It’s hard to believe, but August is already here, meaning the start of the new school year is already here for some and only a few weeks away for others! Homecoming celebrations are coming up right behind the start of the school year too! If you haven’t already begun planning your Homecoming events for your alumni, it’s important to get started now.
One of the easiest and most popular events alumni associations hold around Homecoming is an alumni tailgate at the Homecoming football game. Tailgates are low-stress, laid-back events that are relatively easy to plan, so long as you know everything you need to do. Here’s a quick set of tips to ensure your alumni tailgate party goes off without a hitch.
- Begin planning early: The earlier you get the word out about the event the better. This will allow out-of-town alumni to clear their schedules and make plans to come into town to support the event.
- Send out invitations a couple months ahead of time: You can spread the word about the event long before this, but you can send out official invitations a couple months head of time with the date and a deadline by which to RSVP. Include information about the time the tailgate begins, where it’ll be located and what time the kickoff is. Consider using our invitation template from the National Alumni Institute.
- Decide on food issues: Will you be cooking yourself, or will you be having a catered cookout? If the former, you’ll need to make sure you have people volunteering to run the grills and help out at the event. You’ll also need to make sure you get enough food in advance to accommodate the guests who have RSVP'd. If the latter, it’s important to book a caterer early so they can fit your event into their schedule. Be sure to ask how many people they will be able to send to work at the event.
- Have add-on activities: Plan to have other activities beyond just food. This could include corn-hole or other yard games, photo booths, a performance by the high school’s marching band or anything else that could get you in the mood for the game and showing some spirit.
- Consider after plans: After the game are your alumni heading their separate ways, or are you going to host some sort of after party? Consider talking to local bars, taverns or other establishments about the possibility of hosting some kind of alumni gathering when the game is done.
For more alumni tailgate tips, contact us at Alumni Nations!