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It’s a premier-class incentive that never fails to engage.


A great incentive travel planner will make it look easy – but it’s not – there’s a lot that goes into creating a fantastic group travel experience.

And it’s no small budget item either. So make sure you’re working all the angles and including all the elements of an extraordinary travel experience for your group of VIP winners.

Tip 1: Choose the right incentive travel planner

Knowledgeable, efficient, caring, creative and positively perfectionist. A great incentive travel planner is all that and more. Remember, your requirements range from mundane, mission critical paperwork (visas, passports, foreign exchange) to health, safety and personal comfort at your destination. And then there’s the feel good drip-feed of teaser messages to keep anticipation high as departure day draws ever closer. It takes a special kind of travel professional to deliver the whole package. Actually, it takes a team.

If you have an established relationship with a great incentive planner, so much the better. But if you’re in the market for a new partner, be sure to look for someone who has been around the block and understands the nuances of incentive travel. A connection with the international incentive travel body SITE is a useful benchmark.

Tip 2: Cue the soundtrack

Curtain up, winners centre stage, it’s show-time! Take your incentive theme and have a blast with countdown communications, curated travel accessories, desk-drops, useful travel apps, destination guides, activity options. Tips on cultural etiquette, maybe? If you’re planning any international business networking at your destination, this could be particularly useful. Check this infographic on global good manners, Quick Guide to Going Global. It could spare you some awkward encounters with your international cohorts.

This period between reward presentation and the actual journey is all about building excitement around the trip and fanning the flames of anticipation. And anticipation of reward, as we now know, is more stimulating to the brain’s pleasure pathways, than the actual reward.   

Tip 3: The biggest brand boost

Incentive travel is, indeed, an exercise in building the bonds of brand love and loyalty. Wouldn’t you forever remember the company that sent you island hopping in Thailand or touring unexplored corners of Croatia? You’d remember them with great love and affection, of course. The most obvious knock-on benefits of incentive travel are greater employee commitment and retention, stronger teamwork, increased morale and ultimately, stronger overall business performance. And it gets better.

The ever-growing power and reach of social media has added a new dimension to the brand value of incentive travel. GET Rewards’ very own blogger and intrepid traveller, Nic Dall defines it,

“When it comes to social media, travel is worth its weight in 18-carat gold.”

Think about it – immersive, immediate and involving experiences before, during and after the trip. Easy and low cost, to boot! And he suggests a few ways of achieving the heightened emotional participation.

  • Create hype ahead of the trip. Use hashtags and full on campaigns to encourage participation, add sparkle to the challenge and get people talking about the chance to win. And it goes without saying, image posts are a spectacular draw.
  • Share the experience. Real-time photos, videos and diary-style posts across social platforms invite the audience back home to go along for the ride. It’s fun, for a start, but also stokes aspirational enthusiasm for your next travel incentive.
  • Relive the journey back home. Shared stories, video flashbacks, recaps and photo report backs etch the experience in personal and collective memory.

It’s not for nothing that travel is the ultimate reward. It’s a truly unique opportunity to make a lasting emotional connection with your customers, employees and channel partners. Consider it a one-way ticket to life-long loyalty.

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