Are you in charge of orchestrating a military reunion? You may be having mixed emotions about this responsibility. On one hand, you are probably looking forward to seeing friends from your past. However, you may also be feeling overwhelmed at the job ahead of you. Here are some ideas that may help you to with the initial preparations.
Put Out The Word - Part of the challenge of sending out invitations is simply finding people. Consider offering an incentive to those who will help you locate the names and addresses of men and women with whom you served. Perhaps a free drink or even a free meal at the event will prompt people to help you in your search. One of the things you might face is that men and women from your military days will probably be scattered all over the United States and maybe even in foreign countries. Sending out invitations early will ensure that people will get the word on time to make their plans. Consider sending out invitations and other information a year ahead of time so that people can clear their calendars. Here are some ways to consider to make your invitations appealing.
- Have the front of the invitation include a group picture of all of you taken during the days you served together.
- Another thought is to have a cartoon depicting a bunch of service men and women with words like, "We Haven't Changed A Bit - Come And See For Yourself!"
- Besides the time, place and date of your event, remember to ask for RSVPs so you'll know how many people to plan for.
- It would also be good to enclose an agenda and recommendations on what clothes will be needed at different events.
The Location - As you plan where to have the reunion, consider selecting hotels that are near points of interest of the city in which you will be meeting. Think about using basing your reunion at a hotel that has hosted military reunions before.
- It's a good idea to offer more than one choice of hotel so that guests can select one in their price range. Also, some people might be bringing a pet, so they will need a pet-friendly hotel. Selecting a site that has several hotels in close proximity is important. That way transportation won't be a big challenge.
- Think about selecting one main hotel where you can have your opening check-in event and a banquet hall for a final event. Usually hotels that have banquet halls also have good restaurants that you can use for catering meals.
- A smart idea is to have the names and contact information for at least two hotel workers, including a concierge, with whom you can communicate to address questions and concerns. By choosing a military reunion hotel, those who work at the front desk and the concierge will have the experience to answer your questions and to help you in your plans.
Of course you'll want to offer trips to points-of-interest and you'll want to coordinate meals. However, remember that those who attend will also probably love some down time for doing things on their own, visiting or simply getting some rest between events.