How to Plan a Successful Reunion
As another academic year comes to an end, the alumni reunions are just beginning. For some, coming back to campus is a great way to reunite with friends and reminisce on old times. However, everyone’s college experience isn’t the same – for alumni not so interested in the reuniting part of the reunion, offer them enticing events to attend.
Although meeting with old friends is a large part of what these events are about, make sure you emphasize the advantages of making new connections as well. A lot of alumni, both young and old, are more apt to attend if networking workshops are marketed to them beforehand. For example, organize activities based on industry to help alumni meet peers with similar career goals.
For your reunion, look for recognizable speakers whether they are alumni or not. Think – individuals that work in interesting careers, sit on boards ofcertain philanthropic organizations, or those who hold senior positions in larger companies. Use these speakers to publicize your reunions and add value to the event.
The Class of Today
As proud as you may be of accomplishments and changes to the campus in the the past years, it may not always be the top priority for alumni. Cater to what is!
After the 15th year reunion, attendance begins to drop. This is thought to be because people are focusing on their careers and starting families. No doubt one of the busiest times in life, but perhaps the prospect of a little family time with age friendly events might persuade your alumni to take a family vacation.
Likewise – for recent graduates, cater to the fact that they are building their careers and might want more employment-focused activities and networking.
“As people get older, they start to get it—that life is about much more than their title or what they’re making.” according to Leslie Winick, director of alumni and student class outreach at Stanford University . For the big 25th year reunions, try less career focus and more emphasis on retirement, traveling, and reuniting long lost friends.
Make it Memorable
Princeton’s alumni reunions are successful annual events with over 25,000 alumni and family members attending. It includes numerous entertaining activities such as sporting events or live music – all with a healthy dose of school spirit – followed by the famous ‘P-rade’ to end the four day long adventure.
Memorable activities like Princeton’s ‘P-rade’ help make an unforgettable weekend that can invigorate your alumni’s affinity for their school and keep them coming back year after year.
Be creative in your reunion activities and once you’ve found something that works – stick with it. It could become a school tradition!
As you diversify your events, you will see your attendance, engagement and donation rates rise. Make sure you are offering more than just comradery between old friends. Instead, offer your alumni a valuable event that caters to their careers, lifestyles and interests. Create annual events that your alumni and their guests will look forward to and continue to attend for years to come.
Click on the link below to take a look at some top tips for organizing a successful reunion!