Make a great first impression by handing your guests welcome packets as they arrive at the reunion. These bags can be filled with both helpful information and fun treats. If your reunion has a theme, the contents of your welcome packet are like an introduction; they set the tone for the event. Include an item or two that expresses your theme. For instance, if you are doing a luau theme, a plastic lei would be perfect.
Being organized will make your job easier, so fill and label the bags ahead of time, then store them alphabetically. Local businesses often supply promotional items (like pens, pads, and magnets) for large groups. Even though you may get a bunch of pens that say "Steve's Ice Cream, Newport, Rhode Island," you're getting free pens that offer some local flavor. Freebies can stretch a tight budget, and out-of-town guests will enjoy the free souvenir. For more complimentary treats or regional brochures, contact the local Chamber of Commerce or Visitors Bureau and tell them you are having a reunion.
It's also nice to include regional gifts like sourdough rolls (if you're having the reunion in San Francisco) or maple sugar candy (if your clan is gathering in Vermont).
Start off your welcome packet with a few of these easy-to-find items:
Fun and functional party favors can really make an event. Favors can be homemade, like cookies baked from a family recipe or a family phone book assembled from the guest list. Free promotional items from local businesses (as mentioned above) can help to fill out your favor bags, and they make quaint souvenirs for out-of-town guests. Reunion T-shirts and other personalized products are very popular and available in a wide price range. When ordering items with minimums, contact the company if you need less; most firms will produce less at a slightly higher price per item and a small setup charge.
Always ask about a volume discount when you order more than a half dozen of items sold singly. To get an idea of what items can be personalized, check out the varied assortment of products at Marnex Products, where you'll find flashlights, folders, toothbrushes, T-shirts, and much more. Remember to include a simple but special favor for kids to enjoy on the ride home.
You can find party favors at many price ranges. Here, we suggest favors as low as $5 apiece and as much as $15 each.