High schools all over the United States are now entering the start of homecoming season. However, the realities of a nation dealing with COVID-19 mean many traditional homecoming celebrations will not be happening this year.
Some schools have canceled their football seasons, or moved them to the spring, while those that are playing on might not have fans in the stands. Many dances are canceled, meaning schools’ Homecoming Kings and Queens won’t be sharing their dances in the spotlight. And of course, many alumni will not be physically returning to their hometowns this time of year.
Despite all this, there are still ways to create a pandemic-friendly virtual homecoming that will help alumni share their school spirit and reconnect with their alma mater. We've compiled some ideas and suggestions you might consider incorporating:
- Still send invitations: Whether or not you're holding any kind of actual scheduled event, it can still be meaningful to your alumni to receive personal invitations or some kind of correspondence about homecoming. This year’s celebration may be different than normal, but that doesn’t mean you should let your ongoing relationship with your alumni suffer!
- Ask for video submissions: One idea you can expect to see implemented in a lot of school districts this fall is the use of video submissions from alumni. These can be shared on social media and other channels. Alumni can send in videos of themselves talking about their favorite high school experiences—or even videos of those experiences themselves. You can then take those videos and share them individually, and/or create one large supercut of all of them to showcase the impact your school district has had on alumni of all ages.
- Encourage support of local Homecomings: For alumni who still want to take a more hands-on role in Homecoming celebrations, there are plenty of options for them to find ways to support local Homecoming celebrations in areas they now reside.
- Coordinate online reunions: Using tools like Zoom or Google Meet, set up online reunions to allow alumni to still gather virtually and connect with old friends. Open it up to allow them to come and go as they please. You may find you actually get many alumni who wouldn’t normally attend due to distance to participate in an event in this format, as it will be more convenient for them!
For more tips as you plan virtual homecoming celebrations this fall and establish a strong alumni engagement strategy throughout the year, contact us at Alumni Nations.