Getting People There

Reunion Planning Publicity Ideas

A sizeable attendance at reunions is typically a gauge of its success.  Specific to class reunions, they are more highly cherished as the ratio of recognizable guests increase.  Family reunion organizers don’t want to lose an opportunity for their children to see and know distant family members.  Other reunion enthusiasts hope to keep in contact with each other to maintain friendships and relationships that might otherwise fade away.

Encouraging attendance can be accomplished in a variety of ways.  We planners hope to create an event not to be missed.  However, it is always a challenge to convince those who are unsure or flat out reluctant to attend reunions.  Reasons are all too familiar, I’m too fat, too old, unsuccessful, unemployed, single, not friends with anyone anymore or just lack interest.  These negative responses are disheartening but are not insurmountable. Here are some tips on how to entice attendance and tackle objections.

Publicity.  Activate a massive publicity blitz with attractive mailers, personal contact through phone drives, media announcements, Internet notices via Facebook, Twitter, etc., and old fashion word of mouth.

Enticing Venue.  An exciting and unique location brings people out

Personal Contact.  Nothing like a personal phone call to encourage attendance.  Personal contact also acts as a reminder, and spurs action.

Announce Attendees.  Invite people to contact those they know or would like to see to come to the event. It encourages interaction before and after the reunion.

For those who philosophically resist attending reunions, here are some counterpunches:

  • Appeal to their perceived challenges by letting them know many people would like to see them
  • It is a great opportunity to let go of any old resentments and intimidations
  • It is a chance to see those they forgot they knew and could spark an interest
  • Attendees don’t focus on what you have become, but who you were when you were together
  • It’s only one weekend out of 52 times the number of years since the last reunion
  • We aren’t getting any younger
  • If you average the cost of the reunion over 10 years, it is an inexpensive outing


For those who are unable to attend for financial reasons, create a donation fund or plan alternative activities.  Ideas include:

  • Request donations from your guest list.  This will be anonymous to everyone
  • Hold a pre-reunion fundraising dinner at a restaurant or home
  • Sell minimally priced ads to those who can’t attend but may want to include comments in a program or handout.
  • Ask kids to do errands or projects to earn money to help contribute to the cause
  • Pre-sell raffle tickets on donated prizes or services
  • Allow installment payments, (this requires keeping good records and follow-up)
  • Offer discounts for early payments
  • Plan an event that is casual and inexpensive
  • Plan a following day bring-your-own picnic
  • Organize a Pre-reunion ice breaker at the reunion location