A factory tour is a public tour of a business facility, sometimes offered as part of a public relations strategy. Contrary to the name, a factory tour does not have to take place in a factory; farms, entertainment venues, and wineries may also offer tours to visitors. A factory tour is a fun way to learn about how a company or venue operates, while often including “factory” discounts on products for tourists.
Food and drink manufacturing plants are popular places for factory tours. Many people are interested to know how their favorite snack, beer, or candy is made. These tours are frequently operated on a daily or weekend basis, and may be free or charge admission. Tours that charge an admission fee may include free tastings or samples of factory-made products, while free tours may give tourists a chance to buy products at a discount at the end of the tour. Most tours are family friendly, and can be a great activity for school field trips or even kid's birthday parties.
A farm factory tour is a great way to learn about the process from field to table, and may be available seasonally at local farms. On livestock farms, visitors may get to meet some of the animals, even getting the opportunity to milk a cow or watch a sheep being sheared. These tours then may move indoors, to allow visitors to watch as the harvest of the fields are turned into consumer products. Artisan dairies, Christmas tree and pumpkin farms, and crop-farming operations may all offer factory tours as a means of educating the public and attracting new customers.
Stadiums and live theaters may also offer a “factory tour” of sorts. These tours are a great opportunity to learn about the history of the building and go behind the scenes to the areas that the general public is usually forbidden from entering. In a stadium, tours may take groups into famous locker rooms, luxury sky boxes, and broadcasting rooms. In a theater, tourists may get a peek into dressing rooms, costume and prop shops, and even learn some secrets about theatrical magic. Stadiums and theaters often have fascinating histories, and may even carry long-held legends of ghosts and hauntings.
A factory tour is often lead by a company employee; organizations that do a lot of tours may employ public relations staff specifically to act as tour guides. These guides are often fonts of information, and are usually happy to answer any questions. In addition to providing information about the factory's current operations, many are also well-versed in the location and company's history, and may have fascinating stories about the development of the modern plant.