When schools rescheduled their 2020 spring reunions for spring 2021, it was unthinkable that they would be virtual.
But they are.
So, here is a 2021 update of our most popular 2020 blog post, “How to create a virtual reunion…just in case,” based on what we learned from the fall 2020 reunions.
Create class committees
Just because your reunion is virtual doesn’t mean you don’t need reunion committees. Even more than an on-the-ground reunion, a successful virtual reunion needs your alumni’s input, buy-in, and help to spread the word.
Are you unsure whether your reunion will take place in person or remotely this spring or fall? Don’t delay forming committees. It’s okay to take your alumni along for a little roller-coaster ride.
Keep it simple
When planning your virtual reunion schedule and events, keep in mind that alumni’s time is limited and your resources to execute the events may be limited too. A few key virtual programs offered over a short period of time will do the job nicely.
Stick with proven themes for virtual programming
The most successful 2020 virtual events centered around four main themes:
- Giving virtual twists to your most popular in-person reunion events.
- Showcasing the accomplishments of your alumni and school.
- Using your popular professors to drive attendance.
- Hosting a class Zoom party.
Generate excitement for your reunion
Whether your reunion is virtual, on the ground, or you are just not sure, precede it with e-newsletters tailored to each class and a reunion class book for your milestone/spirited classes. Both (1) create the intimate connections that alumni want in their reunions; (2) generate excitement for your school’s reunions; and (3) make it easy to spark conversations in person or in class reunion Zooms.
How do I know? My mission over the past 12 years has been to generate momentum for school reunions in the months leading up to their reunions by creating engaging class e-newsletters and customized reunion class books. My virtual model takes this tried-and-tested business model one step further by creating interactive online programming too.
Alumni are more available now than ever. Take advantage of this time to strengthen your school’s relationship with them. Turn the 2021 reunion cycle into a uniquely memorable one instead of a disappointment.