Sure, the popular take on high school reunions these days is that you don’t need to go to your reunion because anything and everything you would ever want to know about your classmates is on Facebook. It seems every news outlet enjoys announcing the demise of the high school reunion because of our ability to reconnect online. We know this because we’ve been contacted many times for our opinion as professional high school reunion planners. So, I’d like to offer our official stance on the issue here: Facebook does not replace, make obsolete, or ruin your high school reunion. And here is why:
1) Facebook life is not real life. We’re savvy these days when it comes to our online profile. We know what we post can be seen by friends, potential employers, and our parents. We’re calculating about what we share and how we share it, and we know how to quickly untag a particularly unflattering photo. While what we post may be true, it is often the well-edited version we’re willing to share with 350 of our closest Facebook friends.
2) You can only experience the real “status” of your classmate in person at your reunion. Technology gives us many ways to connect to each other, but nothing online is as genuine or engaging as a face to face conversation. You can’t hear the infectious laugh of the classmate who sat behind you in geometry, see an ex-boyfriend’s smiling blue eyes, or hug your former locker partner on Facebook. After all, a life update is much better than a status update.
3) Think everyone is on Facebook? Think again. Facebook is the largest social network, but for any reunion, there is only about 1/3 of the class represented. For a class size of 300 students, that’s a whopping 200 classmates you don’t see on Facebook and who you’ll miss out on reconnecting with if you don’t go to your reunion.
4) Even with the best of intentions, you really don’t get together with those high school Facebook friends. Life is busy for everyone these days – ever try to schedule a girls’ night with more than a friend or two? Between work, family, volunteering and life’s responsibilities, there aren’t many opportunities to get-together with a large part of your past, all at once, all in the same place. And you certainly can’t do it on Facebook.
5) Facebook is just a preview of what’s to come. Instead of replacing the high school reunion, Facebook actually makes the entire high school reunion experience better. Facebook fast-forwards your conversation to what is real and important. When you already know where a classmate recently moved or the names of his three kids, you are able to skip past initial small talk and jump into a conversation worth having.
Still think you aren’t missing the fun of your high school reunion because of Facebook? How can you be sure? If you don’t go, you’ll never know.
Relive the Party Memories!
Remember all the stupid things you did in high school in the name of fun? Sneaking out of your parents’ house, mailbox baseball, toilet papering, keg stands?
Check out what happens when a bunch of guys dust off their party hats and pay tribute to their high school years.
Click on the screen shot above to see the video, or click HERE!
Party Memories! You won’t know unless you go!
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!
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?
1) Decide what to wear. Whatever the dress code, it is most important to be comfortable in your own personal style. If you’re more confident in a pantsuit than a cocktail dress, wear it. No one will remember what you wore, only how you looked. Confidence is the best accessory.
2) Think about what stories you might want to share at the reunion. Stories about your triumphs, adventures, transformations, or struggles are real and engaging. You’ll be respected more for what stories you shared than what things you boasted about that night. But, bring pictures of your kids.
3) Make plans for a pre-reunion lunch with your best friends from high school so you’ll have more time to mingle with other classmates at the reunion. The night goes by fast and there will be many classmates you’ll want to see.
4) Take some time to look through your yearbook or scrapbook. You may not remember names, but you’ll recognize the faces. You’ll also be surprised at the stories you’ll remember as you flip through the pages.
5) Don’t buy into reunion stereotypes and realize that regardless of what life was like in high school, it has been years since graduation. A lot has changed and who you were then isn’t who you are now. The same is true for everyone else. Classmates are generally interested in you, and are looking forward to seeing you at your reunion. If you don’t feel as if you’ve done anything impressive, so what? Most classmates haven’t either.
6) Even though you may be Facebook friends with many of your classmates, Facebook doesn’t replace honest, real, face to face conversations, or a handshake, or a hug. But, it does offer a great starting point when you’re first talking with someone you haven’t seen since graduation.