited about attending your reunion, not all of your classmates feel the same.  High school wasn’t an easy time for everyone, and some classmates prefer not to go back.

K – Keep the class list and current addresses so you’ll have them for your next reunion.  Giving a copy to everyone on the committee ensures you can find it 10 years later.

L – Looking through your yearbook at your first reunion committee meeting is a great way to kick off the reunion planning process.  It brings back memories, and begins the conversation of “who still talks to who”, which will be important when trying to find classmates.

M – Money matters, but not as much as you think.  Don’t be afraid of a $79-$90 ticket price.  Classmates will pay if they perceive the value.

N – Never sign a venue contract with a minimum you are not willing to pay yourself if you have lower than expected attendance. 

O – Only one person should be the committee contact with the venue.  This eliminates misinformation and multiple calls to your venue sales person.

P – Planning for your reunion should begin 8 – 10 months before the reunion celebration date.

Q – Question your classmates on Facebook about songs they would like to hear at the reunion celebration. 

R – Read the fine print on all contracts and agreements.

S – Select an appropriate way to remember deceased classmates.

T – Take time to answer each e-mail or Facebook posting, even the negative comments.  It will show your classmates that you value their opinion, and can help put a stop to any destructive misconceptions surrounding the event.

U – Understand the upfront costs before you take on the task of planning the reunion by yourself or with a committee.

V – Videos or slide shows from your high school years are big hits.  Make a copy for each classmate attending as a give-a-way.

W – Wedding months mean less availability and higher prices.  Book early for popular venues.

X – Multiply the number on your reunion guest list by 20% to come up with an estimate of the number of classmates and guests who will pay at the door that night:

100 pre-registered classmates and guests X 20% = 20 additional registrations at the door.

Y – Yearbooks are hot commodities at a reunion.  To keep your copy safe, display it at the staffed registration table, not as part of your memorabilia collection.

Z – Zip code sorting sends your reunion invitations at the cheaper bulk rate.  But, build in extra time for the post office to deliver.

6 Quick Tips for Great Reunion Attendance

1) Announce the reunion date at least 6-months in advance, and send invitations and registration information at least 4 months before the reunion.  Classmates need time to put the date on their calendar, make arrangements if coming in from out of town, and add the reunion cost to their budget.

2) Invite classmates from different clubs or organizations to join the reunion committee.  Having a diverse committee list makes the reunion feel like an event for everyone.

3) Divide the list of classmates and have committee members make personal phone calls to encourage classmates to attend.  Let your classmates know how excited you are to see them and how the reunion won’t be the same if they aren’t there.  You may also send personalized
e-mails – try to avoid mass e-mail blasts – but stay away from Facebook messages.  While Facebook is an easy way to connect with someone, it is also easy to forget that message sitting in your Facebook inbox. 

4) Even though the price rarely affects reunion attendance, let classmates know what is included with their ticket.  Be sure to mention a few intangibles, such as “seeing a high school friend for the first time in 20-years” or “an evening filled with stories only your high school friends could share”.

5) Spend time searching for lost classmates on Facebook and spokeo.com.  And, make it easy for classmates to find you to learn about the reunion.  Set up a reunion Facebook page, and post reunion information as part of your personal Facebook page’s status.   You’ll also want to include reunion information on your school’s website and in your local paper.  If you have a class reunion website, be sure to send the address in all your e-mail, Facebook and mailed correspondence.

6) Don’t plan a night-before-the-reunion Happy Hour.  It detracts from the big reunion celebration and gives classmates a choice as to which reunion activity to attend.  You’re having a reunion to bring your classmates together in one place at one time.  More than one event quickly defeats this purpose. 

Do you have any tips for having a fantastic turnout at your reunion?  Share them in the comments section below.