• Fam Connections

    POSTED May 19, 2017

As I write this, I am sitting in the Hilton Anchorage getting ready to head out for a day of tours and adventures with a group of about 30 event planners. About two weeks ago, I was in Vancouver, BC with a group of three other editors/writers doing the same thing in that city. Yeah. I know. I have a pretty fabulous job. And so, I wanted to give a shout out to the CVBs who plan these trips and help me get better acquainted to everything our region has to offer so that I can, in turn, introduce you to new places and things to do when you’re planning a meeting or event.

Think about it: The CVB teams have to be on the entire time we are with them. And most of the time, they are with us from 8 a.m., until 9 p.m., or later. For that entire time, they are catering to the needs of everyone on the tour. Everyone. They load us up on—and off—buses, tell engaging stories of the area, make sure we are comfortable, plan side trips for people with specific interests—and the entire time they are doing it with a smile. Of course, it’s exactly what you do for your guests at your meetings and events, which is why we should celebrate them even more. They help us serve our clients better by serving us better.

Whenever I am on one of these tours, I talk to the CVB team and invariably ask them about boorish Fam behavior. I would never share it—they would be mortified if I did. And quite honestly, they are still very gracious about it. But I am always a little flummoxed on how people could receive others’ hospitality so poorly. So I am going to share just a few examples of the small acts of generosity of the CVB teams that I’ve experienced in the last month and have made my visits that much better. Because honestly it’s these small details that we remember most—when someone remembers something you said in passing or never fails to welcome you with a warm smile as if they are greeting an old friend—and you just met a day ago. Please keep in mind—these are just a FEW of the many kindnesses I received. There were so many.

In Vancouver, the team at Tourism Vancouver asked our driver, Brent, to take me on a trip to the Capilano Suspension Bridge because I’ve always wanted to go. Brent then proceeded to take me on a personal tour of the park with amazing facts and trivia I would never have been able to get on my own. Also, during that trip, Jinny Wu at the Vancouver Convention Centre and Brianna Prasloski with Tourism Vancouver took extra time in picking out gifts that they thought we’d love and use: one a scarf—the sale of which goes to help build wells in South Sudan—and the other a travel kit that helps pamper travelers on their journeys. I’m using both on this trip.

Although I’m only on the second day of my Fam trip in Anchorage, the team at Visit Anchorage have gifted me with treats for my dogs once they learned how much of a dog lover I am. And during a tram ride at Alyeska Resort, I heard Jim Henderson with Visit Anchorage shout out from the other side of the tram, “Hey Teresa, check out this interesting bird.” Keep in mind, I had just mentioned how much I love birds in passing and there are about 30 other people on this trip. The fact that he remembered that is so kind.

So what are your great memories from Fam tours past? Let’s give the CVB teams some love!

Anchorage is a city like none other—making it a popular choice for hosting meetings and events.

Through the tall windows of the Dena’ina Civic and Convention Center in Anchorage, meeting attendees can gaze out toward Cook Inlet, which stretches all the way to the Gulf of Alaska and toward mountains—some snow-capped—representing several ranges. They may even see an eagle fly by or see one of the 1,500 moose that are said to roam Alaska’s largest city. It’s easy to see why it’s said that Anchorage is a city like none other in the United States.


Washington’s Vancouver Waterfront development project will be getting a big boost this summer with the opening of two long-awaited hotels. The 138-room Hotel Indigo is scheduled to open in late June or early July while the 150-room AC Hotel by Marriott is looking to make its debut on June 15 at the Port of Vancouver’s adjacent Terminal 1. A 10-story condominium building, Residences at Kirkland Tower, is planning an October opening and will be attached to Hotel Indigo.


Put yourself in the middle of the action next time you visit British Columbia. All three of the movies in the “Descendants” global franchise were filmed in Vancouver and Vancouver Island. Fans can snap selfies with popular characters, unlock clips from “Descendants 3” played against the back-drop of where they were actually filmed, and complete exciting missions.