>Researchers who have studied about familial traditions have repeatedly found that reunions have special significance among family members who are usually far-flung and disparate from each other, whether for economic or political reasons. This craving for belongingness is consistent across various cultures. There’s nothing like being in the same room with people whom you share a connection with. This is why family reunions are gaining in popularity, with many families planning to hold reunions every now and then. In a survey, 63% of respondents have attended a family get-together>.
>Family reunions are all well and good until you’re the one assigned to coordinate and host the event. Nowadays, many families are opting for more lavish and extravagant get-togethers—a far cry from what used to be reunions held at home, where everyone brought their dish and had their stories to share. So how do you plan a family> reunion? Here are some guidelines for first-timers:
>Get Things Organised
>Plan at least a year out. A family reunion is definitely not something you can do at the last minute. A lot of planners give themselves up to 24 months to make sure that they have enough time to create that perfect get-together. This lead time also allows far-off family members to plan their budgets and schedules around the event, thereby increasing attendance.
>Starting early allows you to get a rough estimate of how many people might attend. This is especially helpful when creating the budget, determining the reunion duration, and searching for the perfect venue that is most accessible to all. Break down the responsibilities among a group of people. The more people involved, the easier it will be to organise everything. Create committees, delegate tasks, and be specific when handing out instructions. Who is responsible for the activities? For the prizes, if any? Who will bring in the mini bagels> from Melbourne that everyone loves? Who will make sure that everyone gets an invitation? Who will continue to push for reminders?
>Create a Family Reunion Page
>One of the biggest challenges of planning a family reunion is getting family members to commit to actually attending the event. To get the most number of turnouts as possible, constant communication and promotion are important. This is easier accomplished through a web page that’s purely dedicated to the event. A family reunion website is a great venue to announce the date ahead of time, share details about the event, and get everyone’s input on what they want to see or happen at the get-together. Ultimately, the purpose of creating a website is to market the reunion.
>Navigate Through the Politics
>Planning events for family members is more complicated than planning for corporate clients. Many family members will often have strong opinions and preferences, and they often express them more freely than clients. As the reunion planner, the best approach is to identify the key players and run important options by them, like the event date and venue. After narrowing down the options, get some feedback from the rest of the family through surveys. By doing so, you will know which options work best for the majority. This will also help avoid the problem of having only a few attendees later.
>Being a reunion planner does not only involve planning objectively and professionally, but it also involves an emotional component that can only come from organising events for the family. If the thought of planning a family get-together is giving you a headache, think about the many good reasons for pulling off this event. The guidelines given above will make sure that you will address the common challenges that come with planning family events.