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Tips for a Successful Virtual Family Reunions

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Dr. Timothy Teague, AuD
Latest posts by Dr. Timothy Teague, AuD (see all)

Your 2020 holiday plans might look a little different this year, but you can still get together with your family virtually. There are lots of ways to connect with loved ones online, and you can plan a virtual family reunion to celebrate the holidays. These tips will help you have a fun virtual get together.

Make a Schedule

The best way to have a successful virtual event is to make a clear schedule. It’s frustrating waiting for everyone to show up to a meeting, so make a plan before your family reunion and let everyone know the schedule ahead of time. These are the things you should include in the schedule:

  • The reunion start time
  • The order of events
  • The reunion end time
  • Anything to prepare, such as food items, games, or holiday clothing

Sharing all this information with your family ahead of time will help make your virtual family reunion a big success.

Keep Your Holiday Traditions Alive

Does your family have some holiday traditions? You can find ways to share your traditions online. 

  • If your family plays games during the holidays you can try a game of Pictionary, or find an online game you can play together. 
  • If you love to share food over the holidays, ask each family member to bring a special dish to the reunion and show it off for the family.
  • If you love listening to holiday tunes, set aside some time in the schedule to listen to some music together.
  • If you love dressing up for the holidays, challenge your family to come in their holiday finest, or to find a great holiday sweater to wear to the reunion.

Test It Out Ahead of Time

If you’ve never held an online meeting before, test it out ahead of time. Make sure you know how to start the meeting, invite participants, and work out any technical glitches before reunion day. You can also invite several family members to test it out ahead of time. Some of your family members may not be very comfortable with online meetings, and you can help them learn to log in, turn on their camera, or unmute their mics. 

Having a test before the reunion will take the pressure off, and you’ll be confident hosting the meetings. It will also relieve the stress some of your family members may feel about having an online reunion.

Helping Everyone Hear

Is someone in your family hard of hearing? Virtual meetings can be challenging for people with hearing loss, but there are a few things you can do to make it easy for your loved ones to participate in the reunion.

  • Ask your family to speak one at a time. When several people talk at once, the audio will jump back and forth between the people talking, and it’s very hard to understand what’s being said.
  • Ask everyone to set up their screen in a brightly lit room. Making sure all the faces are well lit helps everyone communicate. It’s easy to see who’s speaking, and to see facial expressions or other non-verbal cues.
  • Ask the family to join the meeting on their computers rather than their phones. The larger screen will make it easy to see all the participants, and it will also keep the screen from moving during the call.
  • Turn on Closed Captioning. When your loved one with hearing loss can read what’s being said they’ll be able to keep up with the conversation.
  • Be willing to repeat or rephrase what’s been said if your loved one didn’t hear it the first time. 

Gift Ideas for Your Loved One with Hearing Loss

The best gift you can give your loved one with hearing loss is the gift of hearing. If your loved one doesn’t have hearing aids, encourage them to schedule a hearing test with us!

You support your loved one and  find out more about their hearing loss. Together you can learn about their hearing aid options and find the right devices to help them hear. Help your loved one pick out hearing aids before the holidays! They’ll have time to get used to their devices so they can enjoy hearing clearly during your virtual family reunion.

Contact us today to learn more about our assistive listening devices and hearing aid technology.