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Reunion Committees

Forums: General Discussion
Created on: 07/16/10 12:06 PM Views: 2729 Replies: 13
Friday, July 16, 2010 at 12:06 PM

I was just curious how some of you have functioned in the responsibility for setting up a Reunion, generally speaking.

We are having our 50th Reunion this September, getting reasonable response as usually expected. This is only our 3rd ever Reunion, and the first in 20 years!!

Our committee is made up of 5 enthusiastic classmates, but we only acquired ClassCreator well into this upcoming reunion planning. Hence, we really are not using the Reunion Planning functionality of ClassCreator this time. I want to use it to fullest extent next reunion (hopefully earlier than another 20 years).

I have had at least a couple of our committee members mention they wished I lived closer, as most of them are "running out of gas" and would like some fresh outlook.

That is my question. Does your reunion committee function primarily with "close local" people"? Our reunion site is in Oklahoma, I am in California. It seems to me that closeness is not nearly a factor as years ago, what with the capability of computers. The other question involves committee Meetings.... Do you 'physically' get together for meetings, or do you conference call, or even use Webex for computer "distance" meetings?

I realize, close committee members are absolutely necessary for such things as being able to coordinate restaurants, hotels, and meeting places. But, seems most anything else it wouldn't matter about an efficient committee as to where they are located. I would like to use our ClassCreator to be much more involved in the next reunion, even though I am half way across the USA where the reunion will be held. I guess I am mostly interested in how you MEET.

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Friday, July 16, 2010 at 1:48 PM - Response #1

OMG!!!! Use the Reunion Planner for this reunion..it's so easy..you still have time..it doesn't take long to set it up..and you can get checks or credit card orders. Our credit card ticket sales are thru the roof. No need to use snail mail except for the people who don't have internet access or computer challenge. Especially...since you have a committee who's spread out all over the place.
Our Reunion committee is all local..but I have a few out of stater's that help locate alumni.
You will have a better reunion if you use the Reunion Planner..and we are all her to help!!!
Just ask and you will get tons of ideas!!!

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Friday, July 16, 2010 at 1:49 PM - Response #2

We are having our 50-year reunion this fall in Minnesota. I am in North Carolina. The person handling our media presentation is in Texas.

We are all PPR's (persons primarily responsible) for certain areas. A larger group in Minnesota takes care of the local items - site, catering, decorations, etc.

I talk to the leader of that group once a week or so, and I'm in close communication with the media person and another who has expertise in the promotional area.

They all keep me up to date on progress so that I can keep the web site accurate. Besides the web site, I have taken care of the communications to classmates.

This has all worked very well for us. ClassCreator has made all this a possibility.

Hurray for CC and all the guidance and support, both directly and via the CC Forums!

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Friday, July 16, 2010 at 2:00 PM - Response #3

We are having our 50th Reunion this September, getting reasonable response as usually expected. This is only our 3rd ever Reunion, and the first in 20 years!!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
You are just starting to plan your reunion to be held in September??? Geesh...you need to hurry up.
Our reunion is next Month..and we started planning is a year ago..and it wasn't enough time. You need about 2 yrs..one to locate everyone..and do a kinda save the date mailing.
And then get the venue,dj..and all the other goodies the year before.
Our Committee is now meeting every week. We want to have a unstressful week of the reunion...if possible!!??Laughing
We started meeting every mo..then twice a month 2 months ago. The website from CC makes it so easy to plan and collect the money for the reunion. SmileWink
I hope this helps!!

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Friday, July 16, 2010 at 2:40 PM - Response #4

If you have laptops with web cams, you can Skype to attend meetings.

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Friday, July 16, 2010 at 2:43 PM - Response #5

We have several classmates who live in the town where we graduated. There about 8 on the committee, 3 are traveling about an hour to attend. We are mostly comunicating by email. We are having our 50th reunion this year, 2nd of Oct. We have met 2 times, first meeting in May of this year. Our class has had a reunion every 5 yrs since graduation. With the help of our CC website, which we've had for the last 2 yrs and previous reunion commuications, we have been able to keep in touch with most of our fellow classmates. We hope to get the registrations letters in the mail by the end of this month.

We are not using the CC reunion planner, because a large percentage of our classmates will not use the internet to buy tickets or send money..

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Friday, July 16, 2010 at 3:06 PM - Response #6

50 years and on October 2 for us, also.

We used Reunion Planner only for keeping track of who was registered, not for receiving payment. We had one person who has traditionally done that, and everyone feels comfortable send their $$ to her. We still have about 1/3 of our classmates who are not or choose not to be active computer users; so, this plan worked well for us.

That is one of the reasons CC that is so wonderful - you can use all or part of it, whichever suits your needs and desires.

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Friday, July 16, 2010 at 3:39 PM - Response #7

Our 5 year reunions were run by a small group over the years -- without much 'inclusion' if you wanted to help.

For our 50th, we invited everyone to help if they wanted to and now have about 35 people on the "Reunion Team". These are people who have attended at least one of the two meetings we've had so far -- a third is scheduled for Sep 15 (our reunion is in July 2011). A number of team members have commented that they were glad to be 'allowed' to participate in the planning.

We've divided up into working groups on the different events we plan to have over the weekend -- golf, river cruise, etc.

While it doesn't take 35 people to plan the reunion, it has been helpful having that many people to bounce ideas off of. I'm 2000 miles away. Most of them live within 40 miles of the town we grew up in.

Some take on specific tasks I ask them to do -- like research obituaries, call class members without internet and ask them the Profile questions, etc.

I hope we'll have over 350 at our reunion and when that time comes, we'll need 35 people to help guests check in, get them their name badges, etc. (I think the largest reunion in the past was half that size.)

CC has been great to help us reconnect people. We haven't done it yet, but it would be possible to use the Live Chat feature to hold 'meetings' to discuss problems, etc.

We started CC in April 09 - over two years before our planned 50th Reunion.

But a week ago, I helped a friend set up their CC site and their reunion is in late October. They've opted to allow people to 'sign-up' for the Reunion through the Reunion Planner, but checks are mailed to the Committee chair rather than offering online payment. (The deadline for reservations and payment is the end of August.)

For those class members who aren't online, the committee chair has the option of using Admin access to manually enter attendee and payment and profile information and to download up-to-date lists of class members and which will be attending. She can use this data to create name badges as well.

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Edited 07/16/10 3:42 PM
Friday, July 16, 2010 at 3:44 PM - Response #8
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Our "reunion committee's" "quit" a few reunions ago, so i plan the "reunions" from halfway across the country also. i probably have the biggest mouth of the entire class, and have no fear of the usual rejection. Our "locals" helped with the last reunion five years ago, but are "burnt out" and apparently there was some animosity at some meetings, so they have not so much as volunteered to blow up balloons. But i remain undeterred. this reunion is for those that haven't been heard from in 35 years, and many have found the web site "by accident" and it is only because of ClassCreator and the web site that we are even having anyone show up next weekend!
The "locals" all seem to have "other plans, one who is supposed to be "on the helper's list" is having dinner elsewhere and will join us "later"...So, through phone calls and with computer technology, and Class Creator, of course, we anticipate almost 150, give or take next weekend.
Those that really want to be there will be there, and the rest will wish they had taken the time to join us!
We have been blessed with a very flexible club/restaurant owner willing to take a chance on us. We will collect money at the door, honor system, and hope to pay all the "bills" by the end of the night. classmates can enjoy a "free" evening, or spend some money, but the friendship factor is still "priceless"!
You can contact local businesses for donations, by phone or e-mail. Most are quite receptive. I used the local Chamber of Commerce for ideas. Some bars are willing to donate a bottle of something for a "shout out" in our program and a mention on the web site. Excellent ideas from these forums, especially in the reunion success column! The same thing with the Mingle" meet and greet game...questions based on profiles of those attending will encourage conversation, rather than the usual cliques that drive me crazy. Helium is donated from the local Airgas company. Some classmates have donated wonderful door prizes, such as Packer tickets from a classmate couple , complete with tailgate party. Another classmate couple is going to be our host(s) for the evening, they dance also, so they will try to get our two left feet going!...while another classmate is printing up the programs and donating a banner,etc...One came to mind to pray before dinner because he mentioned his spiritual inclination in his profile. These are individuals who have not "participated" in past reunions, but this gives them a chance to shine...
If you think of your class, and perhaps the "gifts" that they possess, or can "offer" if asked, you might want to try what i did. They became "volunteers" the Navy way! By being asked! Many have felt a new sense of empowerment once they got over the shock of being "volunteered"!
"Many hands make light work", but it is not necessary to actually "be there" to plan it all. I may have a different opinion after next weekend but my guess is that others will rise to expectations. Some have been very flattered to be "asked" and others, well,they are doing their own thing...i have vowed not to take any of this personally and trust that we will get the best that is meant to be! And we will Have Fun regardless!
Miracles Happen and Hope still Springs Eternal!
Have a great Reunion and Have Fun!
Sorry for the mindless blathering, but thanks for letting me "vent"! It is most appreciated!
kris

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Edited 07/16/10 3:45 PM
Friday, July 16, 2010 at 3:50 PM - Response #9

Webmaster Darlene wrote:

We are having our 50th Reunion this September, getting reasonable response as usually expected. This is only our 3rd ever Reunion, and the first in 20 years!!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
You are just starting to plan your reunion to be held in September??? Geesh...you need to hurry up.
Our reunion is next Month..and we started planning is a year ago..and it wasn't enough time. You need about 2 yrs..one to locate everyone..and do a kinda save the date mailing.
And then get the venue,dj..and all the other goodies the year before.
Our Committee is now meeting every week. We want to have a unstressful week of the reunion...if possible!!??Laughing
We started meeting every mo..then twice a month 2 months ago. The website from CC makes it so easy to plan and collect the money for the reunion. SmileWink
I hope this helps!!

No, not at all. The committee started 6 months or more ago. I am just an outside classmate that started our website. I have been unable to get the "Local" committee yet to go with the planning through ClassCreator, but I will. That was the only reason that I ask this information. Committee is entirely Local, I want to change that, and use computer capability much more. Our class is almost everyone computer illiterate, except myself who is employed as a Computer Support technician for Accounting Sofware.

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Friday, July 16, 2010 at 4:04 PM - Response #10

Great ideas folks! Kris and John I really like your views on this. Others also expressed my problem is out there for others. I have the same local committee that has planned all previous reunions (only 3 in 50 years though!!). They express being burned out. I also have a lot of classmembers that literally fear computers and refuse to use them. Though our Reunion planning has been going on for 6 months, maybe a year (don't know for sure), we can certainly make it a lot easier by using the parts we meed of ClassCreator. Also, one of you mentioned that you let them register on the website, but you don't collect dollars on the site. We would have the same issues with classmates that make that solution very viable.

I guess I am like Kris. I think it can be done better, and I will be discussing that with the existing committee. Use them yes, but I want more control to make it easier for all. Forty of our eight-eight classates do still live within an hour of our home town. The rest of us have moved for careers, etc.

I do like the idea of using webcam and our own ChatRoom. Geez, we don't have to sit next to each other to meet and make plans. All I need is someone to drive out to the 1 or 2 restaurant meeting places remaining, and reserve! My sister can do that for me since she lives there still. LOL

Thanks again. I do plan to use a lot more of Class Creator next time around, but I am 'working on' the committee fears of computers still yet.

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Friday, July 16, 2010 at 4:34 PM - Response #11
Thanks113.gif

Derrell,
You're right! Many do not like the idea of "change" but once it is an "option" the fear of the unknown subsides, for some anyway. We have many who refuse to touch a computer, their lose, ohwell! They get a phone call. (that creepy www.spokeo.com really does come in handy for those phone numbers!)
I "opened" up the Reunion Planner about 6 months ago and this places a question on the profiles. this was wonderful. So far, about half have used this only as their notice to me that they will be there. There is the option and instruction to sign up on the Official" reunion registration page...some figured it out right away, some are trying now, others never will...and some think that "classmates.com" is where they should sing in, despite many indications and posts to the contrary! ohwell again!
Those that are on Facebook seem to think that that is for registering, despite many reminders that there is One Official Site! ohwell once more.
Just this last week, i finally posted a "who's coming" list, sent out a letter of reunion update info, and have indicated on the list who "officially registered", who indicated on their profile "intention" and those on other sites, Facebook or e-mail, or phone commitment who is "coming"...now if no one shows up next week, I'll be the first to let you know that also.
No money has yet changed hands, as it was "too complicated" for some, extra charge for others, etcetcetc...
The Wisconsin local papers will run a "free" notice for such things (apparently they are "required by law"! who knew?!) and i have posted the web site as the official contact in these posts, but also given them a name of a local class rep, the one guy who i have counted on to help me get the word out with the locals. An e-mail and a phone call have been pretty effective so far. Because he is a newly elected Alderman,I contact the businesses and he picks up the donations. I just say, "My friend, Rocco will be by to pick it up..." It's an Italian town, and i am Norsk, so it has been Fun in so many ways!
We are also going to try Brad's suggestion of using a Web cam on the site on the night of the reunion, for those in other corners of the world that cannot make it.
I cannot thank Brad , his crew and the other admins with excellent suggestions who have helped make our reunion possible! It would not have happened without the excellent input and the outstanding tool provided by ClassCreator! Although i am in the process of trying to figure out name tags! You are all the Best! Thanks so much!
"still having Fun, i think!?!"
I still love to prove the naysayers "wrong" in a good way!
Miracles Happen! They just take a little longer!
kris
p.s. i also posted a blurb "or donation" option and have been overwhelmed" with the generosity of a few that i never would've expected! The web site helped them "reconnect" and decide to attend, and it has been having a "ripple effect" through town!

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Edited 07/16/10 4:56 PM
Friday, July 16, 2010 at 4:55 PM - Response #12

Kris Thrailkill wrote:

Derrell,
We are also going to try Brad's suggestion of using a Web cam on the site on the night of the reunion, for those in other corners of the world that cannot make it.

kris

Whoa! Webcam at the Reunion for those who cannot attend! I hadn't seen that idea. Can anyone give me a link for specifics on setting that up? Is this LIVE??? Wow, that would be way cool. I do plan to video and record for placing on website afterwards, but a Live Webcam would be so nice (announced of course the last minute, cause I don't want to provide any excuse NOT to attend....LOL). Geez, I have a couple of unused surveillance cameras, one with InfraRed for those dark corners....heehee. I could link those on internet and any with the address could watch......sound too!

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Friday, July 16, 2010 at 5:21 PM - Response #13

Here's the link, from yesterday! Timing was perfect! Thanks Vickie and Brad!
web cam forum

kris
p.s. i just found out that a few of our classmates have finally found the features and they love them! Some reunited after 35 years for the first time! Thanks again, Brad! Lots of mini-miracles everywhere we look! It's quite beautiful!
You are making a huge difference in many lives! May you and yours be richly blessed!
Thanks again!

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Edited 07/16/10 5:27 PM
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