Travel Planner Lingo - Part 1
Every industry has its own lingo, and travel planners are no exception! If you are working with a travel planning company like Xplor, Inc., here is Part 1 of 2 to share some terms you need to know!
Site Visit/Site Inspection
During a site visit or inspection, an Xplor, Inc. team member travels to the destination for a planned event prior to the event, usually months ahead of time. We are checking to make sure all of the logistics are in place and everything we have been promised by the hotel, restaurants, and experience providers is as described. We might be finalizing negotiations, signing contracts, and planning late minute details, such as agendas and entertainment.
For a conference site inspection, we need to make sure all the pieces are in place for a classy, seamless, and entertaining event. For example, meeting spaces should be close to restrooms and elevators, and preferably all on one floor, so attendees don’t have to change floors between events. We review our AV requirements to determine if we need to outsource these services. We look for hotel catering departments that are willing to let us get creative and bring in our own décor and linens to spruce up meals and social events.
For an incentive trip inspection, the goal is to gather as much information and ideas as possible to allow us to create a once in a lifetime experience for our attendees and clients. We are looking for high-end guest accommodations, scenic views, luxurious amenities, entertainment showcasing local talent, and the best excursion and activities in the area.
FAM Trip: Familiarization Trips
FAM Trips, also known as Familiarization Trips, are a type of trip provided by suppliers or travel operators as a way for travel agents to gain an understanding of the benefits of different experiences they can offer to their clients. For example, the tourist board at a destination joins forces with a selection of hotels, restaurants, and excursion providers to create a 2-5 day experience. The tourist board invites travel planners to come and experience first hand all of the benefits to planning their next trip or conference at the destination. The guests get behind-the-scene tours of hotels to check out meeting spaces and accommodations, sample restaurant menus, and learn about the activities available in the area. Usually, most or all of the attendees travel expenses are paid for. These trips are important so planners have first-hand knowledge of the destinations they are recommending to their clients. Check out previous blog posts to learn about Xplor, Inc. FAM trips to Puerto Rico (click here) and Whistler, BC (click here).
DMC: Destination Management Company
A Destination Management Company, or DMC, is a professional services company that offers extensive local knowledge, expertise and resources, and specializes and assists in the design and implementation of events, activities, tours, transportation and program logistics. We work closely with DMCs to help us learn about everything a new destination offers and to connect with local resources. Xplor team members also attend industry conferences to meet with multiple DMCs at once, always looking for the hottest destinations for our clients. Find our more about how we work with DMCs in our IMEX 2018 Recap.
An incentive trip is a specially designed program that motivates employees, franchisees, or customers to accomplish specific goals in order to earn a spot on a once-in-a-lifetime trip. This type of program is typically tied to sales results, but can be based on any kind of metric within an organization. The reward is typically an all-expenses paid trip to an incredible destination, with high-end guest accommodations, entertaining events in spectacular venues, and exciting activities that show off the features of the location. Read about our recent incentive trips in San Juan, Puerto Rico and Aruba, as well as our picks for the hottest incentive destinations in 2019.
A shopping experience is a custom event during which select attendees, staff, or customers have the ability to “shop” for a gift. Rather than spending tons of money on room gifts or conference gear that attendees may use, clients can spend those funds on something that everyone will actually use! Attendees choose what THEY want and will remember more than standard tchotchkes, rewards, or bonuses.
Our experienced specialists bring in-depth knowledge and expertise to each and every one of our shopping events. Our clients can chose a sunglass fitting, custom shoe design, or a shopping spree for the attendees, and we will source all of the top brands at discounted prices. Read about a shopping experience we put on for a client in Hawaii in a past blog post (click here).
In Part 2 of our Travel Planner Terms You Need to Know, we'll talk about CVBs, PreCon, TDs, RFPs, and CSMs! Confused? Don't worry, we'll clear it all up for you--check back next week!