Family Reunion Interest Survey
Planning a Family Reunion?
An interest survey can help determine your family's expectations and priorities. Find out what's important to your relatives and what activities they are interested in.
How much money are they willing to spend? How far are they willing to travel? When do the kids get out of school? These and other questions will establish guidelines and perspective to use throughout the planning process.
Discover the answers to the hard questions before you make reservations. After all, if you’re going to the work of planning a reunion, you want people to attend – right? Use the family reunion survey to gauge interests and preferences.
Knowing your extended family’s wants and wishes will allow you to focus your reunion planning on the most important elements. Plus, when you talk to family early in the planning process and honestly solicit their input, they will have a vested interest right from the beginning.
Interest Survey Questions
- What is the primary purpose of getting together? In other words - why are family reunions important? (Trust me - the answers will give perspective to the entire planning process! Some of our family view the reunion as a vacation opportunity while others see the primary focus as simply gathering together. As you can imagine, these perspectives influence where individual families want to gather, as well as how they wish to spend their money and time.)
- What parts of past family reunions or family gatherings have you enjoyed the most?
- Were there elements missing from those family events?
- Which dates do you prefer? (But give choices! If this is an open-ended question, you'll never come to a consensus.) How long do you prefer to stay?
- What is the best reunion location? (Include options and a potential cost estimate with each.)
- How do you want to handle meals? What would make the family reunion food elements successful? (Is potluck an option? What about cooking together verses meal assignments verses hiring a caterer?)
- What activities are you interested in? (Options could include: camping, games, crafts, skits or talent show, hiking, water play, golf, sight-seeing, family stories, genealogy, fund raiser, service project… any activity that is available and might interest your family.)
- Which portion(s) of the reunion would you be willing to supervise?
- Do you have any special needs or considerations we should be aware of? (This could include physical conditions such as pregnancy or mobility.)
- How would you define a "successful" family reunion? (As mentioned before, not everyone will have the same feelings toward a reunion or the importance of gathering. The answers here will allow the family reunion planner to clearly identify the most important - or at least the most common - reunion elements.)
Include any other questions that will help give the event planner some planning guidelines.
Interest Survey Formatting Tips
The interest survey document must be EASY to read, EASY to fill out and EASY to return if you want any of them back. And even so, you'll probably need to remind and coax opinions and preferences out of people. I don't mean to be negative. It's just that most people have a hard enough time thinking about what's for dinner on any particular night. Putting thought and care into an event that's 1-2 years out is not your average Joe's cup of tea.
- Give choices and options whenever possible. This is especially important when it comes to date and location. You will not be able to please everyone, so don't try.
- Make the document in worksheet format. In other words, leave blanks that can be filled in and plenty of writing space after each question.
- Assign a deadline for returning the survey. (And make sure you leave yourself enough time to follow up with important stragglers before your real deadline.)
- Don't forget to include your contact information.
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