But I didn't let that bother me too much because I feel I'm in my best shape. This is thanks to a regular exercise routine and diet regimen spurred by the need for fitness training.
After the First AMD Grand Reunion I attended several weeks ago, I attended another reunion. This time it's for the company I worked for the longest - Motorola Philippines.
This isn't the cellular phone company that many know now. This is the first enterprise that Motorola had in the Philippines and this was in semiconductors assembly.
Apprehensions to Attend the Reunion
Frankly, I had second thoughts in joining the reunion. This was especially when it drew near. Why? I thought that the turnout of attendees wouldn't be big as expected.
When the reunion was announced, a few became very excited over at Facebook. If facebook would be my gauge as to how the reunion was promoted, then I'd say the promotion wasn't as strong.
I had the strange feeling that I wouldn't even get to see the officemates in my old departments because many of those who responded to the facebook call were from other departments.
Nonetheless, I decided to go. I've been planning to go to this reunion and already had something to wear for these grand reunions. Besides, I've already convinced myself to enjoy the day no matter what. I kept in mind a few reasons for joining a reunion as I wrote in my 30th High School reunion.
Strong Points about the Grand Reunion
- Food was Really Good
I really couldn't have asked for more. There was chicken, pork, beef and fish. A few have noted that there were no veggie dishes.
I didn't mind not having veggies at all. I always have plenty of veggies at home anyway.
- Ambience and Venue
For the price of registration, the venue and the the way the tables were setup was practical and commendable. There was ample parking for the attendees.
This was a definite plus. The AMD First Grand Reunion, by comparison, had a cramped parking space at Leslie's Restaurant in Alabang.
- Faces on Tarpaulin
The idea of drawing the faces on a tarpaulin was a nice touch. I heard from Rolly, the artist, it took him one month to complete all drawings. Mega-fantastic job, Rolly!
Of course, you won't feel as good if you didn't have your face there (I didn't, and that's okay). But the tarp was good for background in the ensuing photo ops.
- Video Slideshow
The organizers did a fine job of collecting old company photos and assembling them in a slideshow. This was played during dinner.
Some Missed Opportunities
- Duration was Too Long
I couldn't understand fully well why it was announced that the reunion would stretch from 1 pm to 10 pm. That's 9 hours! I don't think you could effectively sustain a reunion program that long for everybody in one place.
Secondly, with the window that long, many didn't see each other. The reunion was supposed to start at 1 pm. After 4 hours of waiting, the early birds have become bored and restless.
So after dinner, some have started to leave already. This was the time when some were just coming in!
By allowing the reunion duration to be that long, you encourage folks to come in whenever they wanted. In the end, many attendees missed seeing each other, which is hardly the point of any reunion.
- No Fixed Program
The registration was at 1 pm but nobody took the helm to announce anything well until 4pm. Except for the reception table registering people coming in, everyone was up to himself!
So it appeared that the "program proper" really just started at 4 pm. Before that, it was just chitchatting and waiting for other attendees to come in.
Maybe somebody should have steered the proceedings and kept people updated of what's to transpire.
- Difficult to Sustain Interest
I couldn't help compare this reunion with the First AMD Grand Reunion.
With the AMD reunion, everybody was glued to the program from start to end. Why? Because they gave out freebies! Peppered throughout the program were raffles for cash, for donated items, gift prizes, etc.
Of course, nobody left until the grand prize was raffled off at the program's end. It's a tricky ploy, but effective nonetheless.
Everyone was anticipating the grand prize and that kept up the interest in the party. I think over half of the attendees won something, be it a token, cash or a gift prize!
In other words, there was a solid and lively program at the AMD Reunion that sustained everyone's interest all throughout. I just couldn't say the same for the Motorola reunion.
- No Name Tags
For a reunion that was expecting a big turnout, name tags are a must. Everyone changes physically over the years and name tags help to avoid embarrassing situations when you can't recall someone's name. Enough said.
- Weak Promotion
As mentioned above, the buzz was weak over at Facebook. Originally, there were discussions that around 500 or so would go.
I could be wrong, but the actual turnout was significantly less than that - maybe 150 (at least when I left). I noticed many empty tables through out.
Of course it could be contended that batches of attendees came at different times. But that just validates my first point regarding the reunion's duration and attendees missing each other.
Overall, the organizers did a satisfactory job for this grand reunion. Their efforts in previous meetings to search for possible venues, caterers, and plan for the program were commendable. But as I said, the final result could have been better.
Maybe next time.