Are Reunions Recession-proof?

MILWAUKEE, May 22 /PRNewswire/ — Reunions magazine has learned over almost 20 years that reunions seem to be recession-proof, with fine anecdotal information to explain it.

In economic times like these, families are even more committed to be together. A Reunions magazine reader survey in April indicated that, while occasional reunion members might have to rethink their trips, little is changing for 2008 reunions. Reunions for 2009 and 2010 — planned at least one year in advance — are searching now for locations.

Edith Wagner, editor of Reunions magazine, spoke recently at four reunion-planning workshops, sponsored by convention and visitor bureaus (CVB), and was encouraged by large turnouts and enthusiasm. She polled other CVBs that offer reunion-planning workshops and learned that attendance is growing, and that the number of contacts for new reunions is up.

Nikki Donald at the Detroit Metro CVB says their spring seminar usually attracts up to 250 attendees, but this year there were over 400. Katie Reeder at Alpharetta, Georgia’s, CVB, says inquiries from reunions are on the rise. Bookings at Linda Busby’s Gwinnett County Georgia’s CVB are up 40%. And Lori Kearney of Meet Minneapolis reports attendance up.

Undeniably, recession has hit some reunions, according to Cricket Elliott at Gwinnett CVB who says modifications include staying closer to home or making reunions shorter to cut costs.’s recent quarterly Traveler Update Report(TM) found that 50 percent of respondents say “extended family” is the group with whom they would most like to travel. That’s the perfect inspiration for a family reunion. And all the old rules apply: start early, don’t do it alone, plan something for everyone, make it affordable and have fun.

About reunions

Reunions magazine’s conservative estimate is that 350,000 reunions take place each year: 200,000 family, 150,000 class and 5,000 military and others, with attendance averaging 50 individuals each. That means that more than 17 million people will attend reunions this year.

About Reunions magazine

Reunions magazine is a reader-driven publication (five/year + workbook) which tackles reunion planning issues. provides hundreds of pages of planning materials, podcasts, listings and a forum.

Editor’s Note

Review copies of Reunions magazine and Reunions Workbook available; [email protected], 800-373-7933×6

Edith Wagner, Reunions magazine editor, is author of Reunions Workbook: The Family Reunion Sourcebook (1999, McGraw-Hill). Interviews happily granted as well as help with interview contacts.

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Source: Reunions magazine

CONTACT: Edith Wagner, Editor of Reunions magazine,
1-800-373-7933, ext. 6,
[email protected]

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