Stay In The Loop
When the location, date, and facility have been confirmed send out invitations to your members. The invitations can be a simple e-mail, plain letter, or fun creation that goes along with a party theme. Invitations should go out at least 4-6 months before the reunion, and include detailed information of date, time, place, maps (if necessary), travel and accommodation information, contact numbers by which to reach you. If the facility has some particularly attractive features, include this information to get everyone excited about the event!
Have a form for them to RSVP with the number of people attending, and allow them to send money to you by a specific date. It is important to know who will be coming to the reunion so that food, trips and tours, and lodging may be finalized. Be prepared to mail a follow-up letter (maybe even a brightly colored postcard that they can’t miss!) closer to the due date and set up a telephone chain to contact members who haven’t responded.
is a very fast and efficient method of communication; especially now that people seem to stay electronically connected all the time. Another way to keep everyone up-to-date on the happenings and preparations for the upcoming reunion is to create a reunion website. There are many options for free websites, and this way everyone will be watching for information from time-to-time and their excitement can build by watching your website fill up with information. There are resources for reunion websites in our “Helpful Links and Resources” area of the website.
After the reunion, consider sending another survey to the reunion guests who attended to evaluate how it went. Accentuate the positive and celebrate your successes, iron out the rough spots, and encourage ongoing gatherings and reunions. You’ll find that it gets easier to organize a reunion and even more fun as time goes on, and more people will want to be involved in planning the reunion once they see how wonderful it is to celebrate with family and friends on a regularly, yearly basis.
Portions of this text were inspired by The Family Reunion Institute, School of Social Administration, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA, 215-204-6244.