Black Meetings and Tourism

September/October 2014

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B M & T ••• September/October 2014 ••• 24 PLANNING A FAMILY REUNION Organizing a family reunion takes time, dedica- tion and lots of planning. The easiest way to get started is to form a small committee of about three to four family members that will handle all of the arrangements for the reunion. Commit to meeting on a regular schedule, whether it's once a week or once a month, to discuss the progress in the reunion planning. Some of the topics that should be discussed at committee meetings include: the date, location, invitations, travel and lodg- ing, facilities, food, mailing list, the programs, finances, local transportation, communica- tions and souvenirs. COMMUNICATIONS Communicating with family members is an essential ingredient to the success of your reunion. Effectively communicating to the family helps to generate informa- tion and maintain interest in the reunion over the many months leading up to the big event. The committee should com- pile a list of names, addresses, tele- phone numbers and email addresses of as many family members as possi- ble. Note how each person is related to the family. The first communication can simply be a notice that the family reunion is being planned. This will generate interest and possibly draw more family members to the cause. Once a location, date, and facility have been confirmed send out another notice that includes the cost to family members. This should be done at least four-six months before the reunion but can be done as early as nine months before. If the hotel or facility has any spe- cial amenities, be sure to highlight those, as this will get people interested in the whole event. Sending out a survey to family members is a good way to find out what types of activities attendees would like to participate in. A survey could also help with picking out a location or to gather information about each person to include in a directory. Be sure to set a definite date for registration and payment. It is important to know who will be coming to the reunion so arrangements can be finalized concerning food, trips and tours, and lodging. Be prepared to mail a follow-up letter closer to the due date and set up a telephone chain to contact family members who have failed to respond. And don't forget to send out directions to the reunion using various modes of transportation. The Feggans family Photo Credit: Clarence Thomas Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial, Wash. DC

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