When you think of an incentive travel programme, you’re likely to picture a remote tropical island, white sands and floating villas. Yet nowadays destinations such as The Maldives, The Bahamas and South Africa are much more attainable for personal travel and not every attendee has the same idea of a ‘trip-of-a-lifetime’. Some may want adventure, some simply 5* all-inclusivity, so how do you please everyone?
To make your guests feel valued, inspired and motivated, experiences must incorporate individual preferences. So whilst luxury and exclusivity remain important, personalisation is of equal significance. Below our incentive travel teams share their secrets on how to deliver a personalised incentive travel programme…
Start at the beginning
The incentive starts the moment you announce details of your reward programme to your employees.
From teaser campaigns to destination reveals, invites to registration, the planning process is almost as important as the incentive. Banks Sadler’s in-house registration system – GoEngage – enables guests to register their preferences; from favourite cocktails to preferred coffee blend, we can capture the finer details to enhance each itinerary.
We can also run destination polls or surveys on your behalf to collect feedback on preferred incentive duration, favoured hotels, meal requirements etc. Demonstrating that the programme is personalised – even before employees have won a place on the incentive – will energise, motivate and raise the performance bar.
Make the journey count
Many incentives include a lengthy travel time, particularly those that unite colleagues from around the globe. Whether your recognition trip is to a neighbouring country or a different continent, consider how you can personalise the journey. Using GoEngage, guests can register their favourite snack (which could be provided at airport check-in), their must-have magazine (which could be waiting in their seat pocket on the plane) and their current boxset of choice (which could be added to their in-flight entertainment).
Consider individual journeys too. Will guests be jet-lagged? Providing a ‘sleep easy’ kit or set of energising toiletries can help them align to their new destination.
Personalise the programme
Your guests have chosen their destination and experienced a journey like no other. Now they have finally arrived…
Make sure you know what will get them excited; it could be trying new foods, exploring local cultures, hiking, abseiling or simply relaxing by the pool…find out what’s on their bucket list, build it into the itinerary and make it happen!
For larger groups, provide plenty of choice on activities, meals and entertainment. At a recent incentive in New Orleans, Banks Sadler provided each guest with a daily PayPal allowance (rather than selecting a set restaurant for each meal), which enabled guests to eat the meal of their choice at a restaurant they wanted to be in, at a time that suited them.
Include personal touches
Gifts are a fantastic way to add a personal touch. During a recent global incentive for over 3,000 guests, Banks Sadler set up a pop-up gift shop with a variety of personalised luxury gifts such as custom-design Nike trainers and Maul Jim sunglasses. This left guests with a permanent memory of their incentive.
On their return home from the incentive, you could surprise guests with a personalised gift, or welcome them back to the office with a photo on your very own wall of fame; use photos from the incentive to create longevity; and run a feedback survey so that you can make further improvements next year.
Additionally, many leading hotel chains such as Marriott and Hilton have Internet of Things-enabled bedrooms (IoT). which offer personalised experiences (preferred mini-bar stock or pillow choice, favourite TV channel etc.). And if your guests are bringing their partners, consider their preferences too. This important group will be allies when it comes to motivating employees to win a place at next year’s incentive!
Incorporate your brand
Last but not least…remember to incorporate your brand and company values into your incentive. Can you reward employees who live and breathe your values? Welcome guests to their room with a video from their CEO?
Include both your corporate branding and the incentive design on event collateral (invites, signage, registration etc.) and gifts (e.g. destination guides, reusable water bottles, plug adapters, sunglasses, towels, flip-flops). Banks Sadler’s design team are experts in creating event identities from a personalised Snapchat filter for a global beauty company to a bespoke registration site in 13 different languages. Furthermore, consider activities that support a local community project or one of your supported charities.
Including each of these elements will not only increase loyalty and motivation. It will also generate feelings of excitement and positivity when employees think about your company and brand, ultimately resulting in a higher ROI for your organisation.
Our incentive travel teams are experts in delivering bespoke recognition programmes that reward your employees and generate ROI for your business. Contact us today to discuss how we can help you to reward your top performers with a trip of a lifetime.