Michael Butler, Director, Strategic Accounts, Brightspot Incentives spoke at SITE Global in Vancouver this past January.

Here’s a recap of his seminar on Tips to Elevate Your Incentive Trip

Re-Think Why

Year after year, company goals shift and grow to support the changing needs of the organization, but what about their incentive programs? Keep asking yourself what the main purpose of the trip is and if your current program is in line with that goal.

Focus on Who

Your audience is the number one determining factor when deciding on every aspect of the incentive travel program. Create personas by aggregating the demographics, and more importantly, psychographics of your participants. Always keep those personas in mind when making decisions.

Ignore the “Not Who”

The “Not Who” are the folks that often have power of input, but are not the target audience. It’s not about your CEO; it’s not a way to recreate a VP’s favorite vacation. Always stay focused on what best motivates your audience.

Promote Better Communication

Like any successful marketing campaign, communication is key to its effectiveness. From qualification to the pre-trip mailer, there’s real effort that needs to be made when it comes to promoting the program to make sure it’s not the best-kept secret in the company.

To Beach or Not to Beach

There is no one-size-fits-all incentive trip, and while an all-inclusive resort on the beach seems appealing to most, it may not always be the best option. Sometimes you have to rise above and keep your trip fresh and exciting with a destination that takes you away from the sand and surf.

Authentic Is In

Stay true to the destination in your communication, activities, gifting, cuisine, and accommodations. Most audiences these days (especially Millennials) want to be immersed in the culture of the destination and want to be apart of it while they’re there.

“Wow” with Group Events

Work with your DMC to find unique venues and authentic caterers to the destination to create events that go above and beyond the ballroom setting and steak dinner. Add interactive elements and get creative with your surroundings to keep up the immersion for your participants’ dream trip.

Customize Your Gifting

There is a heavy emphasis on customizing and personalizing gifting for incentive travel attendees. Instead of pillow gifts, we incorporate branded gifting experiences during the trip so participants can choose their own special gift (and don’t forget to make it authentic to the destination!)

Hire an Incentive Pro

Because an incentive travel company has extensive knowledge of partners, hotels, DMCs, and much more, it’s not uncommon to see zero net cost when moving from in-house planning to an agency. Not only are there incredible savings in contract negotiation and end-to-end budget management, but hidden costs of time and effort from internal management are eliminated almost completely.

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