There’s nothing quite like the excitement and nostalgia homecoming generates in a community. Besides class reunions, homecoming is the most important time for engaging your alumni.
With all the hullabaloo surrounding back to school and the end of summer, it’s easy for homecoming to sneak up on alumni groups. To ensure you take advantage of all the great opportunities for alumni engagement at homecoming, check out the following tips:
Refresh your email list
Before you start promoting your homecoming marketing plan, make sure your email list is in tip-top shape. Remove any emails that are bouncing or seem like spam. Re-engage with any silent alumni by sending a one-time followup asking if they’d like to continue receiving emails. Hold a mini-campaign on social media encouraging alumni to sign up for your mailing list to receive all the latest news on homecoming. You’ll feel better sending messages to those you know actively want to hear from you.
Create a homecoming webpage
Working with your school, create a page either on their site or yours (or both!) specifically devoted to sharing information about homecoming. A web page is much easier to locate the week of than piecing together Facebook posts. Content could include a schedule of events, maps and information like the school’s fight song and other spirited traditions. If your school sells merchandise for fundraising, this is also a great place to share the link. Create a registration form for alumni events to get a rough headcount and add some more names to your email list.
Generate excitement and tap into nostalgia
Homecoming brings back a lot of memories for alumni—memories the community would love to hear! Create a social media campaign leading up to homecoming encouraging alumni to share photos and their favorite memories. Work with the school, district and even the local newspaper to share the best submissions.
Host an alumni-specific event
Have your alumni association host an event during which alumni can interact with each other and meet the team behind your group. Designate a spot on the parade route or in the stadium stands for alumni to gather. Offer school swag like pencils and hold a raffle for larger school-themed prizes for alumni who sign up to join the group. Homecoming is a prime opportunity to show fellow alumni the value of your organization and the connections it forges.
Use the homecoming spirit to drive other events
Homecoming is a happy time for students, alumni and the community at large. Tap into the excitement to add off-campus events to the schedule, or as an opportunity to generate buzz for future events. Host a charity event like a blood drive or a restaurant night during homecoming week. Or, host a more grown-up homecoming event with an alumni happy hour during the week. If your alumni group is hosting future events, share a flier with information and how people can learn more.
Send a survey after homecoming
How successful was your group’s homecoming efforts? Did attendees enjoy the events? Why didn’t some attend? Email a survey with these questions shortly after the event to learn more about your audience and better plan for next year.
Whether you’re a Spartan, Falcon, Tiger or Bear, we hope you’re heading into homecoming week with major school spirit!