Managing the Details At The Family Reunion

DSC_0544Plan to arrive a day or two ahead of the actual family reunion so you can get everything situated.

Encourage other members of the family reunion planning committee to arrive at least a day ahead to go over final details and make any last-minute changes.

Some of the details that you will have to follow up on include:

  • Rooming list for the hotel block,
  • Activities and events
  • Any signage including marquee,
  • Banquet set up info details,
  • Transportation,
  • Set up/cleanup crew

Meet with the hotel to discuss the room block

When you get to the hotel, arrange for a meeting with the sales manager that is responsible for the family reunion block of rooms. Make sure to bring the contract with you to go over the final rooming list, any last-minute cancellations, and location of the hospitality suite. If you had arranged for any welcome gifts for your family members, now is the time to drop them off so the hotel can distribute them a check in.

Activities and events coordination

Follow-up with the person heading the activities and entertainment committee to go over final details (exact time and location etc.) of all the off-site activities planned. Make sure tickets are paid for and transportation is arranged.

Also, confirm any on-site activities (pool party, board game night, bingo night etc.) that are planned as well. Questions to ask are whether they have enough supplies, volunteers, and space to successfully complete each event planned. If you have a DJ or any kind of musical entertainment, now would be the time to verify proper audiovisual set-up, stage set up and decorations.

Signage and Registration

Walk the entire location (Hotel, Park, etc.) to make sure that any signs for your family reunion are in place. If your reunion is at a park, then make sure there is adequate shading and enough equipment and supplies.
If your family reunion is at a hotel, then make sure that the registration table is positioned in a visible part of the lobby and that any appropriate signs are in the right locations.

The registration table should have copies of an area map, directions to any activities, brochures and a list of area restaurants. If you need help selecting local restaurants, consider using the site like or urban for recommendations. When selecting restaurants, make sure you have both national chains and local favorites.

The registration desk should also have reunion packets for every attendee. Each reunion packet should consist of name tags, a schedule of events for the family reunion, and a map of the hotel. If there are any group related activities that require tickets, include these in the attendee packets as well. If you’re handing out free shirts, have these ready as well.

Finally, If you’re able to convince the hotel to add your family reunion name on the marquee, then verify the correct spelling of what will go on display.

Banquet set-up info details

Talk to the banquet manager prior to the event and go over every single detail line by line. Pay particular emphasis to food details, schedule times for lunch and dinner, linen colors, room set up and audiovisual equipment. 
If there is decorating to be done, make sure you know who is responsible for them. If the hotel is responsible, make sure they have a chart of how you want the room to look. If the decorations are being done by one of the family reunion members, then follow up with them and make sure that it’s taken care of.


If transportation has been arranged to and from events, then make sure the pickup/dropoff times are confirmed along with the type of transportation that will be provided. You don’t want the transportation company to show up with a twenty seater when you have forty five people scheduled for a school bus.
Make sure you have a list of names of family members that will be traveling to and from each of the activities and provide that list to the transportation company so everyone’s on same page.

Set up/cleanup

The set up/cleanup group should arrive one day ahead of time to get themselves organized for the festivities. You should hold a meeting the day before the actual event to go over the details and expectations of each family reunion volunteer.

In the meeting, go over all the details of who’s responsible for what during the event. Any last-minute changes can be made here as well.

There should be very little for you to do at the family reunion so long the planning has been done properly. Provide direction where it’s needed and let people do their thing. Expect that not everything is going to run according to schedule and some things will fall by the wayside.

What should you do next?

Since you’re planning a family reunion, why not take a look at some great tips on planning a family reunion on a budget.

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