As a wise proverb says “There is a time for everything under the sun. A time to run, a time to laugh, a time to skip about.” With that sentiment there is a time to strengthen the bonds of family union. And what better way to begin then planning for your next family reunion. Family reunion events have evolved into big-time annual family shindigs these days. From gatherings at the ol’ homestead to luxury cruise ship gala events. But when is a good time to start planning for your family reunion? The fact is, anytime is a good time to start planning a meaningful memorable family gathering.
KEEPING TIME ON YOUR SIDE
They key to successfully planning a modest to large family event is giving yourself and the rest of the family plenty of time to put it all together. This will also allow family reunion planners drum up support when and where needed. This calls for good communication and organization on the reunion planners part.
CHOOSING THE RIGHT FAMILY REUNION SOFTWARE
Your best approach to organizing a family reunion event is using what is called a family reunion planner organizer with *attendee registration spreadsheet features. Planner organizers now come in many software formats. A stand-alone program may require the manual input of information such as reunion date, time, number of attendees, guest list contact information and such. It is advantageous to choose reunion planning software platforms that allow users to export and import data into formats most users are familiar with such as MS Word and Excel Spreadsheets.
COMMITTEE MEETING PRESENTATION FEATURES
Users should be able to take advantage of spreadsheet data report and presentation features such as bar and pie charts for surveys, dues ledgers and such. Your family reunion planner organizer should allow you to easily enter survey data and tally. For example, the reunion committee narrows down three possible locations for the family reunion event. Perhaps you want to find out how far these locations are from each attendees home address. Features that allow you to enter travel distance to the reunion event location per household and run a comparison report can help you narrow down the most convenient locations.
CHECKLISTS ACCOUNTS AND BALANCES
Your software should include features the allow you to add up T-shirt orders and payment balances. Keep track of desired reunion activities and menu surveys. Keep track of delegated assignments. Make sure your planner also comes with a family reunion planning primer. It should contain an editable pre-written timeline planner with built in checklist. Reunion supplies and materials lists are extremely helpful. Many reunion planners come with a host of templates such as flyers, labels, nametags, official reunion correspondence stationary, welcome letter template to name a few.
HELPFUL SEARCH ENGINE FEATURES
Now major search engines offer features that allow users to share standard data in MS Word and Excel spreadsheet format with other online users making the reunion communication process a whole lot easier for all involved.
REUNION PLANNING STEP BY STEP
Step 1. Your first task is to gather information from family members regarding the kind of family reunion event they would like to have. To do this you should first commence announcing that plans are underway for the next family reunion and the need to consider ideas and select committee member volunteers.
Step 2. Compile a list of family members and their addresses and send out your announcements as a flyer or in newsletter format. Your announcement should include a brief survey asking for their opinions and suggestions for food, entertainment, theme, events and location. Those who respond quickly and provide practical input should be asked to form the reunion committee.
Step 3. Establish an initial committee meeting time and place where most can attend.
Step 4. Form your initial committee members including the chairperson and treasurer.
Step 5. Using your “Committees List” commence selecting other subcommittee heads. Your committees lists includes the following duties:
Setup and Cleanup Committee
Family History Committee
News and Media Committee
Health and Safety Committee
Genealogy Research and Presentation Committee
Step 6. Now review your consideration elements and consider potential reunion site locations visited”, reunion themes, proposed date, initial cost estimates for budget. Remember to use the survey you sent out with your initial mailing. Many Family Reunion Planner organizers contain 30 or more elements for consideration.
Step 7. As you discuss consideration elements record final decisions as to who will do what. Delegate committee heads and volunteers accordingly. Make sure delegations are in harmony with your committee heads department. Avoid overlapping assignments.
Step 8. Now get into the details of planning the event. Using a “Possible Locations and Activities ” list compare completed surveys to the possible location and activities list. Draw a line through locations not recommended and narrow down the desired location to about three or four choices. Now take a vote. Follow the same pattern for activities.
Step 9. After deciding on location and activities you now have a better idea of event needs in the form of materials and services.
Step 10. Using a “Needs List” as a starter, begin listing all needs for your event with the help and feedback of department heads.
Step 11. Create a ballpark “Expense List” to get an idea of the amount of funds required for the event and activities and add this to your Reunion Planner Budget list and Calculation Tool.
Step 12. Using your surveys complete a “Reunion Lunch Program Agenda” if your reunion event will be held in the after noon. Otherwise create a “Reunion Dinner Program Agenda”.
Following these basic steps when choosing your family reunion software and organizing your reunion event will get you off on to a good start.
*A Family Reunion planning “Attendee Registration Worksheet” is a spreadsheet that allows the user to record information in the form of a dues ledger, tally reunion surveys, create a guest list roster”. Enter T-shirt orders and keep track of special needs.