In order to ensure that things are on track, do a final check with every committee head about a month before the actual family reunion.
While it may seem like an unnecessary step, finalizing details will reduce some of your stress by helping you catch things that may have fallen through the cracks.
Here is a list of 10 event details to follow up on to ensure a smooth and enjoyable family reunion.
Airfare and Transportation
Send out a mass e-mail to your family reunion attendees asking them to forward you their flight itineraries. In the e-mail, also ask if they will be needing transportation to and from the airport. Assign one person to maintain a list of who needs to be picked up from the airport. This person will also be responsible for coordinating the hotel shuttle or renting a van for the family reunion.
Confirm Group Rates And Room Block Details With Hotel
About a month (and a week) before your family reunion begins, have the hotel selection committee check various hotel travel websites to make sure that your group rate is lower than what is being offered. Should you find a rate that is lower, make sure to call the hotel and ask that they match it
(FYI- We offer a free service that has hotels email you their lowest group hotel rates. The rates are guaranteed to be the lowest so you never have to worry about whether you could have gotten a better deal).
Also, ask the hotel to e-mail or fax the rooming list so you can cross-reference it against your list of arrivals. Should there be any discrepancies, resolve them now so there are no cancellation penalties.
During the same conversation, make sure to confirm all the details of your room block with the hotel. Confirm the number of rooms that have a connecting door, and that all the rooms are near each other. Also verify the location of the hospitality suite and what time you will have access to it.
Banquet Set Up
About a month before the family reunion, get together with the family reunion catering committee to make sure that all the details of the banquet have been followed. Doing this a month out still leaves enough time to recover from any mistakes that were made. Make sure to go over every detail including menu, costs, linen colors, centerpieces and decorations.
If you’re planning a potluck in the park, then make sure you have a list of who is bringing what to the event. Ensure that every item needed is covered on this list.
Set Up and Clean Up
Confirm with the person leading the set up/clean up committee to make sure they have enough help in getting everything done. Confirm that they are arriving a day ahead of the family reunion to organize their troops.
Remember that this committee is responsible for creating signs to help family members find the right place for each event that is scheduled. Make sure they have a list of signs along with the exact location of where each sign is to be placed. If it’s an outdoor sign, insist that weatherproof materials are used along with bold colors and large lettering.
The setup committee should also have instructions on the welcome table set up, hospitality room set up, and any other group activities that require their assistance.
Talk to the person leading the Family Reunion Welcoming Committee to make sure that everyone on their team will arrive early to welcome family reunion guests in the lobby. The welcoming committee should have 3 to 4 very friendly people from different sides of the family to increase familiarity.
Depending on the size of the family reunion, they may need some or all of the following on the welcome table:
1. A sign in sheet
2. A name tag for every attendee
3. A family reunion agenda detailing the schedule of events and locations
4. The recommended list of things to do in the area
5. A list of neighboring restaurants that are highly rated by the hotel staff
6. A map of the hotel, Park and any other facility you may use
7. A local map of the area
8. Some bottled water and snacks also add a nice touch
The person in charge of decorations should arrange for all items to either be delivered to the hotel or should get there in advance to purchase them. If the family reunion is small, then one person can handle the decorating. However if it’s larger, then you should have three or four people helping out.
If your family reunion has a theme, then make sure that everyone in the family is aware of any specific attire or items to bring to the party.
Games and Activities
Confirm with the family reunion activities committee that they have the required equipment for all activities. Ask that they e-mail you a final list of activities/games planned, along with a list of times that they expect to commence.
Finalize the budget at least a month out with the Family Reunion Finance Committee. Make sure to plan for at least a 5-10% overage in funds to cover unexpected expenses. Should you not need these additional funds, you can always roll them into the next family reunion.
Finalize Vendor Details
Confirm all the details with any outside vendors a you hired for the family reunion (Such as DJ, Clown, Caterer etc.). Make sure you go over the pricing, dates of the reunion, and your expectations with every vendor. Also confirm any final balance you may have left with the vendor. Lastly if you’re using an outside caterer, ensure you have proper insurance.
Family Reunion Agenda
Make sure to go over the entire agenda for the family reunion personally to ensure every activity and time slot is covered. Before you finalize the family reunion agenda, e-mail it to all your committee heads to get input. It’s a lot easier to fix mistakes at this point in time than to scramble at the family reunion itself. Finalizing the plans for your family reunion will make the actual event a lot easier to handle. Not only will your event be less stressful, you will also get to spend quality time with the family.
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