Results of a survey about what alumni like and don;t like about reunions. Conducted by the Albemarle High School Alumni Association of Charlottesville, VA., the survey had 475 responses from alumni who graduated between 1954 and 2002.
REUNION SURVEY RESULTSALBEMARLE HIGH SCHOOL ALUMNI ASSOCIATION
Important Disclaimer The survey results presented in this report are NOT statistically valid and should not be considered as an accurate reflection of the opinions of the respondents. Neither the questions nor the survey methodologies conform to standard practices. Generally, it is based on answers from individual respondents and data was not collected by class except where indicated.
Survey Statistics 4,100 alumni were invited to respond to the survey Senior years ranged from 1954 to 2012 477 people completed the survey. (11.6% of those who were contacted. At least 2 responses were received from every class from 1954 to 2007 55% have attended a reunion - 45% have never attended one. Respondents identified more then 30 locations where reunions had been held in the Charlottesville area. 9% 9% 12% 50s 60s 28% 70s 11% 80s 90s 2000-2012 Respondents By Graduating Year 31%
The Big Picture 45% of respondents have never attended a reunion. Over 90% want to attend their next reunion. There are some easy – and some not-so-easy - things you can do to increase attendance at your next reunion.
The Big Picture Ways to increase attendance Help them plan ahead Tell them who is coming Cut costs Invite other classes Events to consider Informal Friday night get-together Picnic Saturday evening events Ways to make it more enjoyable Connect classmates before the reunion Keep it casual Concentrate on conversation
Future Plans Most respondents plan to go to their next reunion, even if they have not attended before.
Type of events Respondents favored less formal events over dinners and receptions. What events were held during the weekend? 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% Informal Picnic Tour of Dinner and Reception Reception Reception Football DInner Breakfast Lunch Get- School Dance and Dinner and Dance Game together
Number of Attendees Most reunion events attended by respondents attracted 50-100 classmates and guests. How many classmates and guests do you estimate attended the event? 0.35 0.3 0.25 0.2 0.15 0.1 0.05 0 1-25 25-50 50-75 75-100 100-125 125-150 >150
Event prices Events priced at $40 or less per person attracted significantly more classmates than higher priced ones. Number of Attendees At Events At Different Ticket Prices 45% 40% 35% 30% Classmate Only Of All Attendees Classmate & Guest Percent 25% 20% 15% 10% 5% 0% 25 40 50 60 75 90 100 Ticket Price
Event prices Many respondents were interested in a visit or tour of the school. Fewer, but still a good number, were interested in a football game. The events listed above were not as well-attended as other events. I would be interested in the following Friday events at our next reunion. 45.0% 40.0% 35.0% 30.0% 25.0% 20.0% 15.0% 10.0% 5.0% 0.0% Visit To School School Tour Attending Football Game Not interested in any of these events
Other suggestions Other events suggested by respondents included: A rally on a school day and invite the kids to meet the alumni. A potluck dinner in school cafeteria with 80s music A tour of historical sites in the area A track meet, volleyball game, or theater/play A football or basketball game would also be a treat. A donut eating contest
Friday night. A Friday night “Break the Ice” event was vey popular. Would you be interested in an optional Friday evening "Break The Ice" Event. Maybe 40% Yes 45% No 15%
Friday night. Meeting at a restaurant was the highest rated Friday night activity. How do you rate the following alternatives for a Friday evening "Break The Ice" Event A get-together at a selected restaurant/bar where registration is not required and you pay your own tab. A reception with pre-registration and a price-per-person required held at a hotel or club. A list of suggested restaurants where we could congregate if we want. A "pot luck" dinner at a classmates house. 0.00 1.00 2.00 3.00 4.00 5.00
A Picnic. Nearly 90% indicated they would or might attend a picnic. Are you likely to attend a picnic if one is held? Not interested, 11.5% Maybe, 42.4% Yes, 46.1%
A Picnic. Nearly 80% preferred to have a picnic on Saturday. When should a picnic or lunch be held? Sunday, 21.6% Saturday, 78.4%
The Saturday Night Event Less formal event formats were favored. How do you rate the following alternatives for an evening event. 0.00 1.00 2.00 3.00 4.00 A reception only with "heavy hors doeuvres" and a chance to talk. Reserving a section at a restaurant/bar and keeping it casual. A reception followed by a sit-down dinner. A reception, dinner and dance. A reception followed by a dance.
The Saturday Night Event A casual atmosphere was heavily preferred – even for a Saturday night event. Sit-down dinners and a “dressy” atmosphere were not favored. Tell us what you think of the following dinner options. 3.00 3.20 3.40 3.60 3.80 4.00 4.20 4.40 4.60 A casual atmosphere Cash Bar Heavy hors douervres A buffet dinner Meet at a selected bar/restaurant and eat appetizers. Pay your own tab. A sit-down dinner. A dressy atmosphere.
The Saturday Night Event There were no clear favorites among types of venues. Respondents did seem to prefer a nicer venue. (that was contradicted by the results of other questions) Rate some popular kinds of locations for the major event during your reunion weekend..... A Nicer Hotel (Boars Head, Omni) A Middle Market Hotel (Doubletree) A nicer Bar/Restaurant (Millmont Grille, Boat House) A more casual club (Elks Lodge) A Nicer Club (Alumni Hall, Farmington) A Special Venue (Paramount Theater, for example) Somewhere On The Mall Casual Bar/Restaurant (Lazy Parrot) A Value Hotel -(Comfort Inn) A Classmates House 1.00 1.50 2.00 2.50 3.00 3.50
Other suggestions Cost is a significant factor to many people: Cost will be the biggest factor Cost may influence peoples attendance I won’t pay a large price tag for the event. I’m not willing to risk a lot of money for a event I don’t know about. I can’t afford $100 for two. Dont exclude folks by making it too pricey.
Other suggestions It was clear that interacting with classmates was more important than other factors. It has to be a place where it is easy to move around and mingle. I want somewhere where the music is NOT loud The people are the important part, not the place. Anywhere we can gather and have audible conversation is okay.
Making reunions better There is no right time to have a reunion Most reunions are held in summer BUT – the fall and spring seem to be okay with respondents. (This is probably different depending on age groups.) When Reunions Are Held Vs. When Alumni Want Them 70% 60% 50% 40% When Held 30% Top Choices 20% 10% 0% Spring (Mar-Apr-May) Summer (Jun-Jul-Aug) Fall (Sep-Oct-Nov) Winter (Dec-Jan-Feb)
Making reunions better Most reunions dont invite other classes (in the past, this was due to cost of mailings). BUT - 64% of respondents are at least somewhat more likely to attend if members of other classes were invited. I would like to see teammates from other classes again. I haven’t seen my brother’s friends since they graduated. Were members of other classes invited? Would you be more likely to attend if other classes were invited? Possibly and Yes = 64% Yes, 18% Yes, 28 % Possibly, 44% No, 72% No, 38%
Making reunions better Early communication is, by far, the most important factor in attendance. People want to know who is coming. The date and time of the event is much less important. What can your reunion committee do to make you more likely to attend? 60.0% 50.0% 40.0% 30.0% 20.0% 10.0% 0.0% Let me know who Let me know Communicate Connect me with Make the events Give me more Change the Change the time is attending about it sooner more prior to the my classmates less costly time to talk to my planned events of year event ahead of time. classmates
What do classmates find important How Classmates Rate Components of Previous Events Ability to mingle and talk to classmates. Convenience of the location. Registration process. Communication Prior to the event Cost/value. Overall ambiance, decor and comfort of the facility. Level of service. Quality of food and beverage. 3.5 3.6 3.7 3.8 3.9 4 4.1 4.2 4.3 1.0 = Not Acceptable 5.0 = Terrific
Shameless plugs for the Alumni Association! Respondents recognized the help provided by the Albemarle High School Alumni Association in planning their reunions. Thanks - we needed the help to get started. We never had a good list before Website has linked our class for first time You have really helped with communications Our class had stopped having reunions – you have helped us get started again. “Keep doing what you are doing!”