Meet Bristol – exploring the wonders of the Westcountry
From discovering street art in the home of Banksy and visiting one of the most iconic docked ships in the world, the SS Great Britain, to a guided boat tour of the picturesque harbourside and lunch overlooking the Clifton Suspension Bridge, these were just some of the highlights of Meet Bristol’s 2019 post-show fam trip specifically created to show the city at its best.
Having hosted a highly successful fam trips after The Meetings Show in both 2017 and 2018, here Amy Bramhall, Convention Bureau Manager at Meet Bristol, tells us why they were one of the first destinations to sign up for 2019.
Hosting a fam trip is a great opportunity for us to invite international buyers to Bristol. The support we receive from Luke and the team at The Meetings Show in regards to qualifying buyers, advertising the trip and arranging travel is invaluable to us as a small organisation.
We had a lot of interest in the fam trip this year and we ended up welcoming hosted buyers from six different countries from the incentive and association markets.
After a scenic journey via the Great Western Railway, the group arrived in Bristol for dinner at the impressive Harbour Hotel, with accommodation that night provided at one of Bristol’s key residential conferencing hotels, the Mercure Grand Hotel.The next two days took in as many of the highlights of the city as possible, including visiting Brunel’s SS Great Britain, a harbour boat tour, street art tour, visit to Aerospace Bristol – home to the last Concorde to ever fly, which was also built in Bristol – and fantastic food courtesy of the Avon Gorge by Hotel du Vin, Bristol Marriott Royal Hotel and De Vere Tortworth Court.
This visit was made particularly special by the group having the chance to explore a selection of the University of Bristol’s unique venues. With beautiful architecture and steeped in history, most venues are not open to the public and this was the first MICE fam trip to have this opportunity.
Hosting fam trips is really worthwhile for bringing business to the city – it’s important for buyers to experience what a destination can offer first-hand. Getting a feel for the city and building relationships with key suppliers builds a strong foundation for future business.
All of our attendees gave us great feedback and are good potential leads. One of the attendees, Lonni Gulliksen, CEO of CCMG, said: "A BIG thanks to Bristol CVB for a very well organised and well performed fam trip to Bristol. We had the chance to visit some interesting venues and hotels for our future MICE Business in this nice area of UK."
My advice to any other destinations thinking about hosting a fam trip at The Meetings Show 2020 would be to limit numbers to a group size where you are confident you will have the chance to get to know every buyer. Make it memorable and don’t pack too much into the itinerary, give the guests time to enjoy each experience and a reason to come back!