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Chosen to host your family reunion or volunteered to plan your church retreat?

by Melinda Garritano, Senior Account Executive at Meet Chicago Northwest

Successful events require planning! Here are a few tips to get started:

Decide whom you want to invite:

  • Immediate family or descendants of great-great grandparents?
  • As you branch out on the family tree, you will have more people.  Don’t exclude part of a branch.  You don’t want hurt feelings.

Contacting your guests:

  • Know how many you can COUNT on to attend.  If your list is short, start with phone calls.  Use e-mails or Facebook to let everyone know what is in the works – also a great way to stay in touch!
  • Send a survey to update contacts, form committees for budgets and collect money; organize reunion activities (games/picnics).

Select a date:

  • Summer break, a special holiday or anniversary to celebrate?
  • For retreats, are weekends better for those who work during the week?

Select a location and hotel:

  • Will it be where the volunteer lives? Is there a special destination to visit? Host in a central location for attendees?

Hosting at a hotel can be a great way to relax and visit with family or concentrate on your retreat objectives.

  • Hotels with a pool and game room are ideal for families.
  • If you have attendees who want to talk and reminisce, a property with a large lobby or hospitality room works well.

Group Rates:

  • Group rates for airlines, hotels and meals may start at 10 people or more.  Remember, the time/dates you choose can affect the cost of travel and hotels.

Your Local CVB experts are here to help:

  • Your local convention bureau will assist with location selection, recommending available dates for your event and many other services.  Let us do the legwork!

Contact Melinda Garritano for information on our workshops.

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