Over the years we have noticed that when most reunion committees plan a reunion there seems to be an underlying rule that the event has to be made up of the same elements. For a class reunion it’s usually something like a cocktail party, followed by a dinner and dance, and then a picnic. For family reunions it might be a picnic at a local park shelter, or a potluck lunch at the local VFW hall. No wonder that attendance numbers at reunions diminishes over the years!
Why not come up with something a little bit different? Something with a little flair and creativity. If you and your committee would just put on your thinking caps, you could come up with a wealth of events and event combinations that are different, fun and exciting. These can entail themes, contests, food events, travel reunions, tours, fairs, outdoor activities, etc.
Most successful reunions are those that did something to make the reunion specifically about the members of the group. Add pertinent memorabilia and themes that are uniquely yours. Your members will relate to the event, and have a certain level of nostalgia that can make the reunion something to remember. Perhaps your class won the state championship in football the year you graduated. Why not plan a reunion centered around that memorable event? It could be a tailgate party, a bonfire, or simply a party with boat loads of pictures, newspaper clippings and videos featuring that exciting time in your life.
Another reunion idea might be to re-create a venue that was popular during your high school or college days. I happened to graduate during the disco era. In my opinion, a recreation of a discotheque with everyone dressing up in their finest disco “threads” would be a fun evening. A friend of mine swears that the best reunion he ever had was when they designed their event around a “Monte Carlo Night” theme, complete with roulette wheels, black jack tables, and other games of chance. They used fake money to wager, but at the end of the night they had an auction using the fake money for items that had been donated. He not only had a blast, but came home with some really neat stuff.
Families can share special memories based on their family history and genealogy, with a tour of various homesteads or cities of their ancestors. Perhaps you could visit churches where great grandparents were married, or restaurants where members use to hang out when they were younger. Maybe a day at an amusement park, a baseball game, a river boat ride, or even a camping trip. The point is, don’t be limited in your thinking when it comes to designing your reunion event. If you are having difficulties in coming up with reunion ideas, you can always survey your group or just search for ideas on the web or in various books on the subject.
Once you have decided on a reunion design, you and the members of the committee can create a schedule of events, refine the details and choose the event vendors to make the event come together. This should encompass decisions on the facility, food, beverages, memorabilia, souvenirs, presentations, music and decorations that are geared to your theme or design.
In conclusion, have fun, be creative, and make your reunion event memorable for you and the other members of your group by designing an event around certain commonalities of your group. If you’re successful in doing that, then you just might end up having a reunion every year! Yippee!