16 Alumni Event Ideas for a Fun & Memorable Reunion

In-Person & Virtual Alumni Event Ideas

Organizing alumni events is a great way to foster a sense of community among graduates, maintain connections, and provide value to your alumni network. Alumni events help build strong bonds and a feeling of belonging among former students and their alma mater. And engaged alumni often support their institutions through donations and volunteer efforts.

Here are 16 ideas for alumni events that can appeal to a wide range of interests and preferences, for in-person and virtual groups.

10 Alumni Reunion Ideas for Fun & Adventure

Make memories and build relationships! Whether you’re hosting an on-campus reunion or looking to get alumni together elsewhere around the country (or online!) these 10 activity ideas are sure to take your event to the next level.

1. Campus Scavenger Hunts

Campus scavenger hunt in Boston

Gather your alumni group and explore campus with a college scavenger hunt from Watson Adventures. Competing in teams, you’ll follow clues from quad to quad and answer tricky, humorous questions about what you find. Our Grab ‘n’ Go College Campus Scavenger Hunt is the perfect choice for amping up the fun and adventure on any campus! We also offer custom college scavenger hunts at Princeton, Georgia Tech, Yale, Columbia, Stanford, Harvard, Vanderbilt, and more.

Few activities combine a good time with quick thinking, creative collaboration, and fast-paced communication the way these unique scavenger hunts do. We should know—we’ve run them for more than 25 years here at Watson Adventures! One of the great benefits is that everyone on your team can contribute equally because you don’t need any particular athletic skills, artistic talents, or prior knowledge. You all just put your heads together and have a fun day.

In-Person or Virtual?: Campus scavenger hunts are in-person events, but we offer other virtual scavenger hunts, as well!

2. Family-Friendly Picnics

Increase turnout by accommodating the whole family! Host a family-friendly picnic or barbecue on campus or in a local park, complete with activities for children like face painting, games, and a bouncy castle. Provide plenty of food and drink, and consider adding live music or entertainment for the adults. Create a relaxed, casual event that allows alumni to spend quality time and build connections with their families and each other.

In-Person or Virtual?: In-person

3. Game Show & Trivia Activities

Valentine's Day virtual trivia and game show

Tackle trivia together, no matter where your alumni are, on one of our many trivia games. Available to play in-person or virtually, each game consists of five rounds of fun challenges, ranging from name-that-tune audio rounds, fictional dating profiles, trivia with visual cues, and more. No matter the theme, each game is designed so that anyone can compete and win. So whoever plays will love Cheers! It’s the Virtual Happy Hour Trivia Game, for example, and your whole group will be wowed by the Fascinating Facts Trivia Game.

You can also partially customize any trivia game, adding in a special round or two of trivia focused entirely on your college. See how well your alumni remember their alma mater!

In-Person or Virtual?: Either!

4. Tournaments and Team Games

Amp up the competition and the fun by organizing a game, tournament, or even field day-style event. Team sports like soccer and basketball can be a great way to build camaraderie, while events like golf tournaments and fun runs can be a bit more laid-back. Oh, and don’t forget: pickleball is all the rage now! Encourage alumni to form teams and participate in friendly competition, fostering camaraderie and school spirit. Bonus points if your event also serves as a fundraiser for scholarships or other initiatives.

In-Person or Virtual?: In-Person

5. Volunteer Days

Speaking of events for a cause, consider coordinating volunteer opportunities where alumni can give back to the community together. Activities might include food drives, park cleanups, or building homes with Habitat for Humanity.

In-Person or Virtual?: In-Person

6. Cooking Classes

Organize cooking classes with professional chefs or talented alumni, focusing on different cuisines or baking techniques. For in-person groups, learn to cook the dishes together. For virtual groups, offer interactive sessions where participants can cook along at home or enjoy demonstrations. Either way, this is a great chance for alumni to learn new skills and connect over shared culinary interests.

In-Person or Virtual?: Either!

7. Book Clubs

Book clubs are a great way to bring people together on a regular basis to build lasting relationships. Start an alumni book club that meets virtually or in-person once a month to discuss selected books across various genres — extra points if you highlight alumni authors! Facilitated by a moderator, these discussions can foster fascinating discussions and build rapport among participants.

In-Person or Virtual?: Either!

8. Cultural Outings

A team enjoying a Princeton scavenger hunt, on the campus of Princeton University

Organize cultural events such as museum tours, theater performances, or concerts. Looking to make your event or outing extra special? Offer exclusive access or behind-the-scenes experiences for a truly unforgettable event! Or for a more adventurous activity, consider solving a murder mystery at a history museum, or arranging one of our countless other scavenger hunts at museums around the country.

In-Person or Virtual?: In-Person

9. Murder Mystery Parties and Games

There’s something about the combination of a spooky theme and problem-solving that everyone just seems to love. Set up your own game for a more laid-back alumni event activity, or hire a company like Watson Adventures to host a murder mystery game for you, so you get all of the thrill with none of the planning. We host murder mystery games around the country and virtually for remote and hybrid groups.

In-Person or Virtual?: Either!

10. Travel Programs

Arrange group travel experiences for alumni, such as guided tours of historical destinations, adventure trips, or cultural immersion experiences. These trips offer a unique way for alumni to explore the world while reconnecting with their alma mater. Provide opportunities for learning and socializing throughout the journey.

In-Person or Virtual?: In-Person

6 Career-Focused Alumni Event Ideas

Looking for a way to add value for graduates and help them along in their careers? Events focused on education and personal development can be a great way for alumni to connect and advance their careers.

11. Networking Mixers

Organize networking mixers where alumni can connect with professionals in their industry, or soon-to-be graduates looking to break into the work force, over cocktails and hors d’oeuvres. Include structured networking activities like speed networking and industry-specific breakout sessions. These events provide valuable opportunities for career growth and professional development.

In-Person or Virtual?: In-Person

12. Career Development Workshops

Speaking of development, you can offer workshops on career advancement topics such as resume writing, interview techniques, and personal branding. Invite successful alumni to share their career journeys and provide practical advice. Perhaps include a social media session to help teach some alumni the value of Stories, Reels, and all that. These sessions can help alumni enhance their skills and stay competitive in the job market.

In-Person or Virtual?: Either!

13. Educational Webinars

Host webinars on topics of interest like industry trends, financial planning, or health and wellness. Invite experts or notable alumni to present and facilitate interactive discussions. These virtual events can reach alumni regardless of their location, providing valuable content and engagement opportunities.

In-Person or Virtual?: Virtual

14. Alumni Panels and Discussions

Host panel discussions on current events or industry-specific topics, featuring alumni experts who share their insights and experiences. Encourage audience participation through Q&A sessions and open forums. These events can inspire thought-provoking conversations and provide valuable networking opportunities.

In-Person or Virtual?: Either!

15. Mentorship Programs

Launch a mentorship program that pairs experienced alumni with recent graduates or current students. Kick off the program with an event that introduces mentors and mentees, allowing them to start building their relationships. Provide ongoing support and resources to ensure successful mentorship connections.

In-Person or Virtual?: Either!

16. Alumni Awards Ceremony

Host an awards ceremony to recognize the achievements of distinguished alumni in various fields such as business, education, public service, and the arts. Include a formal dinner, inspiring speeches, and presentations. You’ll celebrate alumni accomplishments and strengthen the bond between the institution and its graduates.participation through Q&A sessions and open forums. These events can inspire thought-provoking conversations and provide valuable networking opportunities.

In-Person or Virtual?: Either!

Not sure where to start?

Contact us to learn more about Watson Adventures group activities, from local and virtual scavenger hunts to murder mystery games and trivia. Our team building experts have worked with hundreds of organizations and large groups over the years to help them plan engaging and memorable events.