This article is about questions to ask on a survey when planning the reunion. If you were looking for a set of questions to ask after the reunion, then read the family reunion feedback article.
Surveys are boring. But we knew that already.
However, they are a necessary evil since we have to gather information about what family members are interested in doing at their next reunion.
While short surveys are less intrusive, they provide little information and shed no light on the direction your family reunion should be heading in.
A longer survey with detailed questions will give you and your family reunion planning committee some great ideas on what folks expect out of their reunion. Here is a sample survey in both Microsoft Word for easy download. The survey is free, easy to modify and can be emailed to your family reunion members.
Once you have downloaded the survey, you are going to want to customize it to your families needs. Here are some tips and guidelines to follow before you send it.
Are You Interested?
That should be a question near the top. If they are not interested, then they can just pencil in a “NO” and be done with it.
Who Are You? Where have You Been?
Get their personal information next. Get the names of their spouse, kids, grandchildren, pets etc. Find out if they have any new additions to their family, new achievements by the adults or the kids, and also get their birthdays so you can compile a birthday list for the entire family.
Where Should We Go?
Here is the big question. Where should the family reunion be? You could just leave that to be an open question but that will just lead to hundreds of responses that will make your head spin. Before you ask this question, have a list of 3-4 cities and ask which one they would be most interested in going to.
When should we go?
When planning a date for your family reunion, select at least three dates that are a few weeks apart. Based the decision on the number of votes each date gets in the survey responses.
How much are we willing to spend?
as a rule of thumb, the earlier you plan the more people willing to spend. Getting people a year or more notice gives them enough time to save up and attend a longer, more lavish family reunion. Asking your family how much they are willing to spend will also give you an idea of which your budget will be and what hotels can be selected (The responses will give you a good idea of what to look for when you are getting group rates for hotels).
What Are We Going To Do There?
List all the activities that you can think of and have them select the ones they would be interested in. Make sure to include activities that are suitable for kids, adults and grandparents.
Get A Family Historian
Make sure to inquire about any burning questions that folks may have about the general lineage or genealogy of the family. Take the most interesting questions and answer them at one of the dinners or banquets at the reunion. Makes for great entertainment, we promise.
We Need Money?
Look to see if anyone is willing to make a donation towards the planning of the reunion. After all, postage, deposit for host hotels, and family reunion websites are just a few of the things that need to get paid for. While you are on the subject of money, ask to see what people are looking to spend on the reunion itself. The information you receive will help shape the family reunion budget.
Look to see if anyone is interested in volunteering and ask how much time they can volunteer for. Let them know that volunteering is integral to the success of any reunion and that everyone should be pitching in as it is for the common good.
Don’t make the reunion planning process sound like a chore. Make it sound fun and exciting and more people are apt to follow and help. If you make it sound drab, no one will help and you will end up doing all the work. Use words that are exciting, alive and high spirited. Sprinkle your communications with family reunion jokes to keep everyone chuckling when they are reading your communications. In short, be cool!
What should you read next?
Since you’re planning a family reunion, take a look at some money saving ideas for your next event.