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5 Tips for Planning Your Family Reunion in PA

The year 2020 felt like a strange time warp that seemed to pass us by in a blink of an eye, put in slow motion. In that blink, your best friend gave birth to their first child, your parents rescued three dogs, your brother got a promotion, and you proudly received your bachelor’s degree after enduring a stressful additional year of studying. Life still happened and there’s a lot to catch up on (almost a year’s worth)! Whether it is with your family, your close friends, or your coworkers, it’s time to hit the reconnect button. Let’s start planning!

Ironically, outdoor events have become the safe zone for event planners. There’s nothing like breathing in the fresh air, however there is always the weather factor that comes with the outdoor territory. So how do you “weatherproof” your event? The following five tips will help you choose a location in Pennsylvania for this year's family reunion that has a nice balance of outdoor “green” space, and indoor banquet and restaurant space to accommodate your group indoors or out.

1. Select a venue with experience

Plan A is always ideal, but it’s good to have a Plan B that fits your vision just as well. Ask questions like, “What do you do if it starts to drizzle an hour before the start time of an outdoor event” or, “Barbecues require outdoor cooking. If it rains, how do you handle food preparation”. What if there is a random cold front, does your venue have portable heaters, or a firepit to keep your guests nice and toasty? An experienced management team will always have a contingency plan, and you need to discuss this up front. If they don’t have a good solution, it might be best to move on to another venue.

2. Put a lid on it

If you decide to host your outdoor event at a park, swim club, picnic area, or even an open field, you are probably in the majority; however you may have missed one big consideration. What do you do if it rains, especially if cancelling is not an option? Select venues that have an option to “put a lid on it”! Most parks have pavilions, but otherwise, finding a sufficient “lid” would be up to you (this is where that handy pop-up tent would come into play). With the abundance of outdoor dining and events this passed year, it’s likely your venue will have the tented option you’re looking for.

3. Do your research

Knowledge is power, and it’s all at the tip of your fingers. Go on the internet and look up “the best” family reunions, corporate picnics, teambuildings, golf outings, barbecues, etc. Customer reviews will always be your best resource.

4. Timing is everything

Summertime is the best time to take advantage of “value dates”, with the exception of summer vacation resorts! This is a great time to negotiate rates for weekend hotel rates and package deals. Think of everything that you could possibly need for your event and dream big! Does your venue have an indoor pool and outdoor pool? Can you offer a round of golf on a championship course and have planned spouse activities as well? Would your cocktail reception be as fun at the indoor bar as well as the outdoor terrace? Find out every amenity that is offered under one roof and negotiate!

5. Turn lemons in to lemonade

Montgomery County is home to the area’s most beautiful, versatile, and affordable picnic space in the entire tri-state area and many properties can bring the picnic indoors if it starts to rain. The industry has seen a shift in venue selection for summer activities to include rural hotel properties with all services under one roof including hotel rooms, banquet facilities, golf courses, and green space for playing! This has proven to be the very best way to “weatherproof” your event because the contingency plan is to bring the entire event indoors. You would be amazed how a ballroom can be transformed to be the perfect setting to do just about anything! Teambuilding experts know how to get everyone involved in friendly competition that might be as much or more fun than any outdoor activity. Most ballrooms have built in A/V and creating a “Movie Tavern” showing a great flick with an abundance of popcorn, milk duds, and lemonade, could be exactly how you turn lemons in to lemonade.

After all, “weather happens”, so don’t be caught without your umbrella this summer at and The Belle of Blue Bell Country Club and Normandy Farm Hotel and Conference Center .

Contact our team of experts today at (215) 616-8500 and let us help you create the perfect setting for your outdoor event, with no rain dates needed!

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