Event planning : How to successfully plan a Reunion and get people to attend

Futa 07 reunion  held in Rita Lori hotel Surulere Lagos
Futa 07 reunion  held in Rita Lori hotel Surulere Lagos 

A reunion is a great event for connecting old friends, class mates, school mates, colleagues, acquaintances, neighbors, co workers, church members …… While some are happy and look forward to reunions, others dread it and are either indifferent or don’t even give a care at all.

However if you have been saddled with the responsibility of organizing a reunion, either by choice or force, whether it was your own idea or you were appointed , do not fret on how you will successfully plan it or get the required number of guests to attend.

Before you make any plans, understand that any form of planning an event is a sacrifice, it will require time, money, effort, nights and days of calling, conversing and convincing people, you must be willing and ready you are to go all the way. Once you start, no turning back or give room for failure . Reunions are usually taken on by those who have a knack and passion for organizing events.

This post gives a background on what to expect and how you should handle the business of planning a successful reunion.

A. Initiate: (At least 3 months before the event)

1. Decide you want to host a reunion party

2. Share ideas, seek opinions from friends you still keep in touch with, know their feelings on reconnecting and having a reunion .

3. Build a team: Identify key individuals who share in your vision and ready to work with you.

4. Decide on a tentative location and convenient time for the reunion. It is best to seek input from those you will want to invite. Holiday seasons, weekends are preferable as these periods are more convenient for people to travel and be available.

B. Plan: (1-3 months before the event)

1. Set a timeline for the progression of event before, during and after the reunion.

2. Decide on how to finance the reunion : Self funding (Each participant contributes his/her share) or sponsored (By few individuals or organizations)

3. List out responsibilities and share the roles among your team members ( publicity, media, entertainment, setting up, coordinating, funding, partnerships, sending out invites, web management e.t.c)

4. Source for funds and put a deadline on payments to be received.

5. Contact vendors (Food, drinks, party props, Dj, musician, MC, comedians, photographers )

6. Set up registration forms and event sites to collate information and have an idea of number of expected attendees (email lists, Google forms, eventbrite links, websites ) so people can send in their details, pictures, preferences, recent occupations/locations.

C. Finalize

1. Publicize: Give the forthcoming reunion as much publicity as you can, use social media effectively to promote the event, send text messages, place calls, post on Facebook groups you and your colleagues belong to, ask friends , mutual friends to share on their social media pages. If one post can reach 5 people, Imagine the power of 100 posts shared by different people, the overwhelming reach will be greater.

2. Negotiate : Conclude final payment details with vendors, venues and any other supplier. Request for discounts or donations.

3. Make payments : Remember to get receipts, vouchers , bank statements/printouts or  tellers to have records of payments made.

D. Execute

1. The big day is here, Enjoy and ensure each person that comes for the reunion is not bored, lonely or feeling left out. Organise opportunities for people to connect, network, reminisce and forge strong bonds of friendship.

2. Keep the food and drinks flowing .

3. Ensure your guests are entertained

4. Take loads and loads of pictures  to  keep memories alive.

E. After Reunion

1. Send  Thank you  messages on Facebook, sms, whats-app, emails

2. Feedbacks  you are sure you have done a wonderful job but hearing from others would not hurt.  From the previous mails collected, ask for people's opinions about the reunion event, what you can do to make it better , ask about the service, facilities food and other details that made up the event .

3. Schedule future meetings/reunions/gatherings .

Never let the momentum waiver or die down, create forums/chat groups where you can send information at least once a week to update your colleagues , share information and just to keep up with happenings . This will make your work cut out for you especially when organizing another reunion, you don’t have to start the whole tedious process of getting colleagues to attend, you leverage on the previous event to plan  a better one.

Benefits of attending a reunion party
  •  Food and drinks plenty
  •  Entertainment.
  • Getting mementos  and Souvenirs to remember the reunion 
  •  Networking
  •  Reconnecting 
  • Sharing good memories
  •  Future partnerships 
  •  Discussions on way forward

Whew! The reunion party is finally over . You have done wonderfully well. Congrats!!!!

Pictures: FUTA (Federal university of Technology Akure) Reunion party  organised by Typearls events

Copyright 2017 
Adegbaju Christina