FEB 2017

ConventionSouth magazine is the leading resource for meeting planners who book all types of events, conventions, conferences and group travel in the south.

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F E B R U A R Y 2 0 1 7 ⎜ ConventionSouth ⎜ w w w . c o n v e n t i o n s o u t h . c o m 39 MARGET SEGMENT: REUNIONS & SOCIAL GROUPS planning a reunion is welcome to attend. Over the years of organizing the work- shops and planning reunions, Moore has seen trends evolve. Today's family reunions still incorporate the traditional outside picnic but many also include special events to liven up the party and to get to know one another better along with their shared history. "A lot of groups are including rec- ognition of family history, and I am seeing a theme of families wanting to do multimedia presentations of family heritage at their reunion events," said Moore, adding that the workshop is a great place to understand how to emphasize family history during reunions. "We have a lady who comes to the vendor part of the workshop who does her own genealogy research for attendees." Several DeKalb County and Atlanta venues are dedicated to genealogy including the DeKalb History Center, Atlanta History Center, National Archives in Atlanta and Georgia Genealogical Society. Reunion planners can incorporate visits to these fam- ily heritage sites into their reunions as well. One issue family reunions have, espe- cially larger ones, is that extended family members do not always know each other. Moore explained there are several ways to help with this, which are discussed at the workshops. "Family reunions can have talent shows that showcase each person's abilities and help family members get to know each other's interests, who they are, what they do. They may do a gymnastics routine, something to do with their particu- lar sport, or sing." In addition, a great idea for getting reunion attendees out of their comfort zone and meeting others they may not know is to use specific place cards at tables. "You can have everyone sit at the same table with birthdays in the same month or place cards with attendees' names that also give specific instructions like, 'Find your cousin named Joe Smith,'" said Moore. "If the attendee doesn't know Joe, they must go mingle until they find him and find out specific info about him to share. After this exercise, they will definitely know more about each other and hopefully have a new relationship with a family member." n TOP TRENDS For Fantastic Reunions Every reunion planner has seen trends change over the years but what always stays the same is the endeavor to make each reunion memorable and satisfying. Planners have shared the five current top trends for fun reunions that are sure to make your event a success. • Reception Food Stations are the latest trend in serving food at reunions, offering a fun chance to mingle • Photo Booths can be used so guests can make new memories with their fellow reunion attendees, complete with fun, silly props • Signature Drinks that incorporate themes and flavors that relate to the reunion attendees are popular • Paperless Reunion Invitations enable those who want to keep the reunion more environ- mentally friendly • Multimedia Presentations that take advantage of the latest technology allow organizers to showcase nostalgia in a memorable way n

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