Here are some questions asked of Class Act over the years by reunion-committee members, reunion-goers, competitors, the curious, and even ourselves:
Q No. 1: If we decide to enlist your services, how much does it cost? How
does it work? What do you need from us?
A: Maybe not - if you have as many as 100 hours of time, are OK doing often tedious work, and can assume a financial commitment that often exceeds $5,000. But be careful: When you contact possible locations, many will want at least a $500 deposit, sometimes $1,000. In addition, they might put you on a "payment schedule" leading up to the reunion. That can create a cash crunch for the committee because most people attending a reunion don't pay until the last two or three weeks beforehand.
Also, if you count on Facebook as your only means of locating classmates, you're likely to be disappointed. By and large, most people in a class aren't members of a FB page for the class. or other high school-related websites. And of those who are listed, it's not because they're particularly interested in a reunion: They're simply looking to find, or be found by, some former classmates.
In fact, as we discuss on the Facebook Factor page, for all of its positive benefits, FB is having a negative effect on reunion attendance. But we're managing to combat that by reaching most of the class, and by keeping the admission price around $50, or less
Q No. 3: But we have people on our committee who have planned parties and events like banquets, benefits and galas. Doesn't that matter?
A: A reunion is a different animal: Party planning is only a part of what's involved. A much larger percentage is communication, and good detective work. Sounds boring, but it's true. Committees working on their own usually focus a lot more on party planning than spreading the word. When that happens, the stress levels are high and they set themselves up to get in a financial bind. We've heard many stories of committees "passing the hat" at the reunion in order to pay the expenses.
NTW: Quite a few committees that hire us for their reunion had handled one or more of their previous reunions on their own. If you ask them afterward which they preferred, going solo or using Class Act, they're likely to point in our direction. Freed from the time and financial burdens discussed above, they were able to enjoy the event like the other attendees. Ever see Romy and Michelle's High School Reunion? Staffing the check-in table isn't the most exciting place to be on reunion night.
Why go through all of this when it costs nothing, other than the price to attend, to enlist the services of Class Act? We'll give you the reunion you want, without the hassles you don't want.
Q No. 4: Is the admission cost really important as to whether a person will attend a reunion? Our committee is thinking that people in our class would pay $70 or $80. Are we right?
A: An unequivocal "yes" to the first question - cost is very important. But a respectful "no" to the second question - most people in a class won't pay $70 or $80. Members of the committee obviously are excited and enthusiastic about the reunion (or else they wouldn't be on the committee). So they're likely to pay that kind of price. But most people in the class won't.
Rule No. 1 in reunion planning: Higher price = lower turnout. More than any other factor, price determines whether a person will attend. And that's even truer now, with the popularity of websites like Facebook. For some people, a reunion is as exciting as a root canal. They're almost looking for reasons not to attend; a high price all but guarantees they won't. It's not that they can't afford the price; they just don't think this type of event should cost that much.
Q No. 5: I see that Class Act does most of its reunions on Friday night, instead of Saturday. Why? Are there any advantages to it? But doesn't the attendance go down?
A: The transition to Friday was a
result of feedback from people - and the reality of the Digital Age. During our first 15 years or so in business,
people would say they didn't have enough time during the weekend to spend
with relatives and friends.
Q No. 6: How many people in our class will come to the reunion? Is there any way to predict? Will half of the class be there?
A: Let's put it this way: If half of each
class would attend their reunion, we'd be retired by now - and you wouldn't be
reading this! The reality is that half of each class has little or no interest in a
reunion. It's not that they hated high school. (Well,
OK, in some cases they did.) But, for a lot of people, they keep up with
maybe just one or
two friends from high school. So a class-wide event just isn't
important to them.
Q No. 7: Just as people scrutinize the elements of a reunion, so too do they question whether they really want to attend. The decision-making can be quite personal. People ask themselves: "How do I look?" "Am I doing OK financially?" "Will I feel awkward attending the reunion by myself?" "Have I achieved the goals I set when I was younger?" How does your company address those concerns?
A: The best way is by staging events that
are casual, inexpensive, and appeal
to a wide variety of people. One
thing we've learned is that if a reunion is perceived as being too
pricey or stuffy, people will stay away. And the purpose of a reunion is to
bring people together, not to scare them off.
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