We had a blast at the 2016 Schmidt Family Reunion at the Clay County Events Center in Spencer, Iowa this past summer! We reunited branches of the Schmidt family that had not seen each other in decades (and in some cases, centuries), brought cousins together from over 30 states and 3 countries, and broke the record for the largest reunion ever held by any family in the history of the state of Iowa.
Thank you to those who took part in the post-reunion email surveys. Your responses were valuable to the planning committee in making our next reunion (date and year to be determined) an even greater and more successful event. Here is what attendees thought about our 2016 reunion and our next get-together:
1. How often would you like to see the Schmidts organize a mega-reunion for all the branches?
The responses to this question averaged out to a Schmidt mega-reunion every 6.8 (or roughly 7) years.
2. How many days long should the next Schmidt Mega-Reunion be?
A majority of respondents (68.35%) said that the next Schmidt mega-reunion should be 1 day long. Another 27.85% felt that it should be 2 days long. The remainder of respondents advised one and a half days.
3. Please rate the quantity of food vendors at the 2016 Schmidt Reunion.
While the most common response to this question (29.49%) was that there was exactly the right number of food vendors at the reunion, the other responses were mostly scattered between “slightly less than ideal number of food vendors” to “definitely not enough food vendors,” indicating that our number of food vendors in 2016 was somewhat below where it needed to be.
4. Please rate the quantity of entertainment options at the 2016 Schmidt Reunion.
The most common response to this question (48.72%) was that there was exactly the right number of entertainment options at the reunion. While a few respondents felt there were too many entertainment options, a greater handful of respondents felt that there were not enough entertainment options. This indicates that our number of entertainment options in 2016 was slightly below where it needed to be.
5. Where should the next Schmidt Mega-Reunion be held?
The majority of respondents (55.13%) requested that the next Schmidt mega-reunion be held in Spencer, Iowa again. Handfuls of respondents also suggested the following locations (in order from more requested to least requested): Des Moines, Iowa; Twin Cities, Minnesota; Mankato, Minnesota; Waterloo, Iowa; Okoboji, Iowa; West Bend, Iowa; and Emmetsburg, Iowa.
6. Which of the following activities would you recommend we do again for the next reunion?
Majorities of respondents requested that we repeat the following activities at the next reunion (in order of most heavily requested to less heavily requested): food/snack vendors, kids games/activities, live musical entertainment, history presentations, family history museum, and an attempt to break some kind of record.
Majorities of respondents requested that we not repeat the following activities at the next reunion (in order of most unwanted to less unwanted): free German language lessons, classic car show, German language church service, German bingo, and a craft market.
Some respondents submitted ideas for activities that we did not offer at the 2016 reunion, but which they would like to see at the next reunion. Those ideas include: mixers and introduction games, an auction, a playground for kids, polka lessons and dances, designated times for photographs of each family branch, and a talent show.
7. What other activities would you like to see in the next Schmidt Mega-Reunion?
The most popular requests which a majority of respondents requested for the next reunion are: selling commemorative reunion t-shirts, sports tournaments, and having a professional photographer available to take family photos.
8. If you attended, what were the factors in your decision to attend?
Respondents ranked their motivations to attend the 2016 Schmidt Mega-Reunion as follows (from most important to least important): finding out our family history, trying to break a record, getting together with closer family members, getting to know distant cousins, consuming German food and drink, and enjoying live music and entertainment.
Thank you again to all who attended, contributed to, and volunteered at the 2016 Schmidt Family Mega-Reunion! Please contact us if you would like to be involved in the planning of the next reunion. We will do all we can to incorporate your feedback and make the next gathering the best one yet.