High school class reunions can be a lot of fun, but can also be expensive to attend. There are companies and websites that handle all of the planning and event coordination, however, these companies can be expensive to use and often only offer limited choices of venue, entertainment and menu. Plan your high school class reunion on a limited budget and use personal contacts to get discounts.
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Create a committee of dedicated volunteers. Planning will take at least six months -- a year ahead of time is not too soon to start -- so you need dedicated volunteers who will follow through on their commitments. Find volunteers who are good networkers and who are in touch with other high school classmates. You want to look for the worker bees.
Once you have formed your committee, you will need to set a date. You will need time to search for classmates, spread the word and set up the event itself.
Once you have set a date, find a venue such as a hotel, country club, reception hall, banquet room or other location. Put the word out among your contacts that you need a venue and see if anyone has any connections that can offer a discount price. Many times, someone will step up and offer a venue either for free or at a low price. Maybe someone is president of his HOA (Home Owners' Association), an event planner or a hotel manager. Ask around and see what you can find.
Start searching for classmates once the venue is set. Use the power of the Internet to find old classmates and teachers. Using the Internet eliminates the cost of printing paper invitations and the cost of postage. It is a good idea to set up a website with all of the information about the reunion. Classmates can forward the site address around the Internet and spread the word for free. A website can pull everything together, including details of events, lost classmate lists, the guest list, RSVPs, payments and even photo albums.
Use social and business networking sites, such as Facebook, MySpace and LinkedIn, to spread the word about your reunion and find classmates. Odds are that when you find one person, that person will be in touch with other classmates and the word will spread with little or no effort on the committee's part.
Continue to hold committee meetings to finalize details. Some nice touches for a reunion include food, a DJ, a photographer, a videographer, door prizes and name tags made with photos from your old high school year book. All of these extras cost money, so use your network of high school friends to help find discounts wherever you can. Maybe a classmate is a caterer and can offer a nice discount on food. Maybe another classmate is a professional photographer. Someone else may be in the printing business and can print name tags at a discount. Post information on the class reunion website asking for what you need and see if anyone can help.
Don't forget travelers who are coming from out of state. Again, use your network to see if someone can get hotel or travel discounts. Check your high school list to see if anyone is a travel agent or in the hospitality industry. Or just call local hotels and ask about discounts on blocks of rooms for the weekend. Classmates also may want to open their homes to guests so that their friends can stay for free.
Don't be afraid to ask for help from old classmates. Post what you need on the reunion website and see if anyone can help.