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The basics of reunion planning

Reunions are an emotional time for many people. Seeing people you have not seen for many years inevitably brings back old memories, and that experience can be joyful and nostalgic as you reminisce about good times, but it can also re-open past wounds and be painful for those with unresolved conflicts and resentment.

If you're thinking about planning a reunion, it's important to go in from the beginning with a realistic sense of this mixed bag of feelings that reunions often bring to the surface; don't expect everything to go perfectly, and don't expect everyone to agree with you that a reunion is a good idea. Also, be aware that you're signing up for a major undertaking that will involve a lot of hard work -- but hard work that can ultimately pay off greatly.

Reunion Planning: Getting Started

  • Gage interest. Talk to the old friends or family members you are regularly in touch with, and see how they feel about the idea -- there's not much point in having a reunion if no one's going to come. Fortunately, there's usually no lack of interest in an opportunity to get together with old friends or long-missed loved ones.
  • Gather contact information. Once you've established that there's enough enthusiasm regarding the reunion to move forward, it's time to start collecting all the mailing addresses via telephone or e-mail contact with potential attendees. You'll find the planning much easier if you use this contact as an opportunity to do more than simply estimate numbers and get the information you need to send out invitations. Create a short "where are you now" survey for them to fill out electronically, and ask them for any reunion ideas they have.
  • Research accommodations in the area. Whether you're planning a family or class reunion, hotels with vacancies in the immediate area are an absolute must. Get in touch with hotels near the location where you plan for the reunion to be held, and ask them about their busiest times of year, how far in advance people coming for the reunion should book their rooms and whether the hotel will offer your reunion group a reserved blocks of rooms at a discounted rate.
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