1) Create a Guest List: Start by assembling a list of family members, including spouses, partners and children. Collect email addresses for updates and last-minute correspondence.
2) Form a Reunion Committee: To plan a smooth, successful family reunion plan form a committee with someone in charge of each major aspect of the reunion—location, social events, budget, mailings, record-keeping, etc.
3) Develop a Budget: Doing this early will determine the scale of food, decorations, accommodations and activities for your family reunion. Many times, it's necessary to set a per-family registration fee to help with these costs.
4) Select the Date(s): Whether you plan your family reunion to coincide with a family milestone or special day, summer vacation or holiday, it helps to poll family members to avoid time and date conflicts. Take into consideration the length of the reunion—if family members are travelling long distances, consider spreading the event over a few days. Most importantly, remember that you won't be able to accommodate everyone. Choose your final date(s) based on what's best for the majority of attendees.
5) Reserve a Reunion Site: Contact Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau first to benefit from our complimentary services to help you find hotels, resorts, parks, site tours—you name it and we can help!
6) Save the Date: Sending a "Save the Date" will help you gauge interest and preferences for planning the reunion. Include suggested dates, proposed reunion type and general location. Politely ask for a timely response and add the names of interested relatives who respond for future mailings. You can also create a customized website to keep relatives up to date on reunion plans.
7) What About a Theme? Have fun and entice family members to attend your reunion by using your imagination to create a theme with all the aspects of your reunion from the invitations to the food and activities.
8) Determine the Menu: It can be tricky to feed a large group of people with different tastes, so make it easy on yourself by selecting a menu that relates to you theme, or perhaps one that celebrates your family's heritage. Need restaurant or catering ideas?
9) Invite the Guests: This should be done way in advance (six months to a year) to give everyone time to plan accordingly. If you are charging a registration fee, set an advance deadline to payment submissions. You can also go ahead and ask guests to provide family trees, photos, etc. to share with other family members.
10) Print a Program: Create a program that outlines the lineup of scheduled events to provide family members either as they arrive for the reunion or even before via email or on the reunion website.
11) Wrap Up: Ask each family to fill out an evaluation form to let the reunion committee know what they liked and didn't like about the reunion. Use this infromation as a communication tool to plan the next reunion. (Click to download Family Reunion Update/Evaluation Form)
12) Update Family Information: Collect contact information and milestone dates from each family for future reference and to help create a family directory that can be sent to everyone.
13) Thank the Volunteers: Send out thank you notes to everyone who helped with the reunion. This will make the volunteers feel appreciated and hopefully, want to help in the future.
Now that you have a list, it's time to start checking items off! The staff at ACVB is prepared to help with every step of the process and provide advice and answer questions. We're your one-stop-shop for information and ideas, so feel free to contact us
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