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Travel Rewards Strategy

As a team reward or individual incentive, tie travel programs to results

Taking your group to a beautiful meeting destination, or rewarding your top performers with an exciting trip are great ways to use travel as an incentive. But to be truly effective, always consider how travel fits into your organization's incentive programs and overall strategy to motivate employee behaviour or enhance your client experience.

Here are guidelines for planning group travel to be well-integrated with your organization's goals and operations.

Set your incentive program objectives
  • Be clear on who will be eligible to take part in the incentive travel. The chance to participate in a rewards trip should ideally be achievable to anyone who can help you achieve your goals.
  • Set the eligibility bar high enough to make it challenging, but be sure to keep requirements realistic and attainable.
  • Consider what kind of travel experience would be meaningful for your group, and what the participants' experience would be.
Put your strategy in motion
  • Summarize your goals in writing, and outline why an incentive travel program has been chosen as a tactic to help achieve these goals.
  • Enlist outside help at this stage, if necessary. While there may be costs associated with a specialized incentive travel consultant, you can ultimately save through their experience, economies of scale, and operational know-how when it comes to logistics.
  • Draw up a timetable and a formal list of who is responsible for what in the meeting planning or travel rewards process.
  • Establish a realistic budget.
  • Even if you don't enlist help at this stage, remember that you can call on the resources of a destination management company later on, when you decide on a location.
Determine the incentive travel location
  • Your first thought should be based on the demographics of your group, and how much experience they have traveling. Your choice of destination should be both reflective of your goal and motivating for your group.
  • Factor in whether you will need space to host meetings or seminars, and whether you expect to bring in guest speakers. This can have an impact on both logistics and budget.
  • Time your event to your benefit, whether it's taking into account seasonal rates, climate or an acceptable time for the group to be away from normal business responsibilities.
  • Consider staffing needs, and investigate how destination management services can help with logistics, event planning and accommodations selection.
Market your incentive message
  • Plan a marketing campaign of email, mailings and teaser gifts to excite the potential travel rewards participants and their spouses or guests, if appropriate.
  • Launch your incentive program giving participants a hint or preview of the destination or theme.
  • Personalize the goal, by having you CEO or key executive write a motivating letter.
  • Make it clear what participants have to accomplish, and make sure there's a way for them to have any questions answered.
  • Keep the program top-of-mind, by providing progress updates or marketing teasers to reignite excitement and inspire performance.

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