FAM opportunities are not just a chance to sip champagne and stay in fancy hotels. They should be viewed as an opportunity where a supplier is investing in an advisor’s education. However, this investment is definitely not one-sided. Advisors who attend FAMs often have to pay for their own flights while stepping away from their business and turning their full attention to site visits, sales meetings, and local experiences.
So today we are going to dive into how you can be considered for more FAMs, as well as how to evaluate if the opportunity is going to provide your business with the proper return on investment. So first things first, let’s set the stage on how to get considered.
Finding The Right Host
One way is to make sure that you’re working with a host that aligns with the kind of travel you want to sell. If you are working under a host that isn’t working within your niche, you’re typically not going to get as much access to FAMs within your area of interest. Affiliating with a host that actually is able to support your sales goals is going to be a great first step for getting considered because they’ll be your frontline face for working with suppliers.
Creating Your Own Relationships
You can’t just rely on your host. We realize that is a bit contradictory, but we say this because we believe that you also need to establish your own relationships with suppliers.
A few ways that you can connect with suppliers is by reaching out, proactively introducing yourself, and following up from any webinars that they have presented. When you reach out, you may even want to share more about your niche and sales metrics in an effort to create credibility.
Another idea that may be a bit unconventional is to create a media kit that represents your business. We created this in Canva and it acts as more or less of a “resume.”
Attend Trade Shows
When looking to find suppliers that match your niche, you can always consider a trade show. Trade shows invitations are usually reliant on approval after an application process. This is to ensure that your metrics and goals align with the suppliers that will be present since the attending suppliers are typically the ones that pay for entry. At trade shows, you will meet (sometimes) hundreds of vendors that can connect you with potential educational opportunities.
Tap Into Tourism Boards
Tourism boards are a fantastic way of getting involved in a destination, or at least connecting you with a supplier that they know is having a FAM coming up.
Tourism boards may also have FAMs, and these typically show more of a variety of accommodation types, since they have the entire destination to represent. Another point is that tourism boards tend to want to show the destination in a very authentic and experiential way.
Lastly, if you are looking to do a self-guided FAM, the tourism board can point you in the right direction and may even set up tours on your behalf.
What FAMs Should You Accept?
Full disclaimer: just because you were invited on a FAM, does not mean that you need to automatically accept that FAM. Of course, FAMs are one of the biggest perks of travel advisors, but there is a difference between traveling to travel and traveling in a way that benefits your business (and the supplier hosting the FAM).
Some considerations to keep in mind when evaluating if a FAM is worth your time and worth your investment are 1) do you intend on working with that supplier for future inquiries? 2) do you want to sell / will you sell the destination? 3) is the destination worth your financial investment? 4) is the trip worth being out of the office and away from clients?
Essentially, every business decision should be mathematical, and make sense on paper. By removing the emotion out of the decision, you will allow yourself to travel on FAMs that best align with your clientele and passions.
Have you been invited on the FAM of your dreams? If so, how did you land the invitation? Share your experience in the comments!