Sunday, 21 July 2013

Getting the Get-Together Together

You might remember that I'm organising a 40-Year Drama College reunion in Edinburgh in September.  If not, well, I am. Moving on...

I've mentioned before about how different this experience is being/was going to be since I organised our 20-Year reunion in '93, thanks to the wonders of social media, most especially facebook. 

But those already on facebook are in different groups, different event pages and different friends lists; some people are only on Friends Reunited. And here's another thing - News Flash! Not everyone's on facebook, or Friends Reunited, or email... I know; who'd have thought it? So it's been a bit more challenging to track people down and to get as many people as possible invited. Oh, and the college alumni office was a total waste of time and energy - two phone calls, two emails asking for some support and I heard nothing back, not even an acknowledgement.
So, I've delegated those who have engaged on facebook or with whom I'm already in touch via email or telephone, with tracking down as many others as they could. And, as a result, I've had a fair number of email addresses, phone numbers and facebook page referrals. Today, I did a round of mails, calls and facebook messages and it looks like we have a quorum. We are good to go!

I also delegated (well, begged for help on facebook) the task of finding a venue to those still living/working in the Edinburgh area.  And one or two did, with one person in particular - step forward Evelyn Langland - putting some real effort into narrowing it down. So today, I was able to finally book our venue and announce same to the facebook community.

Now I just need to encourage everyone to make sure everyone else is aware of the details - date, time, venue - book my own travel and accommodation, confirm final numbers with the restaurant nearer the time - and my work is done.

And my learning from this? Social Media is not the answer to everything. Sometimes, it gives the impression of connection, when in fact, all you've got is a name on a list. If you ain't talking, you ain't connecting.  Just as face-to-face #tweetups and #unconnect conferences bring my Twitter professional connections to life, so this reunion is bringing my ex-college, 40 year old, virtual connections into focus and reality.
I can't wait.