Some of the most fun, memorable events to attend and plan are those that include the whole family. Planning an incentive that includes children opens the door to a lot of unforgettable activities and great memories for the attendees and their families. However, there are two sides to every coin – coordinating a family trip regularly tests planning and logistics skills and usually comes with a bit of needed improv. But if you keep a few important tips in mind, everyone will go home happy at the end of the trip.
Plan for the family together and separately
Though the focus of the trip is often the family together, there may be times when separate events or dinners for the parents and for the kids are required or desired. While it is a family trip you can choose occasional activities that have the option to separate kids and parents into special events just for them. Perhaps one night is a romantic couple’s dinner, while the kids get to build their own dessert at an ice cream bar. Or you can go bigger with parents having a dinner & dance while the kids do a carnival night. When planning for simultaneous events on the trip, you’ll need to think through everything twice – transportation, food, communication, and anything else that arises, including child care while the parents are away.
Keep age in mind
When children attend a trip, they can be any age from 8 months to 18 years! It’s important to keep this in mind when planning activities. The key is to be flexible and keep options open – many older kids may simply feel like hanging out at the resort or lounging by the pool, while the littlest attendees will need structured activities and supervision. One area where this can cause some hiccups is gifts – when attendees vary widely in age, gifts can be a challenge. One of the easiest and most impressive ways to handle this is to put the selection in the hands of the attendees. Consider creating an online “marketplace” where attendees and their children can select from a variety of gifts before the event begins. Not only does this solve the variety of gifts based on age need but it also helps build excitement for the upcoming trip. Or you can bring the marketplace to the event. Presenting families with gift cards or tokens to be used in the marketplace is a great way to keep everyone happy.
Logistics, logistics, logistics.
When planning a logistically complicated event such as a family trip, it pays to sweat the small stuff. You will find yourself with a much more seamless experience if you have a robust registration platform and plan out your registration process to answer as many questions as possible well before the event. This is a great place to consider customizing extra elements of the trip. Especially when brand is concerned, each touchpoint is an opportunity to create an experience that leaves a positive impression. You can use gifts during the trip to enhance the sense of family, community, and brand loyalty amongst the attendees. For example, if you are planning a family trip at a rustic ranch (think “glamping”), matching Herschel backpacks for each family with tone-on-tone branded elements are a fun and subtle way for families to bond and for your client to add a special branded touch.
Shoe sizes, allergies, ages (and birthdays), and activity preferences are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to a family trip. You will also want to make sure all attendee responses auto-flow into a data base of some sort for tracking, comparing, and compiling. When you’ve done all the work beforehand, you’ll feel confident at the event knowing you’ve done everything in your power to keep it as smooth, fun, and family-oriented as possible.