So you finally managed to wrangle up all of the distant aunts, uncles, and cousins from around the country and they have all committed to a date and location for the family reunion. Now, how do you get them to actually have fun and stick around?
There are a ton of great ideas out there to help you make your reunion a success, but the best choice you can make is to make it personal and put some thought into it. Don't just expect everyone to just show up and run the show themselves. Check out these ideas on how to make your family reunion a memorable gathering.
Your family will be especially excited to go to the reunion if there is a theme to it. You can decorate the reunion space with theme specific decorations and ask people to dress accordingly! It also makes a great conversation starter and icebreaker for people to get the reunion flowing. With everyone putting a little effort into their own costumes or disguises, it will get them into a more comfortable zone and put people at ease. Pick a theme that everyone will enjoy and be able to participate in to get the most engagement.
You can't expect everyone to just stand around and have a good time. Plan to hold different activities and fun games for people to play. People will have a great time and make some great memories whether it is an easy and accessible sports game like horse shoes or corn hole, or a blast from the past such as a scavenger hunt with family related photos and trivia. You can even sell raffle tickets and give away prizes or hold a silent auction for prizes. This can also help you cover expenses for the cost of the reunion. Just make sure that your activities include everyone.
Putting thoughtful extra touches into your reunion will make people appreciate the event even more. Throw together some creative invitations that people will save in scrapbooks or photo albums to memorialize the occasion. If you are going with a theme for the reunion you can design the invitations around it. When it comes to promoting the event, don't hold back. Send invites, reminders, and even teasers for the reunion. You can send them via email or social media (Facebook events) or even create a group chat on WhatsApp, which will help them engage with each other prior to and after the event.
Try having a few different ways people can document their time and feelings about the reunion. You can go for the classic guestbook, or have a video booth where people can share memories and moments which can later be edited together into a video that you can share with everyone. You could also hold interviews with your family and include specific questions like what they liked most about the reunion or what memories they have from previous reunions.
Make sure to collect everyone's photos and memories and you can compile and share them in a Kumbu collection. You can save messages and posts from before and afterwards, and ask them about their thoughts on how it went or what they enjoyed the most. This you can use to share with everyone so that they are able to reminisce and share with their loved ones. See more tips on how to document your family reunion here.
Try the tips above and see how your reunion goes! You are bound to get some great reactions and engagement from your family and will have some great memories to share for a long time.