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Ultimate Hands-On Learning. Your knowledge instills client confidence in making travel arrangements through you, the expert. Your knowledge and attention to their needs keeps clients returning for your expertise.

SBN Familiarization Events offer members opportunities to experience exotic destinations and unique products—the ultimate in hands-on learning.

Immerse yourself in your destination. Become an educated expert. SBN’s numerous land and water educational courses include exclusive Destinationals and Land FAMS, plus Seminars at Sea. New York City, Istanbul to Venice, Israel, Oahu, Argentina and Brazil, and Vietnam are among highlighted destinations this year.

“SBN FAM tours offer our consultants the opportunity to travel and learn about a destination, take a cruise, visit a resort, and see the product themselves so they can recommend it to clients,” said Bob Duglin, SBN vice president of sales and industry relations, who develops and organizes the programs. Trips are sponsored by SBN Supplier Members: SBN works with specialty cruise lines CroisiEurope, Alaskan Dream Cruises, and AmaWaterways, hotel partners Starwood Hotels & Resorts, Sandals all-inclusive properties, and Hawai'i Visitors Bureau, Visit Anchorage, and others to create educational excursions.

SBN Familiarization events allow SBN travel consultants to learn about products firsthand: “There’s no better way to sell a cruise or resort than if you’ve experienced it.” They offer all-important opportunities to meet suppliers—the beverage or hotel managers on a cruise ship, guest relations manager of a major resort, or others who could assist in providing unforgettable experiences to clients. And members make connections with fellow travel professionals, meet local suppliers on the ground, and broaden their horizons with the magic of travel—the product they sell.

“Much as members have seen a shift in their business mix to include more land-based travel,” said Bob, “our FAM program has also shifted. SBN works closely with many inbound tour operators; our FAM program now consists more of land-based experiences.” This year, SBN will have Master Specialist FAMs with each major island in Hawai’i, travel to Israel with EDI, have an Argentina and Brazil FAM with Goway Travel, be at two Sandals resort locations, have a river cruise FAM with CroisiEurope, and visit Vietnam and Cambodia with Nexus Holidays.

SBN’s Plus Program offers pre- and post-trip opportunities related to FAM trips and events. “When we’re offered an ocean or river cruise FAM opportunity, SBN works with partners such as Starwood Hotels & Resorts, Avanti Destinations, Greater Fort Lauderdale CVB, and local tourist boards in providing pre- and post-cruise opportunities,” said Bob. “This helps members learn which properties and products to use for clients when they travel on a cruise.”

Programs are continually added, and typically sell out quickly. Visit our website for the full industry events calendar and more information on SBN Familiarization Events.