Genealogy research by family members has become an addictive pastime since the advent of personal computers and network technology, contributing to many happy family reunions. But what if you were given the task of organising the next event? Where would you begin? When should you begin? Should you hire a family reunion planner, form a reunion committee, or handle everything on your own?
1. Involve other family members in the planning of activities and the selection of a time and location. Spread the word – let everyone know you’re planning a family reunion. Allow plenty of time for family members to prepare. Attendees can usually plan vacation time or make scheduling changes with three or four months’ notice.
2. Assign a specific task to each member of your newly formed reunion committee. T-shirts and memorabilia, genealogy presentations including memorials and historic tours, entertainment, dining events, Reunion Book, entertainment, photography, and so on are examples of such tasks.
3. Give each team member written instructions on how to complete his or her assigned task. Make a time line to serve as a reminder. Utilize Family Reunion Planner organisers that include schedulers and time line reminders. Use Event Planning Software that includes editable worksheets and templates.
4. Plan the next meeting for one or two months in the future and follow up on all action items. Maintain open lines of communication.
5. Hold each person responsible for their assignment.
6. Decide on some of the main events that will take place at the reunion. For example, you may want to honour the family’s elders and accomplished members, as well as those who are going through a difficult time. Make an effort to encourage one another.
Have food and drinks available during the gathering.
Share your anecdotes and stories. Don’t spread rumours or gossip; instead, keep everything positive and friendly.
Bring a lot and a lot of love. Even for people with whom you usually disagree!
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