5 Things to Consider When Planning Incentive Trips


Guest Blog by Gary Bender and Donna Kessler | Co-founders and Directors of Get Global


Providing recognition of a team’s achievements and rewarding them with travel experiences is a long-established technique and its proven success in employee retention, means it is here to stay.

We also all know incentive travel can be at significant expense to an organisation, so how do you ensure you get the best bang for your buck, and the desired experience for a diverse range of delegates, often each with their own preferences and expectations?

The experienced team at Get Global believe there are 5 fundamental factors to consider when planning and organising an incentive trip, whether planning for your own team or for a client, to get this balance right and reward each of the delegates attending.

1. Start with the WHY

A well-formulated strategy with clear objectives, KPIs and required outcomes is the roadmap to a successful incentive. The WHO, WHAT, WHEN, and WHERE are formulated around the purpose of the trip, which also helps define budgets, timelines, activities and the structure of incentive travel.

Whether it’s a lavish reward, an outcome-driven motivator, a team-building or knowledge exchange, a retention or change-management process, knowing the true and fundamental reason for an incentive program will make your decision easier, keep you on track and unify the organising team.

As Simon Sinek famously espoused, “Start with the WHY" and the rest will fall into place.

2. Timing is everything

The key to keeping your cool in the deadline-driven world of incentive planning is to plan ahead as much as possible – but we all know how often that happens! We frequently find ourselves scrambling to overcome challenges, tight and unrealistic expectations, which can change our results and our businesses.

Clear and open communications is a great first step. A well-executed incentive takes 12-18 months to plan and organise, and advanced bookings of the big-ticket items such as flights and accommodation can result in significant savings as well as a higher standard of service.

The benefits of extra lead time are three-fold and significant. It enables you to organise better activities, mitigate risk and maximise value. It gives you a better choice of location – all incentive destinations have peak and off-peak periods, different cultural, political and business cycles – and given enough notice incentive planners can find the ideal location for even the most discerning clients. It also builds the excitement and anticipation of delegates - a cultural win as delegates continue to feel motivated and inspired by the upcoming trip.

Which brings us to…

3. Location, location, location.

When choosing which location is best, explore different destinations, reviews, trends, proximity, flight times and availability. Most importantly, do not forget about seasonal factors, such as rainy seasons. 

Choosing the time of the year the incentive trip will take place allows you to plan specific seasonal activities. For example, you might take advantage of the summer season in Hawaii and hike up Diamond Head State Monument or even take the opportunity to attend a local business event.

Taking into consideration seasons and ‘what’s on’ in various destinations will ultimately help to decide where you choose to host the incentive trip.

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4. Collaboration and partnerships

Collaboration is an essential part of planning an incentive trip, suppliers of big-ticket items should be seen as partners. It can be the make or break – more so than any other factor.

From all-inclusive to boutique weekends away, incentive trips come in all different shapes and sizes.

Having partnerships in place with venues and suppliers will make the experience seamless and the added assistance with on-the-ground requests, means you will have even more local experts on your team.

5. Make it fun!

You simply cannot take all your delegates to an amazing destination and then have nothing planned. It is imperative your program of activities is carefully planned prior to reaching the destination – but do remember to allow free time as well!

Activities should be interactive and engaging to inspire and motivate employees. Unique experiences will ensure employees are captivated and engaged, the activity is memorable, and they will likely share their experience, further inspiring their colleagues.

When planning activities, consider who your delegates are and any potential barriers to participation such as health issues; for example, delegates with heart problems or blood pressure, won’t be able to participate in activities such as extreme sports like white water rafting.

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Final note…

The most successful and effective incentive trips not only reward and motivate those delegates attending, they also inspire the next wave of potential delegates to achieve their goals and targets; so they too can take part in a memorable, rewarding incentive trip.

At Get Global we focus on these 5 key elements and more. With so many global destinations and hotels headlining Get Global, this is your chance to make those lasting connections.

Get Global brings together Australian and New Zealand buyers who organise and influence decisions for meetings, events, conferences, incentives and retreats, by exclusively showcasing international products. Recently crowned MEA’s ‘Exhibition of the Year’ winner for a second consecutive year, this is one show not to be missed.

Register to attend today: www.getglobal.com.au

Guest post by Gary Bender and Donna Kessler | Get Global

Gary Bender and Donna Kessler are the joint Founders of Get Global, an innovative and efficient business platform for international suppliers to connect with corporate meeting planners, incentive houses, PCO's, travel companies and anyone else that has international group business from Australia. Get Global, launched in 2017, was hailed a huge success by exhibitors and buyers alike. This innovative format for doing business is an intensive one day exhibition with 100% international product and is NOT your typical tradeshow. Get Global now heading into its third year, promises more exhibitors (Go Getters), more buyers and more countries represented. In 2017 and 2018, Get Global was awarded ‘Exhibition of the Year’ at the National Meetings and Events Australia Awards.

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