An exchange of Christmas cards is all very well, but bringing together a group of old classmates or colleagues is a far richer experience — if you get it right. Here are some tips for a successful gathering.
1. Organizing the invites
Make your list, then start to spread the word. If you have lost touch with a friend, the chances are that someone else is still in contact.
- Try approaching whoever organized the last reunion for their list.
- Approach an alumni representative at your old school, college or university.
- Don’t overlook the phone book. Your friend may have moved on, but their parents might still live at the old address.
- Use the internet and reach out across the world. Try social networking sites and chatrooms such as Facebook or Twitter. Try the dedicated reunion websites such as Friends Reunited.
2. Pick a realistic timeframe
If years have slipped by, what’s another six months? Give everyone plenty of notice of your intention and gauge enthusiasm. Suggest a couple of possible dates and ask for feedback before settling on a final day.
3. Choose your venue carefully
Is it to be a restaurant, bar, at your own home? You might decide to meet up informally in a bar, then to move on for a meal nearby. Consider the type of venue; you’re going to want to talk above all, to catch up, show photographs and bring news, so avoid anywhere too busy or loud. Wherever you decide to meet, make it somewhere central and accessible to all.
4. Set a budget
Remember some party-goers will have to bear the cost of travel and possibly overnight accommodation, so be practical about your plans. For a large gathering, allow for food, drink, venue hire, music and flowers. Don’t hand over your own credit card without firm promises from attendees. Explain that acceptance is a commitment — or consider selling tickets.When everything is booked, send round a confirmation. State the time, date, venue and who else so far has “signed up” for the do.