Planning a reunion of family, classmates, colleagues, or friends is a challenging but rewarding task. If you’re in charge of the gathering, don’t panic! Part 1 of our reunion planning tips will help you get off on the right foot for a fun, memorable event.
Start with the basics.
The first decisions you make set the foundation for the rest of your planning. Begin with these:
Create an online “headquarters”
Reunion planning almost always involves gathering input from the attendees, particularly on the date and location of your event. You can simplify this by setting up a central place online where you can easily share plans and everyone can communicate. Some of the tools for this include:
Set the date
Depending upon the size of your group, getting this checked off your list can be fast and easy, or take some time. If attendees are likely to be mostly families with children still at home, school breaks will probably restrict your potential dates to summer months or long holiday stretches. If that’s not a consideration for your group, consider setting a date when there’s less competition for venues or during an off-season to save on accommodations.
Fix your budget
Use your online headquarters to share price ranges with attendees. It may be impossible to find a final price that pleases everyone, but you can get to a number that works for most attendees. You’ll have to balance what’s affordable for most people with spending enough to create a can’t-miss reunion. Check out these suggestions from GroupTravel.org for making your class reunion more affordable.
Choose the location and reunion venue
The choice of city may be obvious for a class reunion, but where to hold a family reunion may depend on how spread out the attendees are, how easy it is for older family members to travel long distances, and how costly travel may be for those farthest from your potential locations. Use your online reunion headquarters to invite everyone to chime in on what’s best.
The reunion venue choice may have a lot of moving parts, but wherever you land, you’ll want to get this nailed down so that you can reserve your space. As mentioned above, summer and long holiday breaks are the most popular, so competition could be tough for getting a great venue. Start by listing your venue must-haves, such as size, price, special features and nearby accommodations, and use those to quickly narrow down your choices.
As you research potential spots, ask venue staff members if they have event planning specialists on hand who can give you all the details. If you’re interested in the Thrasher-Horne Center, call one of our Special Events and Conference Room Rental specialists at 904-276-6815 or contact us online.
Planning any type of large event is tough to do on your own. Enlist volunteers from your family or classmates, who can help with everything from initial plans to running errands. There are almost always tasks you can delegate or share with others. These may include:
- Managing the guest list, including contact information and RSVPs
- Finding and working with a caterer
- Getting information on area hotel pricing and availability
- Touring potential reunion venues
- Planning activities around the main event
- Managing funds and bills
Coming up in part 2.
Stay tuned for more tips in the second part of our reunion planning blog post series on what to do as your deadline approaches and on the big day!