What's Floating Around
25 February 2019
Welcome to another week and we’re all about the invitations this week – as agents we are lucky to receive all manner of invitations to fam trips, trade shows, partties and wonderful incentive trips across the world.
We know every travel destination, hotel and venue wants publicity and to be on the radar of agents, and every DMC wants their services recommended – but as agents you have to be realistic. The first class service and red carpet welcome you get as agents, might not be the same experience enjoyed by clients – and yet its the clients that pay the bills.
Fam trips are of an educational nature and designed to give planners ideas, inspiration and networking opportunities with local suppliers and some are really well planned to maximise time, whilst some seem to miss the point – but we wont dwell on the negative experiences we have had with fams or at trade forums.
However, we would like to make a few suggestions for suppliers when it comes to fams and educationals, for instance, on the first day attendees are coming from different destinations, some have short, others long journeys and rather than rush right in to a manic schedule, give people a little time to adjust to their new surroundings. Keep it light, with a relaxed evening event, and allow delegates to have a good nights sleep and save the energy for second day.
Try to facilitate introductions, include a simple ice breaker game or add name badges including name, company and maybe a flag of the country of origin, and if you are splitting people between hotels, try and think in advance about any language barriers.
Also, whilst we all appreciate the fantastic hospitality, sometimes there is simply way too much food. Less is more and although we don’t want delegates to go hungry, waste is far worse. Stick to a theme and budget – most event professionals would rather have a glass of something anyway! Also, please include somewhere to sit and eat. Far to often its bowl food, and trying to juggle a glass and a bowl, and eat without somewhere to perch is impossible.
If you want to attract decision makers, you must think creatively to prove it’s worth their time and the initial invitation is the first impression you give them and because they get many invitation, yours needs to stand out. Also don’t leave it to the last minute to invite people or be up front if you have a cancellation and need to fill a last minute place – there is nothing worse for agents than being regarded as second choice – so be honest about it.
Fam trip organisers show us the best venues and when it comes to business, planners want to know how much it costs. It’s surprising how often suppliers send junior staff members to welcome the group and are not always informed or confident enough to talk about prices and share a couple of examples with the attendees – it will give them a much better chance to being able to sell to clients.
Lastly, try and avoid arranging an amazing trip at the same time as someone else, or when they is already a major industry event taking place – and what better way to check this than by using Famtastic. It lists all of the key industry events and fam trip invitations.
Have a great week, and enjoy!