On-Site Incentive Travel Communications That Go Beyond the Welcome Packet

ITA Group
ITA Group

Man on an incentive travel trip working on laptop on the beach

You’ve spent most of the year motivating employees to reach new levels of success through an incentive program. The end result? An enticing incentive travel award. Your employees listened and acted upon objectives to achieve business goals and now your top performers are gearing up for the trip of a lifetime. Your work here is done…right? Wrong!

Ensuring participants have a positive incentive trip experience can help them stay motivated and continue their behavior to reach next year’s goals.

There are multiple communication options—beyond a typical welcome packet—to keep in mind when designing the on-site 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 they’ve come to the right place.

The program logo, theme and messaging used during qualification and pre-trip communications should continue on property to enhance familiarity. A creative thread runs through the content development, activations, entertainment, food and beverage, and engagement campaigns to maximize engagement. At every interaction, the audience understands what's being communicated. Creative signage and wayfinding can include the basics of branded materials like pop-up banners, elevator skins and hotel key cards.

Related: Learn how event gifting enhanced the meeting experience for one financial institution.

Go a step further and have a personalized gift waiting for participants in their suite. On one client incentive trip, attendees were surprised to find a pair of Tom Cruise’s infamous Ray Ban sunglasses waiting in their rooms after an excursion to the location “Top Gun” filmed. It included a note reminiscing of the time shared together as another special touch.

There’s an App for That

Participants are used to having an app for everything in their daily lives, so they expect the same experience for incentive travel.

Creating a communications strategy helps attendees understand exactly what’s to be expected. Incentive trips include a huge amount of information, from flight details and dietary requests to itineraries and activity information. It’s important to communicate all this information correctly.

Registration apps are an effective method of dispersing information to a large group of people; they are easily customizable, accessible and eco-friendly. When used properly, a program-dedicated mobile app can be used twofold to increase engagement during qualification and elevate the on-site experience.

Related: Take our Hyper-Personalized Events Quiz to see how you can ensure better personalization on site.

Functionality of today’s mobile apps include:

  • Social networking with fellow attendees—it’s your incentive travel program’s own private Facebook
  • Push notifications when there are last-minute changes
  • Destination-specific guides with ideas for time at leisure
  • Personalized activity and event schedules
  • Photo-sharing galleries
  • Gamification
  • Post-program surveys

Reiterate Recognition

Incentive trips are an honor for employees who have gone above and beyond their roles. Make employees feel special with personalized touches such as a favorite drink or snack waiting in the room upon arrival. Find time for company executives to personally thank employees for their hard work and achievements. Continue to find moments throughout the trip to surprise and delight your participants.

Related: Check out our list of on-site event recognition ideas sure to leave an impression and inspire your people.

On-site 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.

Tackle Your Incentive Travel Program Strategy With Confidence

To ensure you’re ready to tackle anything, check out our Hot Topics in Events Collection for ways to make sure your next incentive travel program comes back better than ever.