7 Steps to Get You Started When Planning for Your Family Event
(Photo by Askar Abayev).

Family gatherings, whether a birthday, reunion, or intimate wedding, don’t happen by accident. They need to be planned by someone in the family, and that could be you.

When organizing a family event, you must have a well-thought-out strategy if you want everyone to remember it for years to come. Even hiring an expert in event planning in Toronto might not be enough if you don’t know exactly where your plan is heading.

The send-the-invitation phase is just one part of the event planning process. It should focus on entertainment and capture the interest of those who will be in attendance. You need to consider significant factors such as the venue, the food, the programming, the number of attendees, and more to ensure that everyone has a memorable time.

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1: Start With a List of Invited People

Before creating and sending invites to your relatives, you need to know who to send them to. Who wouldn’t want to meet that 2nd cousin who is an achiever? Wouldn’t you want to see your childhood friends/cousins who’d been living witnesses to your failures as a child?

Having a wider range of relatives can make it more lively and exciting. List down as many family members as possible. For instance, you can aim for a representative from each family unit at a family reunion. You can ask for help from your grandfathers and grandmothers to walk through the family tree again, so you’ll know who to contact.

2: Outline the Event From Start to Finish

A single person can’t possibly manage all aspects of an event, especially a huge family gathering. You can ask for help from your relatives (those who are capable and enthusiastic) by creating committees for decoration, games, food, etc. You can also send out questionnaires to all members who will be in attendance to get their input and rank the options.

It’s recommended that you plan at least 12 months ahead so you won’t overlook any details. Start by picking a date and location. Take note of everything on your planner, from sourcing out furniture stores in Burlington to ensuring plenty of parking space to ensure everyone can feel cared for after arriving at the location.

Even if your committee members are located all over the world, it is your responsibility to delegate tasks and follow up. There’s a conference call you can take advantage of via Skype or Google Hangout. If you can settle everything through chats and emails, you can also share files and spreadsheets on Dropbox or Google Drive.

3: Determine the Budget

Part of the planning stage is to inform each family, describing the details of the upcoming reunion and asking for a contribution. Like it or not, cost automatically comes with a family event, especially when renting a venue and planning to hire catering services. Other family members also need to know that you expect them to contribute and/or pay their fair share.

4: Keep the Attendees on the Loop

Send invitations as early as possible. You can do it via a detailed newsletter or by postal mail. One way that you can incite the attendees’ interest is to keep them in the loop of what’s happening. To keep them interested and excited about the upcoming event, encourage them to send ideas, stories, and updates for the mailings.

Create a group chat where you can send them updates months before the big day. You can also head to Facebook, create a private event page, and invite your relatives to join in. Alternatively, you can ask 1 of your committees to create emails and send updates from time to time.

5: Prepare a Wide Range of Activities

Prepare a wide range of entertaining activities for all age groups, such as watching a movie, casual chatting, or playing Myherocards games. You can even encourage youngsters to get into reading by displaying some age-appropriate books on a table.

You can also create treasure maps or challenge sheets to highlight the fun part further.

6: Food Should Be Provided

Aside from the location and budget, good food makes a family event extra special. Again, don’t overspend on food. Select food items that will cater to dietary requirements, are easy to manage and can provide a satisfying meal for all. You can also factor in some young-at-heart favorites like fairy floss, ice cream or a sweets station to make the event extra sweet and entertaining. This will be handy if you want to add some branding to your event.

As for the adults, you can add beer or wine. Finally, make sure you designate or reserve an area where families can mingle, and adults can chat comfortably.

7: Have a Weather Plan

Finally, prepare a wet weather plan when you are holding a family event with outdoor elements. This is important because cancelling on the day of the event is not an option.

For example, when the venue you’ve chosen is mainly outdoors with landscape lighting from Mississauga professionals, arrange for ponchos or umbrellas to be on standby. To warn your guests ahead and encourage attendance, you can include details of what they can do in case of wet weather. If you don’t have time or resources to spare, you can pick an undercover venue instead.

Holding family events at a convenient and visually pleasing attraction is easy to create an awesome day out for all ages and strengthen kinship. To ensure that the family event is successful, prepare an organized event planning system with the help of capable and eager committees of relatives. By doing so, everyone can sit back, relax, and enjoy the day.

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