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 its 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 a difficult time making a decision to cancel their in-person fall reunion and hold a virtual reunion in its place:
- We know, first and foremost, that the administrative 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 but one of many that schools need to make as they adjust to the new normal this fall.
Steps to take:
It would be helpful if a decision were made sooner than later. There has been so much uncertainty caused by the pandemic that a definitive decision would be appreciated by alumni and would motivate staff to start planning the virtual reunion. 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 about virtual programming and concern that alumni will not participate since a virtual reunion is a novel concept for most schools. Ironically, my business model has always been to virtually engage alumni in their reunions through a series of newsletters and engaging emails, as well as class books for milestone reunion classes. 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 , call Margie at Reunions Reinvented. No strings attached!