The chairperson should be someone with good organizational skills and the time and desire to do it. It’s helpful if the chairman is computer savvy enough to set up and maintain the Family Reunion Website. If not, another person may volunteer to manage the website and they can work together. The committee members will work more efficiently if the chairman is someone they are comfortable working with and taking direction from. The committee members need to be confident in the chairman’s ability to manage the project and follow through to the conclusion. If this is the Reunion Committee Chairman’s first effort and there have been prior reunions, the previous chairman may have some valuable tips and be willing to help.
- Make a detailed checklist of necessary assignments to complete.
- Most cell phones have an app that can be used for reminders that pop up at any time.
- Schedule committee meetings regularly, keep them motivated.
- Keep a calendar of each committee’s assignments and deadlines.
- Keep records organized including expenses, contracts, registration information, lodging details, deposits, and fees received. There are templates available online that can be downloaded and used. One of them might be have everything needed.
- Get everyone’s contact information. Mailing address, email address and phone number can be put into a file. Also, include a place for an emergency contact.
- Coordinating the committees’ information to the families. This can be done through the website if one is created. Phone calls, email, and snail mail can keep people in touch.
- A Family Reunion website may be a valuable tool to coordinate information from the committees regarding the event. Invitations with date and location, accommodations, RSVP, cost per person and other information can be added or changed. Family members can RSVP and complete family history questionnaire. All the details of the event would be on one site. WordPress.com, Webs.com, Weebly, and Blogger.com are free website builders. Make sure the page is secured.
- Help with any problems that arise. Budget, food, activities, location or personal issues can affect the best-laid plans.
- After the reunion is over, make sure the location is in good condition and trash and recyclables are put in proper place even after the Clean-up Committee has been through. Check for belongings that may have been left behind.
- At the last gathering ask for ideas for the next reunion.
- Send feedback surveys to attendees after the event, asking what was great and what could be improved upon for the next time.
No one person can manage all aspects of a family reunion. Chairperson needs to surround themselves with capable and enthusiastic committee members. As the chairperson, you’ll oversee the event, handle communications between committees, coordinate the volunteers—and occasionally play peacemaker.