BETA

How to Plan a Family Reunion with Your Coconut

So you have a family reunion coming up? Or perhaps you'd like to plan one? Need a free family reunion website? We'll show you here how to plan a fun and successful reunion using Your Coconut to help organize all the information. And all while at the same time avoiding headaches!

Who, When, and Where?

First, there are a few questions you need to ask yourself when organizing a family reunion. The first question is: Who will be invited to the reunion? Family reunions can range in size from quite small with just a handful of people, to very large, with multiple generations and distant relatives. The planning will of course be easier for a smaller gathering, but often larger reunions are more fun, with the opportunity of introducing relatives who have never met before. It's probably best to keep your invitation plan very straightforward, so Aunt Mitsy doesn't wonder why she's been left out.

Once you've figured out how many people to invite, then you can start narrowing down your choices for location. For a small group this will be fairly easy. For a larger group, the rule of thumb would be to find a location which is convenient for as many people as possible. However, another option would be to have a "destination" reunion, where everyone travels to a fun location. Perhaps a Caribbean cruise, or a beach resort? Keep in mind that not all your guests may have the same travel budget.

And the other big question is: When to hold the gathering? Summer is a popular time, especially if there are a lot of families with kids involved. Not everyone may want to pull their kids out of school, so aiming for summer vacation is a convenient way to sidestep that problem.

Another question to consider is: Over what length of time will the reunion take place? A simple meet-for-dinner, or a one-week extravaganza? Whatever you choose you should expect that different guests will have different schedules and may want the ability to pop in and pop out easily when they need to. But one thing to keep in mind, the larger the gathering, the earlier you will probably want to start planning and making reservations.

Cost

Ah, yes, it would be nice not to have to think of the cost required. But unless the startup you founded has recently IPO'd, this is almost certainly something that needs to be considered and discussed: How will the reunion be paid for? Most likely the cost will need to be split up among the guests, but how will you keep track of who owes what, and who will collect the money, and when? That's where the next section might come in handy.

Divide and Conquer

Hopefully you aren't doing all the organizing yourself. And if you are, perhaps its time to gather the troops to help out. For a multi-day affair, it may make sense to have certain guests volunteer to organize a portion of the reunion. For example, one person could be in charge of the first dinner, another in charge of finding hotel rooms, etc. Each activity could be organized by a group of people, or a committee.

Food!

And of course let's not forget the food. There's nothing to lift spirits and smooth over conflicts like a good meal. Most reunions include at least one meal. The possibilities for meal times are endless. For small gatherings, you may wish to simply meet at the house of one of the relatives. Or perhaps you want to reserve a room at a restaurant. Larger hotels will often give you the option of having a catered meal. And of course you could always arrange a picnic, where different people bring different dishes. And again it may be easier to have everyone pay individually, or for multiple-day events, you might wish to have different groups sponsor different meals, for example you could have the other family members who are in the same generation as you sponsor one meal, etc.

Invites, Communication, and Keeping Track of It All

And here is where Your Coconut comes in handy. In days past, trying to communicate all this information and keep track of everything could be quite painful, not just for you but also the invites. One thing to avoid is having all the information scattered about, in 57 separate email messages plus a smattering of phone messages and hastily-written notes.

Fortunately, Your Coconut makes it all easy. It's how you can create a website for your family reunion which will store and hold the information about activities, lodging, transportation, and more, all in one place. For example, if you've organized a dinner, you can create an entry for it, with the name of the restaurant, the address and phone number, website address, and other miscellaneous notes you might have. The same goes for lodging information. It's all the information for your family get-together in one place, on one website.

And, of course, you need to invite your guests at some point. Your Coconut allows you to invite guests via email. You can invite many guests at once. Each will receive an email invitation from Your Coconut and they can then click a link in the email to view the information you've placed on the site. They do not need to sign up for an account, and can even contribute changes and additions if you choose to. Will they be able to attend the reunion? They can respond with "Yes", "No", or "Maybe".

Your Coconut will keep track of your guests, whether they are attending, how many people are in their party, etc. A handy table lists all the information for guests in one place.

And keeping track of transportation is also easy with Your Coconut. If people are flying in from various parts of the country, or even other countries, you may need to figure out who will have their own transporation and match them up with those who will need a ride. With Your Coconut you can keep track of the flight information for each guest. You can also keep track of rental car information.

The Day Approacheth

As the date for the event draws near, be sure to keep the information on Your Coconut up-to-date, and remind your guests of the website, and to update their attendance status there. You can use the Notes fields on events, lodging entries, flight information, etc. to keep track of miscellaneous helpful information, for example links to websites with activities near a hotel. You can use the "Misc Info" section to list miscellaneous tidbits of information, such as "don't-forget" messages and other things. Be sure to leave your cell phone number or some other means of communication so that your guests can easily contact someone when their flight arrives 17 hours late and the rental car places have all closed.

Have Fun

Finally, enjoy your get-together! You can finally reap the rewards of your hard work. Relax and enjoy meeting and interacting with your family. Your Coconut now lets you upload your photos. All your invitees can upload their photos and share them with the group.

And please let us know how Your Coconut worked for you and your family. Everyone can use the feedback fields at the bottom of each page to leave us a quick note and let us know if you have any comments, questions, or suggestions. Enjoy!

Now, you can click here to get started!