Information Gathering


We’ve all learned the best way to plan and communicate something was to run through the Five W's: who, what, when, where, and why. In fact, they're the critical elements of information needed to communicate a full story, investigate a problem, and yes, even plan a family reunion.

Most of the time the order you think through the 5 Why’s doesn’t really matter, but to plan an effective family reunion requires that they be answered in a specific order: why, who, what, where, and when. By experience, following this order will set you on the right path in how to use time and resources wisely.

FIRST, WHY in PLANNING?

A good reunion planner will begin by asking "why"—why are we spending time and resources to plan this family reunion? This question really helps you to begin thinking about your purpose. The purpose of life is to “to come to earth to experience the joy—as well as pain—of a physical body” (mormon.org). As most would say, joy comes by spending time with your eternal family. Building family relations is what it’s all about in the long run.

IT’S ALL ABOUT WHO?

The second question is "who"—who is essential to achieving our goal of happiness? Of course, every family member is essential, however, a more fundamental answer to this question may be derived from the objectives identified above so that you can target whether or not your reunion should be with your immediate family, extended family, adult couples, and so on.

For example, you may feel that a relationship is strained amongst the adults in the family while all of the cousins are hunky dory. Thus, an effort may be made to planning a reunion for the adults only, this in an effort to concentrate on improving sibling and couples relations. It could also be used to express love to one that has fallen away from spirituality.

NEXT COMES, WHAT?

Next comes "what," as in what type of reunion should you plan in order to accomplish your objectives. This, of course, encompasses a whole host of group decision, from activities to length of time, and everything in between.

Build a FAMILY REUNION PLANNING SURVEY with a FREE Survey builder

To be sure and plan this appropriately, this is where I recommend you build a family reunion planning survey to gather everyone’s input. You can learn how to build a FREE survey, including what question you should ask right here at LDSreunion.com by clicking on the Reunion Survey link in the left navigation bar.

FINALLY, the WHERE? and WHEN?

Finally, the last two W's can also be addressed through the survey as you dive into the specifics of your reunion planning. The questions now revolves around where and when the best places and times are to communicate your "what" to your "who" in service of your "why." At this stage you'll be required to make many tactical decisions, in which the responses from your survey will help you make. Be sure to document the answers to your 5 W’s in your survey planning activity guide template.

In some ways the principles of reunion research are simple, but there simplicity can be deceptive as it does take a little time to complete, so don’t be tricked into thinking it’s not important – when it’s absolutely critical to the success of your reunion. 


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