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Reunion workshop deadline nearing

ALBANY, Ga. — Folks who want a leg up on planning family reunions are getting close to a January 27 deadline to register for a course that will help them prepare, Convention and Visitor’s Bureau officials say.

The CVB and the Albany Civil Rights Institute are hosting a family reunion workshop 1 p.m. Feb. 4 at the ACRI at 326 Whitney Ave.

But those wishing to attend have to register by Jan. 27, CVB spokesperson Teresa Smith said.

The workshop will feature a guest speaker to help educate attendees on the best way to plan and execute their events and will provide reunion planners an opportunity to meet with various vendors from around the area.

“This year we have Jeff Mills of Mills Marketing, who is a long history in the hospitality and tourism industry,” Smith said. “He’s coming to basically show coordinators how to plan a reunion from a to z.”

Traditionally family reunions in the south are a big deal from both the planning aspect and in terms of their economic impact.

Last year alone, the CVB assisted coordinators with planning more than 50 reunions. And since reunions often involve family members from out-of-town, Albany and Dougherty County reap the benefits of thousands of dollars in sales and hotel-motel tax revenues while area businesses and restaurants typically see a bump while family members are in town.

“Albany is really becoming more of a destination for reunions because of local attractions like the Riverquarium and Chehaw and because of the inexpensive things to do,” Smith said. “With the economy the way it is right now, people aren’t going to the larger theme parks or cities for their reunions. They’re staying closer to home.”

Smith said attendees will have an opportunity to speak one-on-one with hotel and conference center staff.

The event is free, but to register coordinators should call Smith at 229-317-4760 or go to visitalbanyga.com for more information.