You have more than likely either heard of, or attended a FAM or Familiarization Trip if you are a travel agent or travel professional. These trips are often greatly discounted by travel suppliers to encourage agents to visit and experience their particular destination and/or service. FAMs often prove to be an amazing time and are well worth the investment if you are looking to add some value to your agency.
Here are some ways that FAM Trips benefit travel agents:
FAM trips are intended for you to become familiar with a certain supplier’s products and offerings to better market their services to your client base. While you might want to hop aboard every interesting FAM trip opportunity, it is important to think about your clients and how this experience may benefit them and your business. These trips will take you to tourist hot spots, and often include a behind-the-scenes look at hotels, tour operators, and even cruise ships, so when you come home you know exactly what your clients are going to experience and how to confidently fill their expectations of a certain destination.
Just like if you were taking a continuing education course, come prepared to learn! Bring a journal and take lots of notes. If you are heading back to a bigger agency your co-workers are going to be anticipating your feedback. It’s always good to have something to refer back to so you can keep track of important details.
Clients will have more confidence and put more trust into an agent who can market themselves as well-traveled. Being able to communicate with your clients where you have been through your stories, and photos of a particular destination will ensure them you know exactly what you are talking about. If you have committed yourself to visit a specific destination regularly to stay on top of trends/changes/new suppliers this may even classify you as a Destination Expert.
Spending 5-7 days (in some cases more) with other travel agents and suppliers you are bound to exchange some business cards at some point. FAM trips can help you build some amazing contacts with not only industry suppliers, but fellow travel agents as well. Having a network of colleagues can help you to strengthen your agency by bouncing ideas around, seeing what other agents are doing that is successful, and may even lead to a referral down the road. Solid networking is the key to any successful business.
Marketing Your Agency
A FAM Trip is a great way to knock out several birds with one stone: education, networking, FUN, and marketing! Take pictures, keep a blog, post on social media. These are all ways for you to grow the awareness of your agency and put some proof out there to back up your experience.
All in all, FAM Trips are an incredible resource. They are a crucial part of growing a successful travel agency, and building a top-tier supplier network for your clients. We understand this and that is why we work so hard to put together some of the most indulgent FAMs possible, while focusing on small groups and educational opportunities.
Our upcoming FAM in Quito, Ecuador is an amazing opportunity to experience a true South American gem and get face-to-face with several suppliers in the area at out PowerSolutions Live Quito, which is worked into the trip.