Reunions

Planning a Successful Reunion

The Basics

Though fun, reunion planning is a lot of work. Even those with the best intentions often can become stymied when trying to pull a gathering together. Many who have tried have vowed, “Never again!”

While other families and friends seem to hold reunions regularly with seeming ease.

What makes one group successful and other just a, “Hot Mess?”

The success of any event depends of a well-organized plan and it’s not as daunting as you think. Especially when you follow the rules of well-organized event planners: Start early, develop a budget, learn to delegate, consult the experts, and don’t be afraid to make decisions if things began to stall.

Just the thought of organizing hotels, catering, and activities seems to much. So, where do you start? Where should you hold it? Will people really show up? And, who’s got the time or talent to see the project through to completion? It’s easy to see why reunion planning gets delayed.

  1. First, Form a Committee

It is essential that this group be committed and organized enough to see the project through. Don’t try to twist arms to get people to join the committee. It is equally important for the committee members to get along with each other, too.

  1. Decide where to hold the reunion

If this is your first time holding a reunion, consider holding the reunion in the location where your family’s roots were planted, where you served together in the military, or where you attended school. A common location helps to establish a sense of connectedness. If this is a small group of people who just want to have fun, choose a location where every whim from the food to the chores will be handled for you.

  1. Develop a reunion host committee who can act as the “ground agents or field operatives”. These members can conduct hotel inspections and meet with sales personnel, interview entertainers and perspective caterers.
  2. Develop a budget, keeping in mind how the event is priced may influence decisions to attend. Seniors and families with small children are more likely to attend if the costs are reasonable.
  3. Take advantage of technology by using social media sites such as Facebook where groups can easily establish a reunion page to connect, share photos and up-to-date information.
  4. Begin your negotiations as soon as you have a date in mind. For larger groups secure a contract at least 12 -18 months prior to the event.
  5. Carefully consider the needs of your group, and recognize that an affordable rate can result in more attendees, particularly for families with young children.
  6. If you’re hosting friends who will want a few days of pampering, or who want a combination of laziness and activity, choosing a resort with a spa, golf course, or other activities will be just as important as the room rate.
  7. Do your research. Consider the needs of the group, and then provide a couple of options. But don’t offer too many or you’ll find it will slow down the decision-making process.
  8. Consider hiring a pro whowill prove invaluable. They may be able to do what you can’t or do not wish do you such as cracking the whip on late paying attendees or developing decorating schemes to save time and avoid bickering.