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The MyEvent Guide to Planning a Family Reunion

Planning a family reunion can be a lengthy and challenging task. But don't worry, over the past 15 years MyEvent has helped thousands of families organize their reunion and reconnect with their relatives through our websites. This quick guide will provide you with all the resources to throw the family reunion of the decade.
1
Plan Your Reunion
Whether your family reunion will reunite 20 or 200 people, the best way to assure that it is a success is by starting to plan far in advance. The earlier you invite people, the more likely they will be able to attend.

Make a List of Family Members

The first step to planning a reunion is reaching out to your close relatives. Letting everyone know about a potential reunion will create awareness and excitement. Contact family members through social media sites like Facebook to start spreading the word. Once you determine who's willing to attend, you can create your list (include relative, spouse, children, grandchildren, etc...). Get in touch with the ones you already have on your list to ask for the contact information for those you are missing or are not aware of.

Choose a Date

Once you have your list of potential attendees, work on establishing a date for your reunion. You must select the date that works for the most amount of people. That's why you need to plan months ahead and get into your family members calendar early. You can use tools as Survey Monkey, Typeform or Google Forms to survey the best date.

The most popular time to hold a family reunion is between June and September due to good weather, children are not in school and people tend to take time off at this time. However flights and accommodations tend to be more expensive. This is why it's good to consider other dates such as golden anniversary, grandparent's birthday, holiday weekends or religious holidays.

Form a Committee

Why not get your family members involved in the planning process? Not only it will make your life easier, but allows members to feel as though they have contributed to the reunion's success. You should assign each member tasks depending on their strengths and abilities, for example:

Create Your Reunion Website

Once you have a list of attendees, the committee and the date established, the next step is to create your reunion website. MyEvent makes it really easy to manage registrations, RSVP, accept donations and sell tickets all in one place.

We've helped thousands of families reunite with websites that help them plan, manage and raise funds for their family reunion.

Pro Tip
Length
The rule of thumb is the farther people have to travel to attend the reunion, the longer it should last. If everyone lives close to one another, then one day should be enough time to reconnect, however if many relatives are travelling to attend, the longer the reunion should be to justify the travelling and lodging expenses.
2
Spread The Word
Now that you have your reunion website live, and tracked down your relatives to inform them that a reunion is being planned, it is now time to formally invite them.

Save the Date

Send out a fun and informative “save the date” card or email to create excitement about the reunion. You want to let your relatives know the date far in advance so that they will be more likely to attend. Your “save the date” should be attention grabbing and only include key information such as the date, type and location. You can easily do this through your MyEvent reunion website using the broadcast email tool. The “save the date” should encourage people to visit the website and provide details about how to register online.

Reminders & Updates

You need to be persistent and follow up with relatives that have not answered the RSVP, send reminders and constantly post updates on your website, upload photos and videos, include who is coming, the names of most recent registered family members, this will build further interest and give people more reason to attend.

Activities & Entertainment

The main purpose of your family reunion is to get acquainted with those you have not seen for a long time or with those who you have never met before. When deciding which activities you want at your family reunion, you should keep in mind that you want the event to be fun and encourage interaction amongst family members. You should try to plan activities where family members do things together, a large number of people can participate, and that it will be enjoyed by all ages.

Promote the Reunion

You can create a buzz through Facebook, post updates and encourage family member to get in the action. Build excitement by letting everyone know of how fun and great it's going to be, catching up with those they have not seen or spoken in years. You can do all this through your website using the built in social media features.

Pro Tip
Influencers
Reach out to key family members that you know will help you bring the family together. Ask them for help promoting the reunion and make them part of the organization committee. These relatives should register to the reunion early.
3
Benchmarking
In order to have a successful reunion you need to create a budget, collect money early, and use funds efficiently. In the early stages of planning, before making any final decisions, you need to come up with a preliminary budget that will be adjusted as time goes on and decisions are made.

Keep in Mind

Before reserving locations and booking entertainment it is essential to estimate costs and revenues. You will need to:

Collecting Money

Once you have an idea of how much your reunion is going to cost, then you can start raising money by selling tickets to your reunion. To make sure you do not get into trouble, you need to secure funds in advance. You want to encourage your relatives to RSVP and pay early so you have an idea of how much money you will have to spend. You want to make sure that all of your family can afford to attend and participate in the various activities of the reunion. Making everyone aware of the details in advance will allow them to save up and search for the cheapest travel and accommodation fares. Your committee members should be the first to pay the registration fee or purchase tickets for themselves and their families. These initial funds can be used for upfront costs and deposits.

Selling Tickets

Another way to raise funds for your reunion is by selling tickets. When you set the ticket price, you need to consider the type of reunion you are having and the number of family members that will be attending. Your ticket price should be established based on your expenses and how many tickets you expect to sell. You can mention that they will receive 100% refund if they cannot attend; therefore there is no reason not to purchase their tickets right away.

You can easily sell tickets right from your reunion website; it's fast, easy and secure. Being able to purchase reunion tickets online with a credit card, is much more convenient for your relatives and a lot less work for you.

Fundraising

Your family should be there to help and support you in good times and bad whether it be to send a niece or nephew to college, help a sick family member with their bills, or if there is a family who cannot afford to attend your reunion.

Your family reunion website can include a donations page with persuasive messages in order to gain support and contributions from relatives. A graphic thermometer can be integrated onto your donation page to demonstrate how close you are to achieving your specific goal. Donor's names, contributions, and words of encouragement can appear on the family reunion website for everyone to see. All donations can be tracked online in real time.

Pro Tip
Savings
Don't spend a lot of money in decorations and awards, save money and invest it towards rentals, food and entertainment, maybe even hiring a photographer to keep the memories of the event.

Conclusion

The more organized you are, the more relaxed you will feel and the more successful your reunion will be. When to start planning depends on size of reunion and how widespread your relatives are. Regardless of the type and size of your reunion, this guide will help you plan a stress free family reunion.

Planning a family reunion is a challenging tasks, however being able to meet, reconnect, reminisce and create lifelong memories makes it all worthwhile! Hopefully this guide will help you locate and reach out to your extended family and plan the most fun and well attended family reunion possible.

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