Shouting about fam trips – to capitalise or not to capitalise, that is the question

Everyone in the industry knows what fam trips are – but not everyone can agree on how the word fam should be spelt. M&IT deputy editor Paul Harvey has a capital idea.

Check out the video or read the blog below.

I’ve been writing about the world of meetings and events for a while now, during which time I like to think I’ve got to grips with most of the industry’s little idiosyncracies.

However, there is one thing that I still fail to understand: fam trips. Or more specifically, FAM trips.

As I understand it, the term “fam trip” is simply a shortened version of “familiarisation trip”. Yet almost every email that lands in my inbox that uses the term, capitalises it as “FAM trip”. And this doesn’t make any sense. Whatsoever.

In its capitalised form, “FAM trip” suggests the letters stand for something. Which they don’t, as far as I know.

I would love nothing more than to discover FAM stands for “familiarisation and marketing” or something, but I’m fairly sure it doesn’t.

Imagine if we capitalised every word that was a shortened versions of a longer one. PHONE! BIKE! RHINO! FLU!

The world would be a much shoutier place. So why should “fam” be any different?

I suspect people like to capitalise fam trip in an effort to make it seem more important. I have no time for such pomposity and take great joy in cutting it down to size whenever I can.

It would be nice if we could have some consistency across the industry on this – if only for my own sanity.

So next time you go on a fam trip – I’m begging you – leave the caps lock key at home.

Are you a fam capitaliser – or a member of the lower case clan? We would love to hear from you on this – get in touch on