A few years have passed since your glory days in college, but the memories make it feel like it was only yesterday! Take yourself back in time by planning a college reunion where you and your colleagues can relive those wild nights and spirit-filled sport seasons. Getting a class together and pulling off a reunion party is no small feat (even for the most seasoned party planners!), so we’ve put together a few guidelines to help get you through it. These tips (combined with your enthusiasm) will make planning the college reunion of the decade easy. Let’s start planning!
Before you can truly begin, you’ll need to form a committee to help with all the planning. Find around 10-15 enthusiastic colleagues and start meeting at least 4-6 months in advance. Appoint one leader to oversee the planning as a whole and delegate roles to other members (i.e., treasurer, secretary, decorations, entertainment, etc.). With your team, start locating the contact info of your class alumni so you can go ahead and send out invitations as soon as possible. Your school should have a list with all this information and most people are on social media sites that provide contact information as well (think Facebook or LinkedIn). Send everyone a paper invitation to get the initial word out and create a Facebook page or website for your event where you can post reminders, updates, and information for your invited guests. Take this opportunity to start getting your guests excited about the reunion! If your budget allows, having custom invitations printed can really set the tone for your event from the get-go. For your social media page or website, add pictures and engaging content to get your colleagues reconnecting well before the reunion even begins!
Theme & Venue
What’s a party without a theme? Just another gathering! Since your reunion is going to be a party to remember, come up with a few theme ideas for your committee to discuss. From the classic black-tie dinner, to a less formal, more festive theme such as a Throw Back party, consider your guests and have fun with it! Once you’ve chosen a theme, it’s time to find the perfect venue! If possible, hosting the reunion at your college or university is ideal. But, if not, start searching for a venue big enough to accommodate everyone on your guest list. Remember to consider your theme and potential decorations as you hunt for that perfect venue. You’ll also want to take into account the seating situation to assess whether or not you may need to rent tables and chairs. Securing the venue makes planning decor that much easier, so you can begin creating your ideal atmosphere. Follow your general theme and have fun with it! Contact your classmates and request photos and keepsakes from the good ole days to hang around the rooms or to create a memorabilia table!
You know those songs that just seem to epitomize moments from your college experience? So do we! Have a DJ or Cover Band bring you right back to those days with the perfect music to set the tone and liven up the party. We don’t know about you, but we’d prefer cocktails and dancing over awkward icebreakers any day. Keep the party going and conversation flowing with collages or PowerPoints of old photos and videos. Everyone’s got those slightly embarrassing pictures of good friends they’d love to share, right? Right! Stick with fun-inducing entertainment, give out prizes for games, or even have awards and superlatives! Capture the new memories by booking a Photographer or even a photo booth! Look like a pro and get the professional entertainment you want by asking these 15 questions before booking your entertainers.
From great decor and music to seeing old friends, your classmates will be having a ball! Add to the fun by providing refreshments for your guests. If your reunion will be a more formal event, you may want to have a sit-down dinner, but for more casual atmospheres, cocktails and hors d’oeuvres will do just fine! Call local restaurants (maybe an old college favorite?) and have one cater. Don’t forget to send over a bartender to really get your party going! You could even have a custom cake or cupcakes created for your event with your class year and school colors to add that extra spark to the buffet table.
Tying Up Loose Ends
Now that you’ve got most of the big stuff secured, don’t forget the last few details! Be sure to find a potential hotel to suggest for traveling guests and send out this information as soon as possible to allow everyone time to book a room. For those hard-to-reach alumni, make a point to call around 3 months before the reunion to help get every classmate you can to the event. Lastly, remember to contact all special invitees such as professors and coaches! The more the merrier! With all these tips under your belt, we’re confident you’re ready to plan the best possible college reunion your classmates could have imagined! But, just in case you find yourself needing help along the way, GigSalad is always at your service. Happy planning!