OK, so now it is the big day. You have your games planned, the menu has been organized, and you have made your contact forms. The only thing left to do is to greet your family members as they arrive.
If possible, see if you can put together a welcoming committee to greet everyone as they arrive at the family reunion. Again, if you are having the get together at some place with doors, post a group of people at each door that will be used.
Try to get four or five people to be a part of your welcoming committee. Ideally, these people shouldn’t be you and your immediate family. Rather, you should have people representing different branches of the family tree there with you.
The welcoming committee could be responsible for distributing the contact forms to guests as they arrive. If you have a put together some formal events that will be occurring at specific times, you can also distribute programs to your family members as they arrive so they can have a better idea of what to expect.
Even if you don’t have times set aside for certain activities, you can still distribute an informational brochure of flier that simply tells them what is on the menu and what activities are available for them to participate in. For example, you might remind them that there is a baseball field where they are free to put together a game. Be sure to include information regarding where this equipment can be found if it is not located nearby and in an area that can be easily spotted.
As you welcome your guests, you might even want to consider distributing nametags. I know, this seems strange since you are all family. But, if you don’t get together that often, it is easy to forget the names of some of the family members – particularly since the list of family members is continually growing.
If you do decide to issue nametags, you might want to find a way to honor certain members of the family with the nametags they receive. For example, those that have served in the military may receive a camouflage nametag. Or, the oldest member and the youngest member of the family might receive some form of tag that designates that them as being special.
Above all, work at making your family members feel comfortable as they arrive. More than likely, there are tensions among some of your family members and you don’t want those to surface because people are feeling uncomfortable or disoriented. In addition, while some of your family members will be close, some of them won’t know each other particularly well.
Encourage mingling as soon as your guests begin arriving. You might want to do this by giving each guest a card that says something like, “Find a person with brown hair and glasses and ask him what he does for a living.” If you catch someone just sitting around, give him another card so the mingling will continue!
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