I'm home finally after working reunion weekend events, and while it was fun, it turns out that working parties is much more like work than partying. I also have some self-imposed rules (I don't drink, I stay until the bitter end) that make it grueling. But mostly it was a lot of fun to help people have environments where they could reconnect with their classmates and enjoy themselves. Yesterday was a pretty long day, though: from 6:30 in the morning to set up for the continuing education sessions until 11:30 or so at night when the band finished packing out of the evening event.
Things I learned:
1. I should thoroughly prep to introduce speakers even for somewhat informal presentations. I'd like to send a big "Sorry" to my speakers at my morning sessions.
2. We should have had "Our University Alumni Association" notepads and pens for the continuing education session. People would have taken them and used them for the session and back in their professional lives. Free marketing-o-rama.
3. People expect wine gratis with a $75 dinner. They will share with you their disappointment when it is not gratis, and really they're right. We'll do better next year.
4. Picking up an event that was half-planned before the planner quit makes it hard to really get the kind of event that you would want. Doing so when you yourself have spent less than a month on the job is particularly unsatisfying, because you will have no idea how to get done the things that need doing to make the tattered remnants of the event planning better.
5. Hotels have some kind of kitchen magic that allows them to deliver 80 filet mignons that are still rare inside. I can't seem to get potatoes and chicken breasts done at the same time for a family of four, so I have no idea how 80 hot dinners show up at once.
6. You'd be surprised at who will dance to a competent live band. Like almost everyone at the reunion. I was stunned and amazed (and completely wrong in my early misgivings about the band when I saw them setting up their seemingly too large cabinets and sound system). The band was beyond competent, and the guests who stayed late really enjoyed dancing. At several points the dance floor was, dare I say, packed.
7. A party at an alumnus' house can really get going when a classmate shows up with a bottle of Patron to share.
Good times. Good times.