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If running a successful kiddies’ birthday party is tricky, imagine the planning involved in sending a group of top sales execs to Cambodia on a transformative yoga retreat. Sidestep the stress and leave it to the professionals. 


The best is yet to come for incentive travel, according to the Incentive Research Foundation, which notes that budgets are increasing, public and industry perceptions are improving, and participant eligibility is climbing. The same foundation notes that a well-crafted travel incentive program can increase productivity by 18% and produce a 112% ROI. ‘Well-crafted’ being the operative word.

Incentive travel – much like the girl with the curl in the middle of her forehead – is either very good indeed, or horrid. Which is why you need an experienced incentive travel planner in your corner.

First things first

In case you spent last week’s blog lesson staring out the window, here’s a quick reminder of Why incentive travel is 2019’s ultimate reward. “Whether you’re in the business of motivating salespeople, retaining talent or rewarding customers, research shows that incentive travel is the one reward no human being can get enough of. With every passing year the world is becoming more of an experience economy – and experiences don’t come better than the opportunity to broaden your horizons and see the world.”

Fail to prepare, prepare to fail

Now we’ve got that out of the way, let’s move on to today’s main event. While there’s technically nothing stopping you from organising every aspect (from vegan meal options to lapel carnations) of an incentive trip in-house, chances are the trip will be more successful and more affordable if you outsource it. Besides, it’ll free up your HR department to focus on their real jobs. Here are five compelling reasons why you need a proven incentive travel planner in your life.

1. They’ll save you money

This one may seem a little counterintuitive but hear us out. Of course, incentive planners charge for their services (and the good ones charge a premium) but this is a small price to pay for knowing that things will work. Experienced incentive planners won’t waste any of your cash on unnecessary add-ons or unproven service providers. And they’ll also leverage their longstanding relationships with service providers all around the globe to negotiate special rates. Not to mention freebies like complementary airport transfers, golf carts, or champagne.

2. They’ll save you time

In addition to saving you money, employing a top-notch incentive travel planner will also save you time – oodles of it. And we all know that time is money. Let’s return to the kiddies’ birthday party analogy for a moment. While it might be (marginally) cheaper to bake that dinosaur cake yourself, if you only take the cost of the ingredients into account, there is simply no comparison once you consider the opportunity costs of a DIY cake. Hiring an experienced incentive travel planner will free up your entire team to do what you’re paying them to do!

3. They’ll ensure a better travel experience

Incentive travel can be pricey (in the US firms spend an average of $4000 per trip per person) but this is nothing compared to the damage a badly burnt dinosaur cake poorly run incentive travel program could do to your brand. Incentive travel planners can count on years of experience to ensure that things run as smoothly as is humanly possible. You can’t change the weather, for example, but you can avoid Thailand in the monsoon season. There’s not much you can do about flight delays either, but you can leverage on-the-ground contacts to make the experience as pleasant as possible – very few folks can resist a free gourmet lunch or a complementary city tour.

4. They’ll ensure you stick to budget

In our experience CEOs and CFOs don’t mind spending money – as long as it shows a solid ROI. But the one thing all number crunchers despise is going over budget. You might think planning an incentive travel trip is as easy as booking flights, hotels and day trips but – in the same way that baking a cake is about far more than flour, eggs and sugar – there are loads of other seemingly small components that can make or break a trip. Any incentive travel planner worth their salt will keep your budget front and centre every step of the way. If this means shaving a day off the trip or changing the hotels your guests stay in, so be it.

5. They’ll be worth their weight in marketing gold

As 2019 draws to a close, all the smart operators are realising that incentive travel isn’t just about the folks who get to go on the trip – far from it! All the best incentive travel programs make clever use of social medial before, during and after a travel event to leverage maximum value for your brand. While your in-house social media team might want to handle the nuts and bolts of the various campaigns, an expert travel planner will provide invaluable guidance to ensure you get maximum bang for your buck. Or they can just take care of the whole bang shoot if you prefer.

Cutting to the chase

While we could spend hours extolling the virtues of experienced incentive travel planners, we understand you probably need to get on with your day at this point. Besides, we believe that actions speak louder than words. Perhaps you’ve been charged with planning an incentive travel event for the first time and don’t know where to start? Or maybe you’ve been burnt by less than stellar service from other travel planners in the past and are planning on going DIY this time around? Either way, GET Rewards is here to help.

Our expert destination planners have been to 118 of the world’s 195 countries and we know everything there is to know about leveraging the power of travel to supercharge engagement and brand loyalty. Whether you’re putting together a Magaliesberg team building weekend or a once-in-a-lifetime Antarctic extravaganza, we’ve been there, done that – and we’ve got the passport stamps to prove it. So get in touch to make your incentive travel dreams come true.

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