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How to Plan a Reunion

 

The Top 10 Most Commonly Asked Questions.

and the #1 most commonly asked question is


You're thinking about your next class reunion. It's coming up, you've spoken to a few former classmates, and are wondering what to do about planning the next reunion.
Several ideas are rummaging through your head: Should I get involved again? Do I have the extra time to give to such a project? Is it too much work?  Who's going to help with all the details? Will I have enough people to help plan it? Should we hire professional planners? Where will we get the money for up-front costs? How do we raise the initial funds to pay for postage, stationary, printing, phone calls, etc.? These are just some of the considerations that should be addressed before making any final decision...

Your list may vary, but consider this...someone has to initiate the process, alumni are looking forward to a great reunion and you can make it happen. When you decide to hire professional planners, all you have to do is form a committee to make decisions, provide direction and oversee the process, your planner will handle the rest.

Who should plan a class reunion
Anyone! Most classes that do not have a reunion, don’t because someone thought that so & so was working on it. Just because you were not the president of your class or the head cheerleader or voted most likely, does not mean you can't plan your reunion. Anyone can put his or her class reunion together. Get one or two of your fellow classmates together and away you go!

How many people should be on a reunion planning committee
How many do you want? You can have 1 to 100 of your classmates on your committee. But if you want to keep things simple and done in a timely manor, you need to keep it small. 1 to 10 people will do just fine, but the choice is yours. Just keep in mind too many cooks in the kitchen may spoil the dessert and you don’t want to spend a month arguing about what color envelopes to use for any of your mailings. You will only end up having your 10-year reunion 5 years too late! Also, it is always a smart idea to get people from different "clicks" to participate on the committee. The band people will be less likely to attend your reunion if the committee is made up of only jocks or the ROTC people will be less likely to attend your reunion if the committee is made up of only the beautiful people. You want to have someone to represent all the different groups in school. If you adopt the attitude that you only want certain people from your class to come to your reunion, you have made a major mistake in taking on this task. “ A mistake that will come back to haunt you later.”

How soon should we start planning our reunion
It's never too early. Give yourself at least 6 months. But you can start 2 years in advance. Just keep in mind the earlier you start the better the results. Some people have jobs that require them to plan their vacation time a year in advance. So keep that in mind for those classmates that live out of town and have to plan ahead.

How do I locate my fellow classmates
There are many ways to locate classmates. The phone book, internet, friends, neighbors and relatives. This will be the hardest part of planning your reunion. It will take a lot of time and can run into a few dollars as well.

What type of reunion should we plan
A few years ago a local gentleman planned his 25-year reunion on a cruise ship that was leaving from Florida for the Bahamas for a week. The ticket price ran into the hundreds per person. Needless to say only about 20 people out of a class of over 400 ended up attending. So just follow the old K.I.S. - Keep it simple! Nothing outrageous, gaudy or flashy. Remember, the idea is to get together with old friends. Not to show off how much money you are willing to spend on attending your reunion. You need to make it affordable for EVERYONE to attend.

When should we have our class reunion
The summer months are the best. People who have children find it difficult to travel during the school year. As much as they may want to come to their reunion, they are not going to pull their kids out of school to attend. Avoid holidays at all cost. People make family plans for most of the summer holidays. Labor Day, Memorial Day and the 4th of July are no good. It may seem like a good idea at the time, but believe me it's not.


Where should we hold our class reunion
Hotels & Country Clubs are the most popular. Remember, to have a good reunion you do not need to hold it at the Peabody Hotel. Is it nice? Yes! Is it expensive? You bet! The most important thing is to have a good turnout. Holiday Inns are perfect. Not too expensive and the staff will most likely be more caring and helpful than those staffs at bigger, more expensive locals. Just make sure you have plenty of room, eats and a fully stocked bar.

Why should we have a class reunion
To remember your days of youth. To relive those experiences that you shared with your friends. Remember rolling someone's yard with miles of toilet paper? The Junior/Senior prom? Fifty's Day and the Sock Hop? Graduation? This is your chance to let those old high school friends know what those times meant to you. Good or bad!

How often should we have a reunion
Some classes have a reunion after only 5 years and every 5 years after that. However the most popular and successful reunions are 10, 20, 25 & 30 year. Then every 5 years after that.

How much money will we need to get started
Money! It's what makes the world go round. And it comes in very handy for putting together a class reunion as well. You will need money for:

Hotel/Party Room Deposits
Most places will want between $500 and $1,000 (non refundable) deposit 3 to 6 months in advance of your reunion, to hold a room for the event. Remember that you and/or your committee will be responsible for any money due to the establishment that does not get covered by the attendees. In other words, if you plan on 200 people attending and break down the cost per person, then the establishment will charge you accordingly. If you only have 50 people show up and pay, then you have to pay for the other 150 that did not show out of your pocket!

Caterer
MORE MONEY!
Many people like to have a family picnic on their reunion weekend so that they can show off their children to their old classmates. Most caterers’ will want a deposit.

Entertainment
MORE MONEY!
A DJ or Band will require anywhere from 20% to 50% deposit well in advance of the event. From our experience we would recommend a DJ versus a band, but if you have your heart set on a band there are a few details to consider.  Not only will the cost be much higher, but in most cases they have a limited number of songs that they can play, it is hard to turn the volume down on a band so that you can hear what your old bud is saying.  For every person that likes live music, you will have 10 people who do not. What you do want at your reunion is someone who can play requests and has access to a wide variety of music, from oldies to contemporary, from country to Big Band. Not everyone likes the same music. Just because you like live bands or want only music from when you where in school does not mean that everyone in your class will feel the same. You want to have something that everybody can enjoy.

Photographer
MORE MONEY!
Any good photographer will want a guarantee in case no one purchases the pictures of the evening's events. Be prepared to spend some $$$$.

Classmate Searches
MORE MONEY!
Depending on what options you decide to use in locating your fellow classmates, you will need to set aside money for long distance charges, plus any additional charges for internet options in helping locate your classmates.

Mailings
You will need MORE MONEY for postage to send out information.

Printing
MORE MONEY!
Mailings, nametags, envelopes, directory books, flyers, and press releases. The list goes on and on. Get ready to spend even more money.

Other costs
MORE MONEY!
Decorations, T-shirts, door prizes, and awards. You need to set aside a few dozen dollars for this as well.

*****************************

So how can you have a class reunion without having to spend all you're spare time working on it and spending all this money?

In this day and age people just do not have a whole lot of extra time to spend on putting a class reunion together. People work and have family obligations. In fact most people feel that they do not have enough hours in the day as it is, much less a few hundred hours to spend on the planning of your class reunion. Not to mention that unless you have about three grand sitting around with nowhere to spend it, planning a class reunion can be a real inconvenience.

In the 1980's Class Reunion Planning Companies, like J2 CLASS REUNIONS, started to pop up all over the country. They took all the work, the money and the headache out of planning a class reunion. All that was left for the committee/classmates to do was decide where and when, act as a support team and have a good time.  With no up front cost to the classmates or the committee members.  This really is the way to go.

How?
It is very simple. J2 CLASS REUNIONS charges a per person fee for their services, which is incorporated into the ticket price. They take all the responsibility and the risk. No surprises for you and your committee at the end of your reunion - like an outstanding bill for $1,500.00 that you and your committee have to pay if enough people do not show up to cover the costs.

We take care of everything.
Deposits
Mailings
Postage, Printing & Design of the mailings
Advertising in local papers & radio
A complete search of missing classmates
Customized decorations
24 hour message machine
Meeting room & choice of dinner type
DJs that specialize in class reunions
Staff to handle all check-in the night of your reunion
Professional portrait photographers to take individual and class photos the night of your reunion

J2 CLASS REUNIONS plans high school reunions and IS a class act! We make everything easy for classmates by locating alumni, booking the banquet facility and hotel, organizing the entertainment, taking care of the photography, mailing out the invitations, putting together alumni directory, and doing everything else necessary for a successful class reunion. We free up the committee to concentrate on the more important aspects of a reunion like putting the personal touches to any reunion that make it even more memorable, all the while having fun themselves, reminiscing and get reacquainted!

J2 CLASS REUNIONS has been planning reunions for many years. We aim to provide professional quality reunion planning to alumni and schools. Our goal is to promote a positive reunion experience for everyone. We strive to be the recognized expert in the field of reunion planning and the organization that people automatically turn to for advice and guidance.

 ONE Example of a Class Reunion Weekend Package…………$55 to $75 per adult person
Friday Night - A casual social gathering at a downtown bar and eatery. - and you are only a short trolley trip from Beale Street.

Saturday Afternoon - A Catered or Bring your own, picnic for you and the entire family. A chance to see everyone's kids and enjoy one of the cities beautiful parks.

Saturday Night - Your main event at one of the cities leading hotels or country clubs. A delicious meal, with a cash bar. Picture nametags so you will recognize your former classmates. A disk jockey playing all your favorite hits. A photographer provided for you to purchase posed photos and/or a group shot of all your classmates. Awards for the Most Changed, the farthest traveled, etc. You will also receive a complete alumni directory with the most up to date information on your fellow classmates such as names, addresses, phone numbers, email addresses and much more!


Ticket Price
How much would you spend on a night or weekend on the town with that special someone?
Dinner for 2 people?
A Movie (with popcorn, cokes, candy - all that junk you always buy at the movies)!
Dancing (cover charges, plus a couple of drinks each and tip)?
A downtown trip to Beale Street?
Casinos (how much will you play with?)
A night at a local motel/hotel (depending on your taste)
Will there be gifts? (Flowers, candy, wine or champagne, jewelry?)
Other meals? Other incidentals? Baby sitter?
What it comes down to is this. For a nice night or weekend with that special someone, you will easily spend much more than you will for a chance to see old friends and celebrate!

J2 CLASS REUNIONS will advertise your reunion!
We contact all the local radio stations, not just a select few.
We contact all the publications in town and surrounding towns.
We contact the TV stations.
We contact the school.
We list your reunion on our web site.
We get about 100 hits a week.
And not just once - we contact them every 30 to 60 days.

Searches for your classmates
We spend approximately 50 hours on the phone and on the Internet, talking to sisters, brothers, mothers, fathers, aunts, uncles, cousins, co-workers, neighbors, friends, and classmates - whoever may be helpful in locating your missing classmates.  The key to a well attended reunion is in locating as many people as possible.

What about those who do not have ready cash on hand and want to charge their tickets on their Visa, MasterCard or Discover Card? We can do it!

Need more information? Have a question? Ready to get started? Contact us today!
Ask for Jennifer or Julie

J2 CLASS REUNIONS
5695 GREEN VALLEY
Memphis, TN 38135
901-382-9932

 

E-mail:  CustomerService@J2CLASSREUNIONS.COM

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Last updated: 04/04/14.