Familiarization, or fam, trips provide many benefits for the event planners. It's a quick way to learn specific destinations, new venues, and excursions that are of value to clients.
The following tips will help event planners plan and prepare to get the most out of fam trips.
- Get plenty of rest before the trip. Fam trips usually involve long hours and demanding schedules.
- Research the venues thoroughly ahead of time. This will make it possible to dig deeper during the time you spend with venues and suppliers.
- Inform clients that you will be visiting participating in a fam trip and share with them the venues you will be inspecting. This will allow you to:
- invite clients to let your know about their requirements so that you can gather relevant information.
- stage-manage expectations and let clients know that you will be able to pick up and return emails in the evening.
- Be flexible and recognize the fact that "free time" is likely to disappear or be significantly less than scheduled. (Hence the importance of stage-managing expectations!)
- Come prepared with RFPs if possible.
- If there are specific venues or excursions that are of interest, inform the organizer so that they can build it into the itinerary.
- Bring a light and flexible wardrobe to cover day and evening events. 2 blouses, plus a jacket with matching skirt and pants, will cover 2 days.
- Bring comfortable shoes. There will be a lot of walking and, at some destinations, stairs to climb, and rugged terrain to traverse.
- Get plenty of rest during the fam trip. This is not the time to stay up late and party. Remember, it's a business trip not a vacation. It's best to retire early or you'll feel it the next day.
- Be sure that you are on time for all departures.
- Take detailed notes and lots of photos.
- Prepare a summary to send to clients when you return to home base.
Photo Credit: Executive Oasis International