For a lot of our corporate clients, the event that suffered the most during this new virtual era was the incentive trip. The keyword here is ‘trip.’ Employees reached a certain threshold and were incentivized for this tier of success with a paid vacation and networking opportunity among peers! In the past we have traveled to Bora Bora, Aruba, Mexico, etc. planning and designing a week of festivities and giving our clients’ employees a first-class experience at Five Star destinations. With the current state of the world, companies have banned most non-essential travel, therefore taking out these bonus incentive trips.
However, all is not lost! To keep travel an incentive still, companies have partnered with hotel chains to book ‘certificates’ that are good for travel to any of their properties, at any time… and we all know how much hotels LOVE to throw blackout dates and caveats with these rewards. But this time, there are none! Want to travel on Christmas?… No problem. Fourth of July?… Game on… Flag Day?… Weird, but see you then!
The four walls of our homes have become overly confining and we all need to break free. In fact, I’m packed and ready… just tell me when!
HOW ACCOR MAKES IT WORK
Accor Hotels (Fairmont, Raffles and Swissotel Hotels & Resorts worldwide) has come up with the Ovation Rewards Experience providing a one night stay for two and daily breakfast at any of their properties (you can purchase as many nights as you want). They break it down into 4 certificate levels: Collection A, B, C and D, based on hotel ADR (hotel lingo for average daily rate). Each level has three room types to choose from: Standard room, Junior Suite and Fairmont Gold/ One Bedroom Suite. You simply select which level you want to gift, which room type and for how many nights.
THE REST OF THE TRIP
Since we work in events and are all about creating an experience, below are some ideas that could help make the gift of travel more of an experience rather than just a gift:
- Airfare -Pair with Business Class travel vouchers (this is a must… you can’t gift someone a hotel stay and then tell them they are on their own getting there… TACKY!)
- Swag- Have the certificate be delivered with a piece of Away Luggage and a bottle of Veuve.
- Food & Beverage- Purchase a prepaid Visa Gift Card or create a master account and re-route all F&B charges.
- Activities- Partner with local vendors and add activity vouchers to explore the town or add in a spa gift certificate from the resort.
- Transportation- Create a corporate account with Blacklane and set up personalized chauffeurs.
- Networking- Schedule 15-minute one-on-ones with your employees and your Executive team
- Team Bonding- Host a virtual Happy Hour or a Zoom interactive experience such as a mixology class or Escape Room.
Now, with all these tips and links go ahead and resurrect the incentive trip!