Archive for October 17th, 2007

Reunions Need Lots Of Time AND Room For Visiting

Wednesday, October 17th, 2007

Gina and I attended my high school class reunion this past weekend. Compared to many similar gatherings I have seen, this one worked really well. Here’s why:

1. The evening had a good balance of organized activities and “free time.” Every hour or so, we all participated in a “group” activity. Those who had worked on planning the reunion were recognized, as were classmates who traveled the greatest distance. There was a class photo (taken early, before coats, ties, inhibitions, and sobriety disappeared.) In fact, all the traditional reunion stuff was done – just not all at once. 50 minutes or more of each hour was left for guests to visit, eat, or dance, as they desired.

2. The venue had both plenty of room, and plenty of rooms. Normally, I favor big, boxy ballrooms where everyone is in the same place at the same time. But at reunions – unlike wedding receptions and anniversaries, for example – the primary purpose for the event is visiting – catching up on what old classmates have been doing. For some folks, this is best accomplished at a quiet table off to itself. Our gathering utilized a large ballroom, the foyer outside, the separate dining room where our buffet was laid out, and the porch outdoors. There was a place for everyone.

Mostly-vintage music created a mood that we all could feel, even if we didn’t choose to dance much (or at all.) But what really set this reunion apart from so many others, was that the majority of the guests spent the majority of their time engaged in exactly what they felt like doing at that particular moment. By that standard, this was one of the most successful events I’ve ever attended.

I’m already looking forward to the next one!