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Family Reunion Website - A Must For Any Successful Family Reunion

May 9, 2008
With family members spread across the country and around the world, it becomes more and more important to make use of the Internet to keep everyone up to date with family reunion plans. Coordinating schedules, procuring funds to pay for the event and final details can be taken care of as a group, a true family venture and a great start to a successful family reunion.

Getting Started

Setting up a website for your family reunion doesn't have to be intricate or involved. You can put a few "hidden" pages on a site you already have or choose a free site for your purposes. As long as everyone in the family has the URL, then they shouldn't have any problem finding your family reunion site and adding their input as decisions are made. You can even purchase a domain name that uses your family name like www.smithfamilyreunion.com so that everyone can remember the site name. Have everyone "subscribe" to the site as members so that you can get everyone's contact information and make it accessible to everyone else in the family to better facilitate ride sharing and the like. Then sign up everyone for an automatic email list so that people will be notified when new information goes up on the site. Your entire website could be setup using a blog like wordpress or b2evolution which your hosting provider should offer for free.

Tip: A family website for your immediate family is a great way to let all your extended family and friends keep up with the happenings within your brood throughout the year.

Get Everyone's Input

In order to nail down the basic information about the reunion, you should first ask for ideas from family members. Start a blog and have everyone post or have them email their ideas to you. Choose the most popular and create interactive polls on the website so that everyone can vote. Topics of polls can include:

*Dates for the event
*Money issues

The best dates for these events are usually during a school break--summer or winter holidays are the most popular--so that more family members will be able to come. A central location is usually preferable to one that is more exotic if for no other reason than to keep costs down. Money, too, is a huge issue so a bank account opened for the purpose or an online tally of funds donated for event expenses and managed by a family member are both good ideas.

Tip: A blog is a great way to keep in touch with family whether or not a family reunion is on the horizon. Consider starting one just for your family.

Building Momentum

Once the basic decisions of dates and locations are determined, post them on your family reunion site. As you wait for the event to arrive, post notifications as the plans progress. If you're delegating different duties--reservations, hotels, food--you can post that as well. Let people know when reservations are finalized, what still needs to be done and, of course, if any last minute changes come up. If people will need to rent a car or a hotel room, post some resources for them. Remind people as the date approaches so that they won't forget to make travel arrangements if necessary.

Tip: One fun thing to do to get people in the spirit is have them send a childhood memory and a few digital photographs to you to post on the site.

After the Reunion is Over

Of course, there will be tons of pictures to commemorate your family reunion and one way to easily share them with everyone is to post them on your family reunion site. If you decide to make it an annual event, you may choose to maintain your site and keep the discussion rolling throughout the year as you plan the following year's event. Build an archive of past reunions and keep collecting the memories of your family members throughout the years. You can also collect the memories and photos and create an online family memory book. You can even make it available for print and production or send them out every year like a school yearbook. No matter what you decide, starting a family reunion website will help everyone in your extended family keep in touch and excited about your next family reunion.
About the Author
Madison Lockwood is a customer relations associate for Apollo Hosting . She brings years of experience as a small business consultant helping prospective clients understand the ways in which a website may benefit them both personally and professionally. Apollo Hosting provides website hosting , ecommerce hosting , vps hosting , and web design services to a wide range of customers. Established in 1999, Apollo prides itself on the highest levels of customer support. Click for more hosting articles .
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