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Family Reunion Forum

Re: When Family Members Don't Respond

Hi Toni,
One thing I had to learn is that family will NOT respond when you want them to and like you want them to. We are procrastinators to a large degree. I'm sorry, but that's the truth.

Asking family members to decide a year before the reunion if they are going to attend is probably stretching it a bit. In my experiences, I've discovered that a lot of folk do not like to respond, or give a definite yah or nay, until they are really sure they are going. And in a lot of cases, many make their final decision weeks before the reunion.

You will have those who will immediately give a response but end up not participating at all.
You will have those who won't respond at all, but they will be right there front and center at the reunion.
You will have those who will respond eventually, and they indeed plan to attend.

A general rule of thumb nowadays is to start planning at least a year in advance. But, in my opinion, I wouldn't start nailing down the attendance number until a month or two before the reunion. For many hotels - if they are catering the events - they typically want the final attendance number a week before the event. However, if they (or caterers) ask for an expected attendance number, start off low with the understanding that the number will likely increase.

Case and point: when my cousins in the Midwest started planning the first Danner Family Reunion, the chairperson was indeed frustrated that she had not heard from hardly anyone concerning their intentions. She was ready to cancel everything, but a few of us urged her to don't give up. Getting us to respond is like pulling unloosened teeth! Well, she decided to continue with the plans, and the reunion was a BIG success. Around 100 family members attended this first reunion, and now the family is excited about future reunions and including more family members.

Hope this helps. Good Luck!

18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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