Organizing a high school or college reunion can be a fascinating way to see what former classmates have been doing with their lives.
As exciting as the event may be, planning and organization can be time-consuming and challenging.
The most difficult task of all is tracking down old classmates. However, it’s not impossible. From creating an event page to doing a free people search online, here are the best ways.
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The simplest way to get people to attend a reunion is to invite them. The best way is to create an event page via social media or on the educational institution’s own page.
Reunions get the most attention from former classmates when they’re milestone events. Most people will be on the lookout for a 20th or 30th-year reunion in place of a 17th or 23rd. It’s not to say you can’t have an event in other years, but if you’re hoping for people to look proactively, there’ll be fewer of them.
To capture contact details, attach a link in the form of an RSVP to a Google form for prospective attendees to complete.
You Only Need One
Most classes have that one student, the social butterfly, who attempts to remain in contact with as many classmates as possible. Find that person, and the guest list becomes easier to manage.
A great tip would be to employ this person as co-chair so they can assist with the reunion. They’ll be even more willing to share contact details if they’re involved in the event.
Hometown Family and Friends
An excellent place to start collecting contact information of former classmates is in the town where the institution is based. Even if they’ve moved away, there’s a significant chance that their family or friends may still be there.
Start by door knocking at their known addresses; people often love to get surprise visits from people who have returned. If their place of residence isn’t known, visit coffee shops, museums, and other cultural venues in the chance of ‘bumping into’ them.
School, College, and Alum Sites
These days, most schools and colleges have their own websites for marketing and encouraging enrolment.
Many of these have an alum section, often categorized by year, that lists names and, in some instances, contact details of former students. These sites are an excellent place to start, especially if some classmates’ names still need to be remembered.
Dedicated alum website databases like alumni.net and classmates.com compile lists of names and contact details from educational institutions worldwide. All that’s needed is the school’s name and the year, which will generate a report.
People Search Sites
Online tools and applications like people search sites are an excellent way of locating the contact details of a person. They’re especially helpful if all you have is a name and a location.
These databases collect information from public and court records, utility companies, and property and motor vehicle registrations.
Sites like these are beneficial if the person doesn’t want to be found and doesn’t have an online presence. Any digital transaction they may have done could end up in these databases.
Begin by entering a name and a state. During the search process, some of the more user-friendly sites may ‘pop up’ questions asking for additional information that may trigger a forgotten memory.
Often within seconds, you can obtain contact details of long-lost classmates.
Ready for the Reunion?
Locating former classmates for a reunion doesn’t need to be as daunting a task as it may first appear.
If the event falls in a milestone year, an invite page is an excellent way to garner interest. People often look for reunions on their institution’s website.
If you’re fortunate enough to be in contact with or locate the social butterfly of the class, you may get access to an immediate database of contacts. Alternatively, visit the hometown and track down family and friends.
Get online and browse the educational institution’s website or social media page and look for alum pages. Failing that, try using people search sites which are ready-made databases of people, even those not wishing to be found.
Enjoy the reunion!