Here are three takeaways from Reunions Reinvented’s recent survey of law school alumni and advancement administrators about their 2020 reunions given the current conditions caused by COVID:
- There is uncertainty whether in-person reunions are going forward this year:
- – Schools have been slow to make the decision whether to cancel their fall reunions and hold a virtual reunion in itsÂ place.
- There is uncertainty about the programming for a virtual reunion:
- – Schools are grappling with what a virtual reunion looks and feels like.
- There is uncertainty whether alumni will participate in the virtual reunion:
- – The biggest concern among respondents is that alumni won’t participate in the virtual reunion.
It is not surprising that schools are having aÂ difficult time making a decision to cancel their in-person fall reunion andÂ hold a virtual reunion in its place:
- We know, first and foremost, that the administrativeÂ wheels of educational institutions are slow to turn.
- Schools could be treading slowly because there are waiting for more empirical statistics, such as COVID data or alumni polling results.
- This decision is butÂ one of many that schoolsÂ need to make as they adjust to the new normal this fall.
Steps to take:
It would be helpful if a decision were made soonerÂ than later. There has been so much uncertainty caused by theÂ pandemic that a definitiveÂ decision would beÂ appreciated by alumniÂ and wouldÂ motivate staffÂ to start planningÂ the virtual reunion.Â As with an in-person reunion, the key to a successful virtual reunion is to start as early as possible to get the word out and generate momentum.
It is also not surprising that there is uncertainty aboutÂ virtualÂ programmingÂ and concern that alumni will not participate since a virtualÂ reunion is a novel concept for most schools. Ironically,Â my business modelÂ hasÂ always been to virtually engage alumni in theirÂ reunions through a series of newsletters and engaging emails, as well as class books for milestone reunion classes.Â Like starting early, engaging communications personalized to your alumni is central to increasing participation.
If you have any questions about whether to cancel or postpone your reunion or how to fashion a virtual reunion for your school , callÂ Margie at Reunions Reinvented. No strings attached!