14 FAM Trip Tips to Follow If You Want to Be Invited Back

Photo credit: Corey Perrine/AP Images for Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City

Ah, FAM trips. The glitz the glam—the gift baskets! With all the star treatment and the wining and dining, it can be easy to forget that you’re actually at work. Fatal error No. 1. Familiarization trips are no doubt a perk for those in the meetings industry, but they are not your next vacation. You’d be surprised how many professionals fail to realize that. Don’t be one of those people.

Smart Meetings CEO Marin Bright has seen it all in her years in the events industry. We asked her what it takes to be a standout—nigh, FAMtastic—trip participant. Here are her tips:

1. FAMs are business trips. Act like you’re at the office—even if you’re in Hawaii.

2. Only accept FAM trips to destinations and hotels that could actually serve your attendees.

3. Hit the tarmac dressed for success. You never know who you will sit next to you on the plane.

4. Be punctual. To everything.

5. When you’re getting a tour of the guest rooms, don’t test out the bed.

6. We mean it. It looks bad.

7. FAM with a plan! Go in with a list of events in the planning stage so you are open to any possibility for designing brilliant experiences that may cross your path.

8. Be open. That thing you have never considered before may be the perfect thing to mix up an annual meeting that has become predictable.

9. Don’t get too personal. Your hosts need to know more about your business than they do about your latest diet cleanse.

10. No jeans to dinner. C’mon.

11. No uninvited guests.

12. No breaks! You’ll want to take measurements, jot down notes and snap photos—these will serve you when you’re searching for the perfect venue six months down the road.

13. Come away with three action items every day. Three people you can connect with when it comes time to make meeting magic happen.

14. While you might feel VIP, be humble. This needs to be a win-win experience for the hosts.