The pandemic has impacted universities worldwide along with the beloved traditions and activities that campus communities look forward to on an annual basis. Since early 2020, most universities have either chosen to innovate and safely plan remote activities or otherwise delay on-campus experiences such as homecoming, family weekends, and class reunions.
As more positive health-related progress has been made in comparison to the start of the pandemic, these universities are finally planning to make good on that delayed rain check, set dates, distribute invitations, and prepare for the ultimate 2022 alumni multi-reunion.
But, university reunions of 2022 will look quite different from years past. During most years, alumni departments invite back graduating classes celebrating their respective 5- and 10-year incremental reunions. This time around, there will be three times as many events to consider – the regularly planned 2022 events, along with the reunions that should have happened in 2020 and 2021. That means as many as 60% of alumni will be invited back to campus in 2022!
While the majority of universities opted for virtual engagement throughout the pandemic, alumni will be excited to celebrate with their former classmates and campus community in-person at their long overdue reunions. As groups are ready and eager to return to in-person events, many alumni departments are preparing for an enthusiastic influx of attendees ready to RSVP and participate. It’s a lot to wrap your head around and these factors require extensive preparation to successfully host these reunions. In this blog series we will review the logistics and importance of planning the 2022 Alumni Reunion:
How to optimize community engagement for the 2022 Alumni Reunion
As an Alumni Relations professional, planning for three times as many alumni attendees in this catch-all 2022 reunion year may initially be an exciting, if not terribly daunting initiative. But, there are a multitude of benefits to capitalizing on this one-of-a-kind opportunity, and leveraging this as a catalyst to engage and excite your alumni base. This blog will be dedicated to strategies to foster enhanced connection and belonging within your extensive alumni community.
Equip alumni team with pro tips for planning large alumni reunions
Logistically speaking, hosting an event, or series of events is no easy feat. However, we’re here to help! We’ll provide relevant examples from other universities, recommendations on how to rally your team of Alumni Board members, ways to streamline communication with participating attendees, and ideas on how to stay organized throughout the planning process. Our goal is to help you avoid feeling overwhelmed, and be confident in your event execution.
Build a strong (digital) community
Lastly, we’ll share how to utilize modern technology, such as a reunion platform or app, to build online communities to strengthen involvement. It’s so easy for alumni to fall out of touch or for your team to have difficulty connecting alumni classes. Whether it’s pre or post-reunion, drive conversations, and build connections and networking through digital communities. Learn about authenticated university-hosted digital communities to foster alumni relations no matter what time of year or where your alumni are located.