Sending out a family reunion survey is the first step in answering the three basic questions of any family reunion.
If you have yet to send one out and need help, you can download a free sample family reunion survey.
The data from the survey will help narrow the location and activities
The final location, time of year, and activities will be based on the knowledge you glean from this initial family reunion survey. It’s the easiest way to ensure that you “hear” everyone’s opinions.
Before you make any decisions though, make sure you wait for all the surveys to come in. If you opted for an online survey, them make sure to resend a reminder email for the last few stragglers that have yet to respond.
If you mailed out a paper-based survey, your responses will take the longest. You should probably wait at least 4 weeks to begin tabulating the results. In order to receive the maximum number of responses for a paper survey, it is best to send a postage paid envelope in your original mailing.
So How Does The Family Reunion Survey Help?
Responses to the family reunion survey will help you understand the mix of the family members that will attend. The responses will give you a very good idea of the number of adults, children, and grandparents that will be attending. The mix of people in your family, the ages, financial condition, and interests will play a large part in determining the size, location, time and activities for your family reunion.
It Will Help Determine The Size Of Your Family Reunion
One of the most important questions that will be answered in your survey is the one that asks who will attend and who won’t. The answer will determine what size family reunion to plan.
Smaller reunions can usually be organized by one to three people. If there are out-of-town guests, arrangements are simple to make as most can be accommodated at a relatives home. The advantage of a small reunion is that meals and activities can happen either in someones backyard or at a local banquet Hall. The intimate setting affords the advantage of everyone getting to know each other a lot better than at larger reunions.
Reunions of this size typically last one to two days and are held at a local park. Most attendees end up bringing some food, sports equipment, board games, and snacks. Communal shopping for fruits, napkins, paper plates, can be done the day before at a local grocery store.
Medium sized family reunions
A medium-sized reunion typically has anywhere from 25 to 50 attendees and will require at least five people planning the event. Reunions of this size require the use of hotels for out-of-town family members, transportation, and even permits to host a family reunion at a park. They also typically last a weekend, and many occur in larger cities that are convenient to get to by air.
Large family reunions
A large reunion where more than 50 family members are attending requires complex planning and organized management. Dozens of volunteers are required to coordinate different aspects for everything to run smoothly. In addition to having a chairman, several subcommittees may also be needed depending on the complexity of the event.
For example, a destination family reunion will require an accommodations committee to block hotel rooms, a catering committee to decide on the food, an activities committee, a transportation committee, and even the communications committee to keep everyone informed. Larger reunions also require advance planning to secure space at parks, hotel rooms, or group activities.
For more information, read “How To Determine The Size, Location, And Time Of Year For Your Family Reunion”
It Will Help Narrow The Location Of Your Family Reunion
Should the family reunion be in a hometown, a family-friendly city like Orlando, or somewhere in between? Should they happen at a hotel, resort, or a local park? Answers to these questions will come from the family reunion survey responses you receive.
Should you hold the family reunion at your hometown?
Selecting a hometown location that has a historical meaning to the family is usually a very popular choice. Most of your attendees will know their way around town, and will rejoice in getting to meet family members, and old friends alike. While returning to the hometown once every few years makes for a good choice, it won’t work every year. For the intervening years you can choose to host your family reunion in a big city like New York, San Diego, or Orlando.
Choosing a big city
Larger cities offer a multitude of choices for accommodations, activities, and events. You can choose to have a reunion over a weekend or make a week long vacation out of it. Cities like New York have activities like the Statue of Liberty, Empire State building, New York Stock Exchange, and even Central Park to keep you busy. A city like Orlando has theme parks like Disney, Universal Studios and even nearby cities like Tampa to keep the adults entertained.
Keep in mind that one of the drawbacks of hosting your reunion in a big city is the cost associated with it. In addition to any airfare or transportation costs, there are also hotel expenses, food and other general expenses.
It Will Answer What Time Of Year Is Best To Hold A Family Reunion
When you have the family reunion is just as important to selecting the location. A badly timed family reunion will cause a significant drop in attendance, especially if it’s not planned around when the attendees can take breaks.
You’ll notice that most family reunions happen in the summer months when kids on vacation. Not only does the weather prove more cooperative, there are far more activities available during the summer months. Other popular time periods are Thanksgiving, winter and spring break.
(Recently, a new trend has emerged. Many families are planning family reunions around winter ski trips or taking family reunions cruises. For more information, read how to plan a family reunion cruise)
When considering the time of the year to hold your reunion, take into account what there is to do at the location. Is it the right season to go? For example, planning a family reunion to Albuquerque, New Mexico during Thanksgiving can be quite disastrous since it’s generally cold and many activities have closed for the season.
It Will Help Determine The Reunion Duration
The family reunion survey will also determine what length of time your family is comfortable spending at a reunion. While one day reunions are easy to plan, there only practical for families that live near each other. These can usually be backyard barbecues or a picnic in the Park where everyone is assigned a few food items to bring.
One day reunions are not practical for family reunions that involve guests coming from all over the country. For these kinds of reunions, 82 to 3 day weekend is most practical. The first day can be used to meet and greet with light snacks, the second a could involve a picnic in the Park for some activity, and the third day can be used to put together a finale. Of course, a reunion longer than one day will require you to block rooms at a hotel for those that are traveling from out of town.
Multiple day reunions end up being most memorable since it generally involves meeting family members have not seen each other in years.
What Kind of Activities Should You Plan
Another question that your family reunion survey will help you answer is the mix of adults, seniors and kids that will be attending. Knowing this will help you determine what family reunion activities you can and cannot plan for. If you have a lot of kids coming to the reunion, then having multiple activities focused on kids will be highly beneficial to the majority of attendees. Knowing that you have a lot of children, you’ll also have to make sure that your location is family-friendly.
Determining a good mix of activities that will be suitable for adults, children, and grandparents is one of the keys to success. Part of the survey asks what activities your attendees are interested in and their answers will shape the outcome.
Reunions come in all sizes and shapes and are highly dependent on the input you receive from the family reunion survey. The survey may seem trivial but can give you tremendous insight into the needs and wants of your family members. Using it to its fullest extent can determine the ultimate success of your family reunion.
What should you do next?
Survey results in hand, you are now ready to set up a family reunion planning committee.