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Are you interested in organising your own reunion or event?

Whether you are interested in meeting up with just a few old friends from your student days, or wish to organise a full-scale reunion or event we can help you to organise your own reunion or event.  We realise the thought of planning and organising a reunion event can seem daunting so we have put together a 'tool kit' to take you through every stage and help you deliver a successful event.  If you are thinking about organising an alumni event, you may also want to e-mail Sue Daley (Alumni Officer) for advice and assistance.

Alternatively, click on Calendar of events to find out more about events the University hosts. From informal social networking events to special anniversary celebrations and lectures showcasing Nottingham academic and alumni talent, the events programme offers something for everyone. 

 Group of people at the Friends of the University of Nottingham Hong Kong Event

 Golden Reunion Event 1957-1960

 A group of people

Six steps to a successful event!

STEP 1: Think! Why this event? Get organised
STEP 2: Decide who you want to invite
STEP 3: The what, where and how much?
STEP 4: When?
STEP 5: How? Making contact and maintaining impetus!
STEP 6: After the event
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Green arrow STEP 1: Think! Why this event? Get organised

First, stop and consider why you want to have the reunion/event. This will help you to decide what you would like to do; who you will invite; and where and when you will hold it.
Then, get some fellow alumni to help/assist you; spread the workload and make it more enjoyable!   

Organising a large event can take a number of months, so make sure you allow yourself enough preparation time. Do your research, test the water … do your fellow alumni seem interested in your proposed event? Check out the University’s alumni event calendar …. if you are celebrating your 25th, 40th or 50th anniversary and are thinking about organising a reunion, why not combine it with the University’s celebrations? Click here to view more information about 25th, 40th and 50th anniversary events. 

Remember we maintain a large database of records and can help in offer a variety of practical support and advice.
Green arrow STEP 2: Decide who you want to invite

When planning your reunion or event, it is important to think about who you would like to be there: your class year, a sports club or society or fellow residents of a hall? 

Points for consideration:

• What size of group do you want to invite?
• If you would like overseas alumni to attend it is important to give as much advance notice as possible, 6 months should be considered the minimum period.
• Are you going to invite spouses, partners and families? This will of course impact on the size of the event, and may also have repercussions for alumni who now have families.  If you include children you will need to ensure that you make it a child friendly event.

How can we help?

• We can search our database, which contains more than 120,000 alumni to find out who and how many are in your target group.  With so many alumni in touch with us the chances are that if you have lost track of old friends, we may be able to help you.
• We can then supply you with this data, provided you fill out the external data request form (request a copy by e-mailing and return it to us indicating the information you require. This will enable you to write to or email your contemporaries with details of your reunion. If you need any help in filling in this form, please contact our Database Team (contact details on form).  It generally takes a minimum of 3 weeks for us to produce the requested data, so please return the form as soon as you can.
• If you would like to get in touch with a handful of specific individuals, this can be done through our ‘Postbox Service’. Once you have supplied us with details of the individual(s) you would like to establish contact with, we can search our database to see if we have details of these people.  If we do, we can forward a letter or email on your behalf.  Under the Data Protection Act we are unable to pass out alumni details without permission.

Green arrow STEP 3: The what, where and how much?

In order to consider where to hold the reunion you need to think about the style, format, budget and date of the event as these factors will influence which venue you choose. There are a number of venues on campus which can be used for a reunion.  However, you might prefer to hold the event off campus in Nottingham or elsewhere in the country.

Points for consideration:

Formal/informal? Drinks in a bar, sit down dinner, day time event, campus tour.  The event format will depend on the age and interests of your target group.
Think about whether you will need to charge for this event to cover costs (catering, venue hire etc).  Be aware however, that a high ticket price may impact on the attendance levels. If you do decide to charge, it may be worth considering what people would be prepared to pay.
Is it necessary to produce tickets? If so, will they only be available in advance or will you accept payment on the evening?
Once you know your budget, you may then be able to think about other options for the event, such as entertainment, music, souvenir or perhaps a photographer for the event.
You may then want to open a reunion bank account to track deposits, payments etc.
Venue considerations: Where do the invitees live? It may be best to hold the reunion somewhere central to the majority of guest’s current location. Or you may all want to return to Nottingham as some alumni may feel this holds more significance for a reunion.
Is the venue easy to find? Is there public transport to get to the venue? Is there adequate parking facilities? Is there disabled access (if applicable)? Don’t forget to send a map to all those attending!
• Is overnight accommodation required? Do you want to offer this as an option to your guests, in which case you will need to research local hotels.

How can we help?

• We can give advice on venues, catering, accommodation, photographers and guided tours of the University. You can make use of the University's Hotel Reservation Service to take advantage of University accommodation discounts.
• We can provide you with campus maps.
Green arrow STEP 4: When?

You need to think about when you would like to hold the event, what time of year (summer, Christmas, same date as your graduation etc).  Some times of year are busier than others, so think about this when you decide which date to opt for.  Alternatively, you may also want to consider co-ordinating a reunion with an event at the University as this may help increase attendance levels. Keep checking the University and alumni events calendar for details. 

Points for consideration:

• If you decide on a busy time of year such as Christmas or during the school holidays, you need to ensure you give your guests plenty of notice in order for them to be able to commit.
• Be aware of term time dates, particularly if you want to meet on campus, have a campus tour, or use University accommodation (as a general rule University accommodation is fully occupied during term time).
• If you want to visit your department, please be aware that most are not generally open at weekends, although it always worth contacting them to find out if they can make special arrangements.  Visiting your school can be an important part of your reunion so it may be worth organising the reunion in term time to enable you to meet with staff.  

How can we help?

• Talk to us about your proposed dates. We can advise you on term dates, local activities and other University events. This may influence your choice of date/venue and style of event. You can check details of alumni events on the Alumni Calendar of Events.

Green arrow STEP 5: How? Making contact and maintaining impetus!

Organising a reunion is relatively straight forward. However, it does require time and effort!  The more people you can get to help out the easier it will feel!  And remember we are always here to give a hand where we can. 

Points for consideration:

• Decide how you would like to make contact – email, letters or phone calls. You may want to produce several pieces of correspondence to keep your guests informed (eg initial letter/invitation – ‘hold the date’, confirmation letter, final details letter).
• Start collating your list of friends and contacts. Find out if anyone you know already has contact information for any of your target audience. Ask us to let you know who we are in touch with.
• Keep a record of how many guests have accepted your invitation and inform the venue if you have one (all replies should go to one central person).
• Set yourself a realistic time-line and plan your budget carefully and allow for a small contingency in the event of any unforeseen costs.
• Publicity (depending on the size of your event) – As well as sending out invitations, you might want to think about additional advertising in order to target those who we don’t have contact details for.
• Include an RSVP date with your invitation.  This will ensure everyone responds in sufficient time and gives you plenty of time to plan the event.
• Consider sending out a list of attendees to all those who have accepted, this may also encourage people to attend if they are initially unsure.

How we can help?

• We can help you promote your event in the e-bulletin, publications and in Nottingham Alumni Online.
• We can add an online attendance list on the website for you.
• If the date permits we can also advertise the event in the magazine or printed Diary of Events. Please contact us to confirm the exact deadline dates.
Green arrow STEP 6: After the event

We love to hear all about reunions and events organised by alumni! It is a great idea to produce a report on the event for the website for your attendees to refer to and to include photographs of your guests and comments from them about the reunion.  

Points for consideration:

• You may want to provide a visitors book for guests fill in on the night.  Ask them to write down their comments about the event, their favourite memories of Nottingham etc.
• Remember to take a digital camera to capture images of alumni enjoying themselves.
• It may be useful to find out how many people are interested in making it a regular event.
• It is a nice idea to send a letter or e-mail following the event. This could include photographs of the event and/or a link to the alumni website and the event report and pictures.
• Advise the Alumni team of any new contact details so that we can keep our records up-to-date and so that we can give you the correct data when you plan your next reunion!

If you are organising an alumni event, please email us and we will be happy to advertise it on the website or in the publications.

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