Budgets, participant eligibility, and perception of corporate incentive travel is on the rise. As more companies realize the benefits of non-monetary rewards – three major components emerge regarding the vitality and effectiveness of corporate incentive travel: Safety and Security, Transformative Experiences, and Strategic Program Design. These trends, along with others noted by the IRF 2019 Trends Study, can significantly be impacted by partnering with the right incentive partner. Organizations that elect to go the “do-it-yourself” route could be missing out on industry best practices and other incentive planning resources. With such a significant investment into non-monetary rewards, organizations should look to incentive experts to ensure programs are designed strategically and with security in mind.

Safety and Security

If you’re running a corporate incentive travel program, odds are it happens once a year. And whether you are new to the role or have been doing it for years, there will likely be challenges and disruptions when it comes to travelling with a large group. The benefit to working with a full-service incentive partner is that they’ve amassed the experience of dealing with those challenges ten times over. They’ve handled airport shutdowns, city shutdowns, weather crises and human crises. And with each test they become stronger and better equipped to handle the next situation that may arise.

Transformative Experiences

Millennials are credited with driving the shift toward transformational travel but according to the IRF, the concept transcends demographics and urgency actually increases with age and experience levels.  More and more, incentive travel participants and travelers are looking for narrative-driven experiences to enrich their perspective and quite literally change their lives.

While hotels and other hospitality organizations are moving to offer personalized journeys to travelers, the role of incentive planners will be to tie them back to the host organization and foster brand loyalty. Working with a provider that has experience in both creating transformative experiences and crafting the messaging to nurture relationships will give you a leg up in those efforts.

Strategic Program Design

You don’t know what you don’t know.

It’s a classic – but often detrimental narrative. Some examples of bad program design have had embarrassing and even disastrous outcomes. But beyond doing things wrong – you’ll want to work with a partner that has a proven, human-centered design methodology and a way to measure the right ROI for your program. From an agile rule structure to curated rewards, you can be confident the right incentive partner will create effective programs and unforgettable experiences that capture your audience.

Strategic program design is enabled by a deep understanding of motivation and behavioral insights, creative communication and engagement technology. Take a second to determine if you are poised for success in these areas.

So, if you are part of the 77% of corporate buyers that don’t work with an incentive house, marketing agency, or consulting firm when it comes to your incentive needs, think about your company’s ability to deliver on these three components – could it be done better?

Tell us about your program challenges.

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