One of the most important ways to keep your alumni network engaged is to run alumni events. Events are an effective way to bring your alumni network together and reconnect.
Alumni Events are also a great way to boost your alumni fundraising efforts and keep alumni up to date with the latest happenings at your institution.
To make sure your alumni events are a success, you’ll need to be strategic in how you host, the agenda of the evening, and ensure that you add value.
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To help you out, we’ve put together a list of the best alumni event ideas. Whether you’re trying to create a fun and unique experience to keep your alumni engaged, or if you want a lucrative fundraising opportunity, this guide will give you innovative ideas to get you started.
1. Scavenger Hunt
Alumni events are often focused on team building, and scavenger hunts are one of the best team-building activities. The aim of a scavenger hunt is to work together, collaborate, and solve a problem. They’re loads of fun, and they encourage your alumni to utilize their skills and expertise.
There is a range of scavenger hunts that you could run. These include dedicated scavenger hunt rooms, organized scavenger hunt events, and even online scavenger hunts – which can be great for virtual alumni networking.
2. Friendly Tournaments
Friendly sports tournaments are always a good idea for alumni events. You can host all kinds of fun games and tournaments for your alumni for a simple but enjoyable event. This could include a sports day outdoors or a fun games evening inside.
Here are a few great ideas for friendly tournaments:
- A rounders game: Much quicker than a game of cricket and much easier than a game of baseball. This is an excellent way to get everyone involved and build some team spirit.
- Darts tournament: Not so keen on outdoor sport? A darts tournament is a fun way to bring your alumni events indoors. You can enjoy a casual arts tournament over some drinks and snacks, and minimal resources are required for the event to be a success.
- Tennis contest: If you’ve got a tennis court available and your alumni are feeling active, this can be a great way to encourage some friendly competition. You can also pair the alumni up to promote teamwork.
- Touch football day: This takes the hard contact out of football and makes it a fun game for everyone to enjoy. Again, minimal resources are required.
3. Alumni Getaway
This takes a bit more planning and resources, but definitely a worthwhile idea. Consider an alumni getaway weekend to offer your alumni an opportunity to network and learn (if you include a guest speaker or some sort of educational element).
You could spend the weekend running networking events, hosting team-building activities, or even doing a kind of wellness retreat for your alumni.
4. Private Cinema
Everyone loves going to the cinema, and what better way to do this than to set up your very own cinema. With just a projector and a screen, you can create an unforgettable indoor or outdoor cinema.
You can always combine this with food, drinks, music, or games. It can be a great way to raise funds and create a memorable alumni evening, and it won’t require too much input from you.
5. Celebrity/Motivational Speaker
If you want to inspire your alumni, then consider hosting a speaker event. You could hire an inspirational speaker, or you could even rope in one of your more successful alumni.
The topic of the event doesn’t have to be related to your organization- it just needs to be interesting and inspiring.
This can be an excellent alumni event for fundraising, and you can include an enjoyable networking session after the talk.
6. Upscale Night Out
If you want to organize a special alumni event, consider putting together an upscale night out. This can take many different forms, but the basic idea is that everyone gets all dressed up, meets at a fancy venue, and enjoys a more upscale evening.
Depending on your alumni and the size of the event, there are many different ways you can achieve this. You could simply book an upscale restaurant for a glitzy dinner or cocktail party. You could attend a theatre or ballet performance or even combine the upscale night out with a guest speaker event.
7. Silent Auction
Hosting a silent auction may appeal to your older alumni. It can be an excellent fundraising event, as well as a great opportunity for networking.
Your alumni will mingle, place bids on auction items, and have fun while supporting your organization. Consider running the auction with a specific theme – like art or vintage collectables.
To take your silent auction a level up, you can also combine this alumni event with a dinner and drinks. This will allow for more mingling, and it can help to loosen your alumni up – resulting in higher bids!
8. Golf Tournament
Golf is widely recognized as a popular sport for networking and making business deals. It may also be a perfect event for your next alumni gathering.
Selling tickets for your golf tournament can be a lucrative fundraising opportunity. You can gather up a variety of different prizes, and end the golf day with an awards ceremony.
You could even combine the golf day with another fundraising event, like an alumni dinner or cocktail party after a day on the course.
9. Family Fun Day
Your older alumni are likely to have children, so a family fun day might be an appealing event idea. This could entail a delightful day out with classic family fun activities – like a sack race, tug of war, apple bobbing, and egg and spoon races.
You could combine the family fun day with a barbeque, a tailgate party, or even get a local musician to come and perform. This is a fun and casual way to get your alumni mingling and raising funds for your institution.
10. Casino Night
Bright lights, games, entertainment, canapes, and flowing drinks – a casino night is always a lot of merriment. You could host a small casino night for your alumni event, like a poker evening, or set up a full-on casino with a variety of different games and machines.
As long as it’s legal in your city, you can offer the opportunity to win cash and other prizes. It’s a lot of fun, it offers a great networking experience, and it can be a lucrative fundraising activity for your institution.
Alumni Events Summary
There are many different types of creative alumni events that you can offer. As long as you understand your alumni and are able to easily connect with them, then you’ll be able to run a range of unique event experiences throughout the year.
An effective strategy is to make lists of your different alumni (often based on age) and provide unique event experiences for these different alumni lists. This is a useful way to boost alumni engagement and run more successful events.
With the right alumni events, you’ll be able to improve your relationships with alumni, boost fundraising efforts, and keep your alumni more connected with your institution. All of this is essential for maintaining a strong, engaged alumni network.
Whether it’s an alumni engagement software for education or an alumni management platform for your corporate entity you are after, our specialist team would love to help you out. We can off you a free trial of our software!