If you are my vintage you know that the headline is a nod to the TV show The A Team. Specifically its the line Hannibal always said just before some outrageous scheme to save the day was put in place.
Over the past 15 years or so I have been involved in putting groups of people together to go on fishing, camping, canoeing and golfing trips. While most trips have been amazing, some have been big fails and along the way I have learned a few things that I thought I would share.
Understand the Requirements
The most critical thing to creating a good game plan is to make sure you have a good handle on what all participants want and expect from the trip. What is the main purpose, how much are they willing to spend, is there a limit to how far someone will travel and is there anything that must be avoided (allergies or fear of flying). It also helps to rank these requirements as its typically impossible to please everyone but ensuring that you meet as many requirements as possible really helps.
Find a Great Partner
Good outfitters, responsive travel agents and helpful customer service will definitely make the group leaders life easier and goes a long way to ensuring the other members of the group have a great time. I am planning on writing a blog specifically on how to pick a great partner and the research you can do to find a primo destination so stay tuned for that.
A final piece of getting a great plan together is communication. Throughout the process and leading up to the actual trip I have found it really helpful to make sure everyone is in the loop. Generally I have been an email guy but I know lots of people who use Facebook groups to plan for a trip (or a dinner party). The complexity of the trip will dictate the amount of communication. Not enough communication leads to missed assignments and to much communication leads to ignored emails. Finding a sweet spot is a tough but honestly pick a few people in the group and ask for feedback, they will tell you if it's not enough or too much!
I really get a lot out of these trips, it's a great way to spend time with friends and family and create some very meaningful memories. Being the leader or chief planner is work but its a trade off I gladly make to ensure they happen and more of the are successes instead of fails.