Enhance the Incentive Travel Experience with Communications

Rhi Taylor
Rhi Taylor

Man on an incentive travel trip smiling at his phone on the beach

You’ve spent most of the year motivating your employees to reach new levels of success through an incentive program. The end result? An enticing incentive travel award. Your employees listened, business goals were achieved and now your top performers are gearing up for the trip of a lifetime. Your work here is done…right? Wrong! Ensuring your participants have a positive experience during the incentive trip can help keep motivation up and inspire them to continue their behavior to reach next year’s goals!

There are multiple communication options—going beyond a typical welcome packet—to keep in mind when designing your onsite travel experience.

Complete Brand Immersion

From the moment your first participant walks through the hotel lobby door, there should be no doubt in their mind that they have come to the right place. The program logo, theme and messaging used during qualification and pre-trip communications should continue onsite to enhance familiarity. This can include hanging signage, pop-up banners, elevator skins, hotel key cards and door hangers. Go a step further and have a branded welcome amenity tied to both the program and incentive travel destination—like company-logoed beach bags and sunscreen kits in Hawaii—waiting for them at the registration desk.

There’s an App for That

According to a recent Ericsson Mobility Report, by 2020, 70% of people worldwide will use smartphones. That’s nearly 26 billion active connected devices.

Why not incorporate a tool that your participants likely have in their pocket to improve their incentive travel experience? When used properly, a program-dedicated mobile app can be used twofold to increase engagement during qualification and elevate the onsite experience.

Functionality of today’s mobile apps include:

  • Social networking with fellow attendees…think of it as your incentive travel program’s own private Facebook
  • Push notifications allowing program staff to communicate when there are last-minute changes
  • Destination-specific guides with ideas for time at leisure
  • Personalized activity and event schedules
  • Photo-sharing galleries
  • Gamification
  • Surveys to gain valuable post-program feedback

Reiterate Recognition

Onsite communications should remind participants exactly why they are on the trip. Whether it’s a special dinner invite with a senior executive or a hand-written card accompanying an in-room amenity, messaging should continue to show your appreciation for their efforts. To further boost excitement, give your top performers a sneak peek at the destination and qualification guidelines for next year’s incentive travel award before anyone else in the company.

It’s also important to remember that an employee returning from an incentive travel program is a powerful tool. That employee is likely to talk about their memorable experience with coworkers, which can in turn motivate those coworkers to work harder to meet their goals the following year.

Get inspired by our curated roundup of the top incentive travel destinations to send your team on the trip of a lifetime. If you don’t want to navigate the complexity of an incentive travel program on your own, we have a solution for that, too. 

Rhi Taylor

Rhi Taylor

Rhi Taylor joined ITA Group in 2011 as a copywriter and has more than 10 years’ experience working in communications. When she isn’t busy crafting engaging and memorable content for her clients, Rhi can be found golfing, skiing or indulging her inner Top Chef in the kitchen.