10 Ways to Make the Most Out of Your Fam Trip

A familiarization trip, more commonly known as a fam trip, is an informational visit that allows planners to personally experience the sights, sounds, and tastes of a destination. Since these trips are often larger-than-life experiences to long-dreamt-of destinations, it’s easy to get lost in the excitement of vetting a new destination.

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Before you accept any invitation, make sure the destination is one that your groups will seriously consider. Make sure the caliber of the partners and hotels are good matches for your group as well. If they aren’t, politely decline the invitation. Once you’ve determined that the fam makes good business sense, it’s time to prepare. Here a few tips to help you make the most out of your fam trip:

  1. Gain as much information about the destination ahead of your trip. This will allow you to start thinking about which of your groups would fit, and what they would want from the destination.
  2. Communicate to your host(s) what type of group you are considering for their destination. This allows them to plan, and point out, things specific to your group.
  3. Before you accepted the invitation, you determined that the overall caliber of properties was a good match for your groups. But if there is a lesser-starred property on the agenda that you know your group would not consider, ask your host if you could substitute one better suited for your group. Do be prepared to pay additional transportation costs and be mindful of the clock if you do go off on your own.
  4. Speaking of the clock, don’t be the person who holds up an entire bus. As meeting professionals we know how irritating that can be. Make every effort to show up on time, with everything you need for the day’s outing. When you’re on a tight agenda, your ten-minute delay deprives you and everyone else of valuable time on site.
  5. Use the free time they give you to explore other “options” that would interest your group. A nap may be tempting, but if you can muster the energy to see an additional option, you will be glad you did.
  6. Ask as many questions of your host(s) as you can. From historical to logistical and everything in-between, the knowledge will benefit you and all your future groups. It may also help inform the less inquisitive members of your group.
  7. Write things down! Busy agendas entail numerous site visits and tons of information. Keep a notebook to make comments in. Gather business cards or contact information from your hosts if they weren’t provided at the outset. You’ll want to thank them for their time. Jot down your notes on transfers between site visits, while the information is fresh.
  8. Get to know the other attendees. Instead of buddying up with just one person, chat with all the other planners to get their thoughts as they view the destination.
  9. Tack on an extra day, pre- or post-fam to see things that were not on the agenda, but would interest your group.
  10.  Finally, stay in touch with the other members of your group. A shared fam experience can be powerful, and the relationships meaningful. Try to maintain them. After all, your paths may well cross again

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Enjoy your fam! Happy planning!!!

Danielle Childress

Danielle Childress

Danielle Childress (Dani) has planned everything from board meetings for 6 to product launches for 500 to the NFL Experience at the Super Bowl for 100,000.

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