Why should we use your services?
1- You don't have time to put into doing mailers, finding alumni, you live out of town, etc.
2- It is only you and one classmate and you want a reunion.
3- You are the Class President and it is your "job" or you have been assigned this task.
4- You don't have the money the hotel wants as a deposit.
5- You don't have a clue how to find 350 of your classmates.
How far in advance should we start planning the reunion?
Your date should be at least six months from today. This provides us enough time to receive your yearbook, Commencement Announcement and address list from graduation or your last reunion event and compile the database for address confirmation and searches for alumni with no addresses. It also allows us time to secure the venue, locate your classmates and mail them three times with event information. This allows your classmates time to make the proper travel arrangements, thereby maximizing attendance at your reunion.
What if we want to have our reunion within six months?
We really do not recommend that you attempt to plan your reunion for a specific date if that date is within 6 months. Your classmates need the time to request leave from work if they have to travel, make plane or travel reservations, save money, arrange for pet sitters, etc. We will require a deposit if you wish to have a reunion event in six months from today. We do not feel that your event will have the attendance to make it the success we all want if we have a limited amount of time to "get the word out'. If you wish to proceed, we will work with you, but we will ask for a refundable deposit from you. If the guarantee is met, the deposit will be refunded to you.
How is the ticket price determined?
The ticket price is composed of four main elements:
- The Venue – where you want to hold your reunion. This is a significant factor in determining the cost of the ticket. The nicer places simply cost more money. A hotel on the beach will have a higher cost than one close to a Mall.
- Food served at the event. Another factor is the meal or food service you want to be served. Receptions with appetizers are less expensive than plated dinners. Buffets are more expensive than plated dinners. This goes to the hotel or venue where the reunion will be held. The more elaborate the meal the more expensive it will be. This is generally 50% of the ticket price.
- Company Fee – This is a flat fee that the company adds to the ticket price. This pays for the website management, mail in registration accounting, database maintenance, re-mailing notices to your classmates, the telephone calls, the email replies, etc. Also included in the company fee is the cost of employing the disk jockey, photographer, the table decorations in your school colors on the table, event staff, compiling and printing the address books, database entry and searches for addresses, postage, envelopes – all the hard costs that we pay on your behalf.
What is the typical ticket price?
Your ticket price will typically range from $75.00 to $99.00, depending on your class size, type of reunion (10, 20,25, 30,35, 40, 45 or 50 year), the selected venue and food service provided at the reunion. Our goal is to make each and every reunion event affordable for every member of your class.
How do you locate all of our classmates?
Names of all possible classmates are accumulated from your senior yearbook, Senior Index in the back of your yearbook, commencement announcement and your address list from senior year or last reunion. All names are entered into the database and sent for address verification or address search to a company that specializes in searching for highs school alumni. In 2007 our average “found” rate was 85%. Our highest "found" rate was 96% and our lowest "found" rate was 73%. Some classes had a higher rate because they actively participated in attempting to locate “lost” alumni.
Do you do multiple year events?
We will certainly work with several classes that want to have a reunion event together. We do ask that a member of each class be on the committee and be responsible for the guaranteed attendance for that class. A contract is required for each class invited to the reunion event and each class will have their own website and domain name for ticket purchase options.
Do we have to sign a contract?
A contract is required so we may legally represent you when speaking with venues, hotels and vendors.
What is the guarantee and how is it determined?
Attendance at reunion events is determined by a compilation of statistics by the National Association of Reunion Managers (NARM) annually. It has been determined that at least 70% of your classmates will be located. 20% of them will attend the event and half of those alumni will bring a guest. Example: A class with 350 graduates should have an attendance of at least 75 adults at their reunion.
Will I receive tickets in the mail?
Your name and that of your guest (if you have paid for a guest) will be put on a "Paid and Attending" list that will be at the Registration Desk the night of your reunion events.
But buying a ticket sounds better than just 'pay to have you name on a paid and attending list'
We work hard to keep the costs down so we don't mail tickets (unless your reunion is at a facility that requires an entrance ticket or gate passes to the facility).
Will I receive a receipt if you don't mail tickets?
If you pay by check and mail in your registration form and check, your cancelled check or monthly bank statement is your receipt. If you pay on-line with a credit card, your credit card statement is the receipt. Credit card payments made on-line by the purchaser will also receive an email confirmation of your purchase. The names of ticket purchasers/attendees are on a master guest list at the door.
What happens when I get to the Reunion the night of the event?
Your name and that of your guest (if you have paid for a guest) will be on a "Paid and Attending" list at the Registration Desk. Reunions Forever Event Coordinators will check your name off the attending list when you arrive. You will receive either your name tag with your photo on the adhesive badge or a button with your photo and a wrist band indicating that you have paid to attend. Your guest (if you have paid for a guest to attend) will also receive a wrist band and a name badge or button. You will also be asked to sign for your Address/Memory Book. If you have received an address book and you leave it behind at the venue, we are not able to send you another Address/Memory Book.
I left my Address / Memory Book at the reunion - Can you send me another one?
The Address or Memory Books are printed in the quantity that is needed for each event. This quantity includes the number of classmates that have paid for the address book and are not attending as well as the classmates that are attending.
If you do not wish to be responsible for your Address / Memory Book the night of the reunion event, you may ask the Event Coordinator to make make arrangements to send your book to you on Monday. You will be asked to put your book into an envelope, address the envelope to your self, seal the envelope and pay the Event Coordinator $3.00 for the envelope, handling and postage.
Getting ready for your Reunion ...
1. Dress - Suggested dress is provided in your reunion information packet. Refer to that as a guideline. Usually your committee has asked about a dress code for Saturday evening. It is sort of a formal event. Granted, we’re not going to kick anyone out, but suggest something along the lines of “business casual.” Certainly no need for a tux, but please, no Speedos either! Business casual (which is exactly what your office allows you to wear on casual Fridays is the same as "preppy casual", "evening casual", "country club casual", or "classy casual". These all imply a neat, polished look, without being stiff and too formal. Remember you do want to look nice for your Class Photograph taken that night. If the dress code is sem-casual but no runners or ripped jeans. Please be sensible and dress to impress.
Check out this website for some guidelines: http://www.alphamom.com/smackdown/2009/04/what_to_wear_high_school_reuni.php
2. Getting there - While you do not have to remember to bring tickets, please make sure you know how to get to your reunion events. Some events are held at private clubs, country and golf clubs and while their addresses are available, the actual event may be held in an area not at that specific building on site. An example of this is the Administration Office of the Golf Club receives the mail and is usually the location address, but the event may be held at the Club's restaurant and bar located in another building. Some events are held where weekend access is restricted and you must know how to gain access to that building on Saturday evening. PLEASE check the information provided to you for specific information or venue websites for exact and specific direcxtions to your reunion events.
3. BRING CASH! - Most venues have an ATM, but a lot do not - Private Clubs, Golf and Country Clubs usually DO NOT have an ATM machine on site. All events have a CASH BAR and if you want a soda, a glass of wine, bottled water or another cocktail - you will need cash. Also you may want to purchase an Address or Memory Book if that is not included in your ticket price, the class photo, a portrait or another group photograph. Cash is needed for all on-site purchases the night of the reunion events. Lastly, you may decide to play it safe and take a taxi home or back to your hotel and you will need cash to pay the driver.
Can we pay at the door the night of the Reunion?
We strongly encourage you to pay for your event tickets before the events for a number of reasons:
1. This is fair to your committee and other alumni who have put so much time and effort into planning your reunion activities. Ticket prices are based on an exact number attending your reunion and they have worked to make sure that their guarantee to the company and the venue has been made.
2. It also allows for proper preparations in the event room layout, seating, and ordering of meal service.
3. Paying at the door ties up one of the on-site Event Coordinators to check you in, collect the required admission fee AND LATE FEE, make change for you and make the name tags at the Registration Desk the night of the reunion.
4. There are a LIMITED number of walk-ins that can be accepted the night of the reunion. Usually that number is less than 5 and it is a first-come, first serve/sold basis. Once those tickets available at the door are gone - we are SOLD OUT.
5. If you are still planning on paying at the door, CASH ONLY or money orders will be accepted. No personal checks and no credit cards are accepted. Most facilities do have an ATM machine, but remember, most banks have specific set limits as to how much you may withdraw on a 24 hour basis and it is a cash bar iside the event room. Plan Ahead!
Will Reunions Forever do the search for our classmates and the reunion committee do the rest?
Yes! We have a set charge for our services. If you would like us to create your database for you and confirm addresses, we charge $2.50 per name or database record in the file. 50% of the estimated cost is due when we receive your last known address list of classmates, your yearbook and commencement announcement and the balance is due upon completion. We will then send you the file by email or disc. It takes about 14 to 21 days from the date that we receive the information for the database to be forwarded to you. Your yearbook and the other documents will be returned by USPS/Fed-EX or UPS at that time. Payments may be made through our on-line registration company for a small fee or you may send a check.
How much money does the Reunion Committee have to come up with?
Reunions Forever will assume the financial risk of your reunion. Due to nature of this industry, the company is at total financial risk when assisting classes to host their reunion. Since we sign the contracts for all facility venues, we are responsible for the food & beverage minimums required to secure a reunion event. If a class size and school reunion attendance history meets our criteria, no upfront deposits will be required.
However, if your class profile is outside of the company acceptable risk tolerance, an upfront deposit or fee is required to limit our risk. This deposit is due at the onset of the planning process. This deposit is refundable based on the minimum attendance
requirements. When your reunion achieves this attendance goal, your deposit is refunded to you therefore, costing you nothing to hire us. To engage our services the Reunion Committee will pay a nominal deposit at the onset of the planning process. This deposit is refundable based on minimum attendance requirements.
What is the minimum class size you will service?
Your class size must exceed 350 records in the database or you will be asked to place a refundable deposit with the company. If the attendance guarantee is met at the reunion event, the deposit is returned to the class representative or the committee.
Do you do 5-year and 15-year reunions?
We do not do 5-year and 15-year reunions because our experience has demonstrated that they will not be well attended.
Do you do multiple day events?
We recommend 1-day events for a ten year reunion. Multiple day reunion events may be too expensive for the majority of your classmates. However, if your class reunion registration meets the guaranteed attendance you have committed to, a Meet and Greet Reception may be added at a later date.
A class that is unusually large - over 800 alumni in one class can support a two night event successfully.
Twenty year, twenty-five year, thirty year classes, etc. that have multiple day events are usually very successful.
Do you do destination (cruises, the Caribbean, etc) reunions?
We do not do “destination” reunions. The vast majority (90%) of our reunions are held within 15 to 20 miles of your high school. The geographic limitation increases the attendance at your reunion dramatically.
Who chooses where the reunion is located?
The reunion committee or the class representative for your class will make this decision. Reunions Tampa Bay will assist them in making the decision, including identifying a variety of locations to consider and the associated pricing for each venue.
What locations are available for the reunion?
To have an affordable event for your classmates, we attempt to locate venues - whether it is a hotel, private club (VFW, Garden Club, The Tampa Club, etc.) or commercial banquet hall (The Pavillion, The Centro Asturiano, Lion's Club International Eye Bank Building, A1A Ale Works, Sebastian Winery, etc.) - that have a low room rental fee or as low as possible Food and Beverage Minimum. Reunions Tampa Bay has access to many private country clubs, private social clubs, yacht clubs and more.
What is a Food and Beverage Minimum (F&B)?
This is a cost for the event that the venue or hotel requires to be paid for use of their banquet or meeting facilities. An example: If your guarantee is 50 and the F&B is $2000.00 - then the minimum food service per person must be $40.00. A service charge - usually 20% - is then added on to the bill and state sales is then calculated. So a $40 meal becomes $49.96 - but you would be giving a tip to the servers and paying tax in a restaurant anyway.
What should I wear?
We find that most Reunion Committees suggest “Dress up, Dress Down, Just be there!” The most important thing to remember is to wear something that you feel comfortable in. A good rule of thumb to follow is to dress like you would if you were attending an afternoon or evening wedding. Private Country Clubs will often have a stricter dress code that will be noted separately in your invitation.
Wikipedia defines the following:
Casual - Shorts, sneakers, tennis shoes, jeans, T shirts
Resort Casual - Bermuda Shorts, sandals and sundresses
Friday Casual - Jeans and collared shirts, no ties
Smart Casual - Sport coats, blazers, turtle neck shirts, no ties, collared shirts
Business Casual - Jeans are acceptable, no ties, collared shirts, sports jackets
Country Club - No jeans, T shirts or tennis, collared shirts, jackets
Business Attire - Suits and ties
Dressy Casual - cocktail dresses, jackets and ties
Little Black Dress - Evening or Cocktail dress
Semi Formal - Black Tie and suits for men, evening gowns for ladies
Formal - Black Tie, White Tie, Ball Gowns, evening gowns, Tuxedos
Black Tie - Tuxedo, Dinner Jackets, semi-formal
White Tie - Evening gowns, formal dress, full dress
What is the committee responsible for?
Your class representative or committee may be as involved as much or as little as they want to be. While Reunions Forever is completely capable of handling all the tasks involved in conducting a reunion, the more involved committees do create great events!
In working with Reunions Forever, we will ask that the committee provide us with the yearbook from the graduation year, a copy of the commencement announcement, an address list from your senior year or your last reunion event and an image of your school mascot. Mascot images may change over time and we want to use the image that is appropriate for your class.
We also ask the Committee what details they would like to include in the reunion night program. "Slide Shows" - now DVD presentations require equipment and the cost of the projector, screens, podiums, etc must be built into the ticket price - so we need to know what you are planning for the night of your reunion.
We also ask the committee or class representative to post notices at school websites – and other social networking websites such as www.classmates.com, www.facebook.com, www.myspace.com, etc.
Statistics show that the more involved the committee the greater the attendance! While
Reunions Forever is completely capable of handling all the tasks involved in planning your
reunion, the more involved committees do have a much higher turnout.
Committees should do some tasks which include:
* posting reunion information at social networking websites,
* writing a letter to be included in your invitation mailing,
* personally contacting alumni through personal phone calls and emails,
* assisting to locate "Lost" classmates,
* compiling memorabilia (school pictures, trophies, letterman jackets, pom poms, etc.) to display at the reunion,
* 'Trivia", Awards Certificates for most changed, etc,
* creating a memorial display to be placed at the reunion to honor those alumni who have passed away,
* preparing a reunion night program/presentation for your classmates, and
* Welcome and Committee Pages for the address books.
The more you personalize the reunion the better the attendance you’ll have!
What if I buy tickets and I can't go?
The reunion company, Reunions Forever, has been 'employed' by a contract between the reunion committee and Reunions Forever to represent the committee, organize and host this reunion for you. This contract is legally binding.
The reunion company, Reunions Forever, has entered into a contract with the committee's choice of venue where your reunion is to be held to secure the event space, meal service, chef, cash bar, bartender, cashier, dance floor and what other amenities requested by your reunion committee. This contract is also legally binding.
Various venues have different polices regarding ordering and paying for the meal service to be available for and to you at your reunion. As a result of this, the reunion company may be required by the venue contract to order and pay for the meal service as much as 30 days prior to the scheduled reunion event.
The term or word "ticket" applies to both an eTicket purchased on-line with a credit or debit card and a paper value ticket purchased with a registration form and a check or money order mailed to the reunion company in a timely manner. The refund policy applies as soon as payment is made on-line or the check or money order has been deposited, whether or not any ticket is printed, and applies to the entire purchase paid including attendance charges, any memory / address books and class photo purchases or charges.
If you request to cancel your ‘ticket’ purchase 30 or more days before the scheduled reunion event, purchased ‘tickets’ are refundable less a 20% refund cancellation fee.
All refunds are mailed 6 to 8 weeks after the scheduled reunion event.
If you request to cancel your ‘ticket’ purchase 29 days or fewer before the scheduled reunion event date, ‘tickets’ and memory / address books that have been purchased are 100% not refundable.
"No show" at the scheduled reunion event are 100% not refundable , the entire ‘ticket’ amount is forfeited.
If you discover that you can't attend your reunion, we urge you to sell your ticket to another classmate. This way you have a 100% refund and the committee appreciates your thoughtfulness to maintain the current head count.