Prepare Family Reunion

5 Steps to Planning a Family Reunion - This summer is the perfect time to start planning a family reunion for next year – especially if you have a large family scattered all over the country. A date will need to be determined, research will need to be done, and reservations will need to be made. It will take months, says party planner Deanna Singer, to distribute information, secure confirmations and prepare for the big event.

Singer suggests the following five steps for getting your reunion off the ground:

• Steering committee – Form a central committee of two to three people to oversee the event. While they will likely name sub-committees to take charge of specific items, such as food and lodging, it is the central committee who will explore and determine the interest and attendance, tally the votes on date(s) and venue, and keep a master log of all information coming in from the sub-committees.

• Date and place – The steering committee should send emails and/or snail mails to all known family members requesting interest in reunion attendance, naming a preliminary date – perhaps a date based on a special event (such as a 50th anniversary) or a common vacation time like July 4.) Depending on where most family members live, they might also put forth a choice of centralized state or city.

• Lodging and food – Once the initial response is in, sub-committees should research specific venues, including lodging choices if an overnight is called for, or specific parks, beaches, restaurants or other venues where the reunion party might be held. The sub-committees should report options and detailed costs to the steering committee, which will then present the information to all expected attendees and request any necessary down payments or other funds.

• Confirmations – A date should be set at least 30-60 days before the reunion by which all confirmations and funds should be in so that venue reservations can be confirmed and vendors paid on time.

• Reunion activities and schedule – The lodging/food sub-committee should prepare a final schedule of planned activities, such as meals, picnic sites, and/or recreational events – and submit it to the steering committee along with all pertinent addresses, phone numbers, and additional costs or options. Once the steering committee passes it on to all attendees, they need only to be on hand at the site to welcome people as they arrive.

By Barbara Pronin, RISMedia