Now that’s something all of us suppliers would like to know. This time of year our buyers are receiving invites, left right and centre and many of them say… “I could literally go on a fam trip every night of the week if I RSVP’d yes to all of them”. But what really makes a good fam trip? What makes buyers walk away thinking, yes this will work for some of my clients? What will make them push your venue over the others following this FAM trip?
Some buyers feel fam trips tend to the be the same format… arrive for dinner, overnight and tour the following morning… with many commenting “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. They like to know what to expect and prefer the usual format whilst others comment that it’s time to stop with the “same surprises” such as Murder Mysteries, Treasure Hunts, Tasting Events.
Many of the buyers that I speak to say that it is important to include some free time, especially when over a weekend. It is important to “have the right balance of business and relaxation/personal time”. Fam trips can be tiring, a lot of buyers mention that some suppliers tend to “cram too much in to the programme” and they leave exhausted and overloaded with information. The overall message that came through regarding the format is to ensure they include an activity that is relevant; whether it’s a visit to a local attraction or sampling local produce – keep it relevant and educational.
The most common answer of all to what makes a good fam trip was the mention of senior management making an appearance. Whether it’s a Head Chef, the GM of the hotel or a Director of Sales, they like the fact that they have made the effort to join. This also gives us suppliers the chance to break it up a bit so the buyers don’t get sick of our voices. They like to meet the operational teams to join the dots and meet the people who will look after their clients at a potential event.
The purpose of this blog is that there is no right or wrong answer - but it is an interesting subject to debate. One thing I have learned is that there are many differing opinions on this subject but as a supplier who hasn’t yet received any negative feedback on my fam trips, I think I will keep doing what I am doing!
We’d love to hear your thoughts on this debate so tweet @The_HBAA with your comments.
Membership Committee Chair
Business Development Manager, Goodwood House