Are you planning a family, military or other type of reunion? A reunion is a great way to gather your family together even as it is growing and changing. It’s an opportunity to celebrate history, recent achievements, and new additions. A picnic in the park, an outdoor barbecue, or a park gathering are all casual venues that will attract even the most aloof members of your group for an afternoon of fun in the sun.
For your next reunion, there’s more than ever to discover in Duncan and Southwest Oklahoma. From the Chisholm Trail to family fun, Duncan is a great place to reconnect and recharge with the whole gang. With the right research and planning, your reunion will definitely boast a wide assortment of places to go and things to do for all ages and personalities.
Here are some tips on planning your next reunion in Duncan, Oklahoma.
Where to start:
2 years to 18 months out: Start early to keep your reunion on track and everyone informed. Start gathering contact information and get in touch with a handful of members to help with the planning. Determine interest by sending out a family poll (by e-mail or by post), get an idea of how many people would attend, and find out what time of year, dates, and locations would work best.
18 to 12 months out: Contact the Duncan Convention & Visitors Bureau for lodging and venue suggestions. You can find just about any type of group lodging accommodation in Duncan; hotels, motels, charming bed and breakfasts , and camping at RV parks or tent sites. Choose what’s best for your reunion because without a doubt, we offer it!
The Duncan CVB staff can help narrow down options for you and even contact the hotels on your behalf for rate information. They can also make suggestions for tours or other activities that are appropriate for you event.
12-9 months out: Ask for help. You’ll need to find dependable and enthusiastic members who could take charge of various parts of the event. Assign someone to menu planning including potluck assignments or finding a caterer. The Duncan CVB staff can help find restaurant and catering options. An artistic member can help with decorations, invitations, and signs. Putting one person in charge of printed materials will help ensure a consistent theme for the event. The Duncan CVB can even provide photos for your invitations, printed materials and online information. A creative or athletic volunteer can help plan activities and entertainment. The CVB can help make tour suggestions and help find locations for outdoor fun.
9-6 months out: Get the word out by sending invitations–include information like when, where, who to contact, cost (if applicable), and any appropriate web addresses (your own website, your organization’s website, www.visitduncan.org, etc). Have the reply date set for three – four months later. Also, make sure that if there is a registration fee to cover expenses that group members know to send it along with their confirmation.
6 months out: Send out a newsletter, updating the guest list if necessary, and letting everyone know what’s in store for this event.
3 months out: Send out the next newsletter; ask for event volunteers, and include information like what food or other items to bring. Remind them to make their lodging arrangements.
1 month out: Send out your next newsletter to let everyone know things are going according to plan and you’re looking forward to seeing them soon! Remind them to start gathering old photos and other memorabilia. This is also the time to start gathering your volunteers together if haven’t already. Start picking assignments such as meal coordination, games, history contact, etc. Contact the Duncan Convention & Visitors Bureau again to make arrangements for visitor information for your goody bags and to finalize any tour options.
2 weeks out: Check back in with your planning group and activity volunteers. Make sure everyone is ready for the reunion. At this time, enlist help from people attending for clean up and back up assistance in case one of your key volunteers can’t make it. Check in with the hotel or lodging provider for reservations, meeting space or food arrangements. Check in with in other venues you may be using or other reservations you have made for your event. This is the time to double check that checklist to ensure a great event.
Ways to Reminisce:
As you are enjoying your reunion, come prepared with some of your group’s history. This will be the perfect time to ask people about members with whom you’ve lost touch. You never know! Your reunion can not only be an exciting and fun time, it might just become a learning experience as well!
With technology today don’t forget to use video to record oral histories or bring a small scanner and laptop to set up a photo scanning area. Encourage members to bring their photos to be archived and shared.
But don’t forget to take photos of the present day activities as well. You can then post photos and testimonials to appropriate websites following your event. The Duncan CVB can help you find a professional photographer for an official photo or to capture candid moments throughout your event. All of this will help ensure that your next reunion is even bigger and better!
Goody Bag Ideas:
Reunion favors, videos, history pamphlet, or T-shirts can all be part of a goody bag or for sale to attendees to help offset the cost. Members will want something to remember this grand occasion. Ask an artistic member to design a T-shirt, hat, sweatshirt, or other personalized clothing item. If you decide to give out favors, disposable cameras and matchboxes are two budget-friendly options that can be personalized for your event. And don’t forget information about Duncan and the surrounding area. The Duncan CVB can provide visitor guides, maps and coupons for your bags to help everyone have a great time.
Duncan has a variety of meeting spaces and locations. An example would be the family reunion package at the Simmons Center, which includes:
8 hour book (times determined by day chosen)
Red Bud Courtyard or Chisholm Trail Hall III
Seating for up to 120 at round tables, with a buffet line
Skirting on all buffet tables
Additional access to the recreation facilities at the Simmons Center for up to 120 for $100.00
Submit your interest in the family reunion package at the Simmons Center here.