Summer has finally arrived, and with it comes the season of class reunions and alumni events! With cities and businesses starting to open back up there is an increased opportunity for alumni groups to once again safely gather in person.
Of course, it is still beneficial to find ways of engaging alumni no matter where they’re located, and no matter what their comfort level is with in-person events. So beyond the typical barbecues and beach days that often occur in the summer months for alumni associations, here are a few examples of some other ways you can keep alumni across the country engaged this season.
- Virtual happy hours: Virtual happy hours have been a staple of the COVID era as a way for people to still get face time with friends and colleagues. The benefit of this type of event is that it’s both casual and versatile, allowing people from anywhere with an internet connection to join and participate with minimal commitment. If you’ve had success with these types of events over the last year plus, there’s no reason you can’t continue them even as people are also gathering again in person.
- Social media campaigns: Summer is a great time to come up with some fun social media campaigns while there’s not a whole lot happening in the schools. These could include alumni stories and “tell us where you are now” features, as well as throwback photos and videos that feature alumni of all years.
- Fun runs: Fun runs are easy-to-organize events that can be held in person or virtually (or both). You can have participants join you in person for runs, ideally around or at the school (or at other predetermined routes) or you can have people sign up but participate from home on their treadmill or in their neighborhood. These events can be run as fundraisers or simply as alumni social events.
- Summer reading lists: A lot of people like to increase their reading load over the summer months, so consider putting together a summer reading list and organizing virtual or in-person book clubs. This can produce a lot of great conversations, and you can get alumni involved in the list building!
What ideas do you have to keep your alumni engaged this summer?