17 March 2017
We have already covered off why we do famils and how important they are, but how can you get involved? What is the best practice and expectations for hosting on the day and after?
How can you get involved?
This is a question that we are asked all the time, and the short answer is that there is no short answer. Some key factors are…
Budget: As mentioned, we have very tight budgets, with high expectations on what can be delivered for this, so working closely with operators who understand the power of famils is essential. We know that there are less than ideal times to be asking for good rates, and although we try to keep to low and shoulder seasons, we are not always in control of timing. Famils should be seen as a marketing investment, and although we don’t expect to have everything free of charge (FOC), we are more likely to be able to use operators who give at least a solid discount for their product.
We also note the rack rate for product so that we can make sure we acknowledge all of the industry contributions in our reporting.
Trade Ready: For our trade marketing team this is essential. They cannot bring product managers and ITO’s through your business if you aren’t ready to accept trade bookings. In Laymen’s Terms this is that you have a commissionable product of 15% or greater. If you need more information on this please contact Julia directly.
Story Angle: Media have a mind of their own, and they generally have a story angle that they are going to take before they arrive. They have a particular audience that we need to match, and a theme for their trip, whether it be Girls Weekend, general update, adventure etc. They also are always after something “new and exclusive” as well as a good back story with great hosts.
First Hand Experience: One of the most important factors is that we know you exist and what you do! It is difficult for us to recommend product until someone from CCT/i-SITE has had first-hand experience of your product as we need to vouch for what we put forward. Invite some staff from CCT and the i-SITE to famil your product so they can report back to the rest of the team.
Qualmark and Health & Safety: As you may be aware, TNZ have taken a rule on famils moving forward, having a “strong preference” for Qualmark accredited product. This means that if you are Qualmarked you will be used over someone who isn’t. TNZ will not include you in any marketing promotions if you are not Qualmarked. CCT also prefer Qualmark, however for famils that are lead by our organisation we are able to accept those who can provide us with detailed and current Health & Safety documentation.
Think about what they will take away from their time with you and make sure it is positive.
On the Day
So you have a famil booked and they are on their way to you. This is the most important time in the process. You have an audience with people who can influence others to book and pay for your experience, so you had better impress them.
It is as simple as:
- Make sure you are there to greet them, or you have delegated this role to someone else appropriate. If you aren’t able to do this, please at least ensure that your staff know they are coming.
- Treat them like the VIP’s that they are. Everyone likes to feel a bit special.
- Familiarise yourself with the group/individual – Where are they from? Any cultural differences? Have you met them before?
- Take 5 minutes to talk about your product and it’s key features. What makes it so special? Sell your product to them and don’t put down other operators thinking it will make yours look better.
- Remember you and your staff are representing your business and our region and whether you get 5 minutes or 5 hours – think about what they will take away from their time with you and make sure it is positive.
After the day….
An essential element to making sure you get the most you can out of the famil is the follow up. When you met them on the day, you may have asked for their business card. Send them an email. It is a basic thing to say, but you will be surprised how many people don’t bother with follow up. Thank them for their time, send them answers to any questions or images they wanted and just be in touch. Ask if you can add their name to your newsletter and see if there is anything else you can help with. This way they have your details on hand and you will be top of mind. It also shows that you are proactive and professional and reflects well on how the entire business runs.
CCT can’t always be there to host on the day, and if you have any concerns about the famil we want to hear about it. We may be able to sort it then and there, or just give advice for the next famil you host. We always survey participants, and if there is something of concern it is better for us to be prepared.
Remember that famils are our chance to showcase the best, and this means a lot of different things to difference audiences. Our job is to make sure that who and what we put forward is the best we can offer, and leaves our participants excited to tell people about Christchurch & Canterbury and why they should visit. If we all work together to make every famil a success we will be able to do more, be more successful, and bring more people to our gorgeous city and region.
This is only scratching the surface of famils, and so if you want more information or would like to chat specifically about your business and how to get involved, please contact one of our team.
Kelly Stock – Media
Julia Hunt – International Trade
Claire Hector-Taylor – Convention Bureau
If you didn't see our earlier blog about Famils 101, check it out here.