Life moves quickly, no doubt about it, which makes quality time spent with loved ones all the more meaningful. In today’s age, families are more spread out than ever before due to our nation’s abundance of job opportunities and quick travel modalities. It isn’t uncommon for a single family to have members living on opposite coasts. Reunions are an incredible way to commit, as a family, to getting everyone in the same place for a few days to share stories, connect, and make long-lasting memories.
Family Reunion Planning Tips
Regardless of the size of the reunion, the most crucial component of planning, and executing, is communication. No surprises there, as communication is the foundation of nearly everything! What is surprising, though, is that it’s often the area families struggle with the most while planning a reunion. To be of more service to reunion planning families, we’ve compiled our four best tips for inter-familial communication.
1. Choose a Communication Channel
Once the decision has been made to have a reunion, the most important thing to do is establish which communication channel works best for everyone. Naturally, you’re going to have plenty to say, ask, and share with each other, and it’ll stay more organized if it’s in one place. Since a family reunion usually encompasses many generations, choose a channel that is accessible for all! We recommend email. Another option is creating a special reunion Facebook group.
2. Appoint One Member Head of Communication
This is especially relevant for larger reunion groups. Having one person designated to dispatch communication among the family will not only keep the planning process more organized but will also prevent communication mishaps. This step can be done before choosing a communication channel, or at the same time. The person appointed as head of inter-familial communication doesn’t need to be the same person that is spearheading the planning. Make it clear to the family that all responses, requests, and communications should be sent to this person.
3. Develop a Communication Strategy
Will reunion emails be sent out once a week? Can anyone post in the Facebook group? Can anyone email the reunion group? How are you going to go about sending invitations or requesting payments? At the onset of planning, discuss among your family what the best communication strategy will be. We’ve learned that short, simple, and infrequent communication usually works best. Infrequent – as in once a month, no more, unless needed. Most people are already inundated with emails and notifications, no need to add to the noise. It’s also wise to NOT allow everyone to send emails or post, but rather send their needs to the head of communications, who can then decide which actions are needed.
4. Keep Communications Short and Simple
When it is time to send an email, post on Facebook, or send something in the mail, keep it short and sweet. Lengthy, wordy messages will result in some people not reading all the way through, and others getting mixed up on the details. If you are sending an email that requires a response for the recipients, be sure that your questions are clear and concise. Creating engaging and attention-grabbing content will also help to ensure each member responds!
Follow these four tips, and we know your family reunion planning and communication will go wonderfully! Trust us, when it comes to family reunions we’ve seen it all. Communication is the foundation, but of course, there are many more aspects to planning a reunion.
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