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FAM Trip Survey Results

In M&IT's first-ever FAM trip survey, planners dish the dirt on the best and worst of their globetrotting experiences.


In M&IT’s first-ever FAM trip survey, planners dish the dirt on the best and worst of their globetrotting experiences. November 30, 2010

The Ideal Group

fam-survey-results4“My time is too valuable to deal with people who treat a FAM as a drinking vacation & waste everyone’s time.”

“I like larger groups— more questions are asked, more experiences are shared.”

“A smaller group enables you to experience the desitination or site more thoroughly. You can engage your host with questions specific to your needs.”

“I have witnessed a wedding planner on a corporate events/meetings incentive FAM who wasted a ton of time asking questions in a group format. The tone of the trip was one of embarrassment over the missteps in screening those who shouldn’t have been there.”

“You need enough people so that you don’t drive each other crazy by the end of it. But not so many that relationships aren’t forged.”

“I don’t want to be herded which happens in a large group.”

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“What constitutes a bad FAM? Being in a group with guests who seem to be there for R&R and their own pleasure/agenda.”

“I have witnessed a wedding planner on a corporate events/meetings incentive FAM who wasted a ton of time asking questions in a group format. The tone of the trip was one of embarrassment over the missteps in screening those who shouldn’t have been there.”

“If possible, it is good to group the FAM trip participants based on similar meeting space requirements, so all participants will benefit from seeing the venues. For example, a large trade show organizer would not want to see the same venues as a conference planner.”

The Ideal Agenda

“In one FAM trip I took, we were given a list of things we could see/do for two of the af ternoons and we got to choose what was most suited for our business. It was therefore possible for me to “cater” the FAM to my needs. I thought it was a brilliant idea. I ended up sending two groups to that destination.”

“We have received invites before with only two weeks notice. We need at least a couple of months.”

“I’ve been on a FAM trip where all event planners participating worked for professional companies with good-quality events and to be taken to a three-star hotel or less for a site inspection is an absolute waste of time.”

“I have actually been physically ill as a result of going for five days straight with no down time.”

“I’ve been on FAM trips where they feel like they “own” ME— the hosts seem to forget that we are often “multi-tasking ” and have responsibilities back at the office to manage.”

“Leisure time planned during a FAM is not a good use of my time.”

“Being able to taste what the kitchen can produce is very important.”

The Ideal Host

“The last FAM trip I attended, one of the hosts spent more time visiting his family than he did with the FAM group.”

“The group organizing the FAM should have staff attend who will be working with the group so they can build or continue to grow a relationship.”

“The leader has to be visible and helpful and authoritative.”

“Lack of communication means I have to keep chasing after the FAM organizers for info instead of them providing to me in time. How will I trust them to plan my corporate event? This lack of communication also makes me nervous that something is forgotten and will go wrong.”

“A good leader sets the whole tone and atmosphere for the FAM. If good natured and efficient, the FAM will generally run the same way.”

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Insights & Insults

“When clients get the worst room in the place (near the kitchen or delivery area) or room features are not working properly and the rep for the venue is staying in the top suite — not a good move.”

“On a particular FAM, the group leader asked for the attendees to pay for all gratuities, which was not mentioned upfront and therefore the planners did not have the cash available. It created an uncomfortable situation.”

“I often get inspired on a FAM with new ideas for events. I like to see how well the competing properties of a destination work together.”

“Once a transportation provider supplied a dirty bus with broken air conditioning!”

“Whoever invented the USB stick was a genius. I have been on so many FAMs and been bogged down with hotel kits. They are a nuisance to bring back on the plane!”

“I like the guided portions (of a FAM trip) but I also like to have time to interact & explore so I can come up with my own innovative & creative ideas to make the experience better for my clients.”

“A bad FAM would be one where you are not able to experience the little extras that a location can offer.”

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