Hospitality Answerman

About the Hospitality Answerman

Dean Miller, national sales director for Visit Fairfax (, the convention and visitors bureau in Fairfax County, Virginia, is a great friend of reunions. Contact him (703-790-0643; when you are planning a reunion in the Washington, DC, area. Fairfax County is nearby, affordable, and conveniently located to all the area has to offer. 

Just starting out: what questions to expect.


Q: I’ve read your articles in the magazine and have seen you say in several that when we’re ready to plan our reunion, the first call we make should be to the convention bureau in the city where we’re thinking of meeting. We’re ready to start working on a 2016 reunion, but what will they ask me when I call? Will I have to pay or sign a contract? We’re not a big group … will they even be interested in talking to us? A: The answer is Yes! The convention bureau will most definitely be interested in talking with…

Where, oh, where to start?


Q? When several members of our family got together for Thanksgiving dinner, we agreed we needed to have a big family reunion next summer. Many of our aunts, uncles and cousins live all across the country, and there are cousins we haven’t seen in many years. There are ten-year old nieces and nephews we’ve never even met. Somehow, by the end of the evening, I had been “volunteered” by everyone around the table to coordinate the reunion. Help!! I’ve never planned anything more complicated than my daughter’s birthday party … where do I start and what do I do? A! First things…

We don’t know where to have our reunion


Q: My brother and I have just decided we need to plan a family reunion and we don’t know where to start. We haven’t even decided where to have it. Half of the family is in Maryland and New Jersey, and the other half is down south. A: We’ve tackled this question before, but it’s always worth revisiting. Selection of the site for your reunion will most definitely impact attendance, so you want to choose wisely. In a nutshell, the best location for any group will be determined by the number of group members and their needs and interests. Start by asking…

Setting the stage


Q? My family has a reunion every two years. This year it is in Colorado and we are looking for ideas for the next reunion. We are spread across the country and are looking for a central location. It is getting more difficult to plan a reunion since the number of family members is growing and it is hard for one person to organize everything. We are from Minnesota, Michigan, California, Colorado, Virginia and Arizona. Any ideas would be appreciated. A! The planner is actually asking two questions here, and we’ll address both Question # 1 – Where should we meet? Question…

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