You are tired and frustrated from sitting in a plane for too long.
As you check in, you see a familiar face waving you over to a welcome table a few steps away.
Does this vision put a smile on your weary face?
Of course it does.
And that is why every family reunion needs a welcoming committee to greet guests as they come in. Welcoming committees help in making everyone feel welcome and in setting the right mood.
So who should be on the welcoming committee?
While not an absolute necessity, a welcome committee should be made up of people who are connectors in your family. These are people that get along with the majority of family members, are fun to be around, and quick with a joke. These are the people that are going to set the tone as people check in so make sure you select carefully. A bad first impression may set the wrong tone for the entire family reunion.
The responsibility of anyone on the welcoming committee is to smile, hug, and make everyone feel welcome. Many families assign this responsibility to the elderly. Grandparents enjoy welcoming their kids and grandchildren. Plus, they enjoy seeing how much everyone has changed.
Where should they be stationed?
If you’re having a family reunion at a hotel, then have the hotel staff set up a table and some chairs near the front desk. Also, you should place a large welcome banner or sign on a wall behind the welcoming committee or in front of the table.
The welcome table should be close enough that you can see who is checking in. You can also instruct the front desk staff to direct any check-ins for your group to the welcoming committee table.
What should be on the family reunion welcome table?
The welcome table should serve as a place to meet and greet and to help keep everyone organized. In order to do that, you should have several, if not all of the items mentioned below:
1. Directions or maps to any activities outside the hotel
2. Name badges
3. Welcome bag that contains brochures, coupons and general information about the city.
4. A copy of the family reunion agenda with exact date and time for all events
5. An attendance list that everyone has to sign as they check in. This will help you keep a headcount and a running tally of who has yet to arrive.
6. Goody bags for kids – these bags should contain coloring book, crayons, and other little trinkets to keep the kids busy.
Having a friendly face greeting guests gives the right first impression to family members that you may not have seen in years.
What should you read next?
Since you’re planning a family reunion with a committee, why not read about the most common committees for a family reunion.