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How to Plan and Organize a Family Reunion

I helped plan a large family reunion of over 150 people. It was huge success!

The Chua Clan

The Chua Clan

150+ Relatives Attended Our Family Reunion

Family reunions are a source of joy, especially when you come from a huge clan like I do. Although we have small gatherings every now and then, the larger Chua clan decided to organize our very first "large" reunion in June 2007. Attended by around 160 relatives, the affair was a success. It paved the way for better relations, as we came to know relatives we didn't see often—or in some cases had never met before.

Tip #1: Create Working Committees

We were fortunate to have many people willing to provide input and be part of a committee. Good planning was the foundation for our reunion's success. Whether you have a small or large group, planning is the first step to having an organized event.

  • Planning and Steering Committee: Oversaw the entire proceedings. Made sure all souvenir items were ordered and delivered on time. Coordinated with the resort (the venue) on the accommodations and logistical arrangements.
  • Program Committee: Planned the activities and games. Coordinated with the performers (for our talent show) and assigned emcees/game masters.
  • Communications Committee: Made sure everyone was informed of the latest developments of the planning.
  • Finance Committee: Coordinated with the steering committee to know the expenses and funds to be collected.
  • Registration Committee: Took care of the IDs, checking in, and collecting information for the Chua Clan directory.
  • Memories Committee: Conducted the logo-slogan contest, created the family tree; collected photos and saved them on DVDs.
  • Transportation Committee: Made sure relatives were properly transported to and from each venue.
Bowling

Bowling

Tip #2: Plan Pre-Reunion Activities

Before the actual reunion date, we had several pre-reunion activities. I hope these ideas may trigger your creative juices to come up with activities that suit your group's idea of fun.

  • Weight Loss Contest: Since contestants were scattered across the globe, we had to ask everyone to be honest in reporting their weights. Achieving a certain percentage (as agreed) from the person's original weight would be the basis for the winner. Prices were donated from various relatives. Those who didn't win also had to contribute a certain amount to pay the winner.
  • Logo-Slogan Contest: We appointed a person to be the coordinator of this contest. He chose the judges and made them anonymous until the revelation of the winner. The winning logo and slogan were printed on our souvenir shirts, keychains and bags.
  • Trips and Outings: We organized a few trips around town (city tour, island hopping), sports activities like bowling, and eating in native restaurants for the out-of-town guests.
Olanggo Island trip

Olanggo Island trip

Tip #3: Plan Reunion Activities

As the one in charge of the program committee, I had to come up with a detailed schedule of activities ahead of time. On the day itself, we posted and distributed the schedule to everyone.

Activities were grouped into several categories:

General Assembly: During this time, we were able to do the following:

  • Prayer
  • Games
  • Introducing our ancestors and each family
  • Awarding of the winners of the contests
  • Talent show
  • Raffles
  • Acknowledging the sponsors and committees

Break-Out Sessions: Small groupings for sharing and getting-to-know-you activities. We also had optional morning exercises by the beachfront.

Fellowship: Meals and snacks were a time to mingle and chat with each other.

Free Time: We also had time where the people could swim, play, or simply laze around.

The winning logo for our reunion

The winning logo for our reunion

Tip #4: Cover All of the Bases

Reunion Rules: The committee came up with certain rules for everyone to follow. The rules included:

  • Be time-conscious
  • Don't leave small children and minors unattended
  • Be safe
  • No wandering from the group without permission
  • Report illness promptly
  • Smile and enjoy the activities
  • Nobody is allowed to leave the venue for the duration of the reunion program

Filling out of information/data sheets: All participants were asked to fill out the forms (vital information included contact numbers, birthdays, and addresses).

Medical Team: We rounded up the dentists and doctors in the family and made sure everybody knew them. They prepared first aid kits as well as medicines for emergency use.

Sgt. at Arms and Group Coordinators: We also assigned several people to make sure the rules were being followed. Group coordinators made sure their team members were all present for each activity. They also reminded their team of the schedule.

Memories Committee: Photographs or video coverage, souvenir items, collection of photos stored on DVDs, or quarterly newsletter to keep each other updated.

My Reflection

The success of our reunion depended on several factors . . . from the planning to taking action, to the cooperation and participation of everyone else. What was truly important was the love and friendship that we shared. A well-organized reunion may be empty without the love that brightened it and made it meaningful.

The Chua Clan Singles

The Chua Clan Singles

Game and Activity Ideas

Comments

Trsmd from India on February 19, 2012:

These type o topic and reunion has never been heard here in India. Reason. Here the entire family lives jointly they never got separated ..anytime they wish they are available. So nothing needed for ReUnion. Thanks for SHARING:)

htodd from United States on December 04, 2011:

This is really a great reunion...Thanks for that

Michelle Simtoco (author) from Cebu, Philippines on May 25, 2009:

Hi prasetio, planning is indeed necessary if you want an organized event. It is very, very, very important. Hahaha Esp. if it is a big group. Thanks for reading and commenting.

prasetio30 from malang-indonesia on May 25, 2009:

Reunion is the best way to meet our family who never meet, or because far distance. planning is the best to make great reunion. nice hub.

Michelle Simtoco (author) from Cebu, Philippines on December 09, 2008:

It was a great reunion and we want to do again--maybe in a couple of years time. Thanks Dottie! :-)

Dottie1 from MA, USA on December 07, 2008:

Hi Michelle, I really love the logo slogan idea printed on your t-shirts. I see you there in the front with your family tree t-shirt and earrings. I love your hub :)

Michelle Simtoco (author) from Cebu, Philippines on December 07, 2008:

Hi Dottie, in the photo (topmost), I am the one on the right side. In the last photo, I'm the one in front row- middle wearing black jogging pants and earrings. LOL And yes, I was assigned in the programs committee. :-) Thanks for reading this hub Sis.

Dottie1 from MA, USA on December 07, 2008:

Just heard you may be taking a trip to visit family for a reunion before years end. Just wondering if you are assigned to any of the working committees. I might add it looks like great fun dancing in the road with the Chua clan. Are you in that photo? Greatly enjoyed your hub.

Michelle Simtoco (author) from Cebu, Philippines on December 22, 2007:

Hi Zsuzsy and Kenny! Thanks for the feedback. Being in hubpages feels like having a family too. Maybe someday the hubbers could have a reunion?! hahaha Wouldn't that be great?

Ashok Rajagopalan from Chennai on December 21, 2007:

We are a large family scattered all over and we usually reunite in weddings or someone's 60th birthday. I appreciate your more organized efforts and sharing your advice with those who want to do it.

May all families reunite and share their love! God bless you, Michelle!

Zsuzsy Bee from Ontario/Canada on December 18, 2007:

Ripplemaker! I always wanted to be a part of an enormous family just to be able to do reunions like the one you described.

great Hub

regards Zsuzsy

Michelle Simtoco (author) from Cebu, Philippines on December 16, 2007:

Your Welcome :-) It is large! Do you know I have an aunt who is 2 years old? My grandma's youngest brother just had another daughter 2 years ago. From weddings to funerals to reunions, we are always quite a large number. Writing this one made me realize the beauty of having a large family. :-)

MrMarmalade from Sydney on December 16, 2007:

This is great.

This is offbeat, I recently attended two funerals in the one week.

The first person had 185 people attend their funeral and the second person had three others apart from me.

They were almost the same age. I had known one for 60 years and the other 40 years,

in theory they would have known many people in common to each other

I thank you for sharing your large extended family

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