Incentive travel planners pride themselves on creating truly unique travel experiences. These are the types of vacations that most people simply can’t organize, and as a result, the memories created often last a lifetime. Whether you’re sending employees to a dinner on the Great Wall of China, treating clients to a VIP night at the Grammy Awards or sending loyal customers on an African safari, they’ll always remember the incredible things that they saw and experienced. But sometimes it is the small personalized “surprise and delight” moments that can be weaved into a travel incentive that provides a true authentic connection with your guest. These can often be the moments they talk about for years to come. Here are a few fun ideas.
- On departure day – arrange for special (1) day guest passes to the airlines executive lounge at airport for your group meeting point.
- Find out their favorite snacks, water and soda and have their room stocked with the brands they love when they arrive.
- For your guests that have kids and have left the little ones at home create small take home kids gift packages so they don’t have to shop for a treat to bring home.
- Host a beautiful group dinner on the beach or at a waters edge restaurant and end the evening with a surprise fireworks show.
- Place stamped postcards and pens ready to go in the guest rooms – easy to send home.
- Provide comfy robes and slippers as gifts to use and take home.
- After your guest valets their car at the hotel for the day or weekend event – have their car washed for them and place a rose and a note to thank them for attending on the windshield.
- Have a photographer on site and create a surprise slide show set to great music close your last night dinner.
- Create custom mini photo albums to send to guests once they return home.
- End the program with a special room gift and hand written note. Make sure the gift reflects the spirit of the destination and customize it if you can.
The bottom line is get creative with your client and your team to provide the small little touches that matter. Focus on tapping into emotions and creating unique authentic experiences. With at least three to four distinct generations served by incentive travel programs (baby boomers, gen. X, Y and incoming Z), it is more important than ever that incentives are personalized for participants and provide moments that are meaningful.