Did you know that 46% of U.S. businesses use travel incentives? Whether you’re looking to accelerate sales of selective product lines, fast track new products, or simply distinguish your best and most loyal customers, incentive travel is an extremely effective motivator.
One of the goals for a group travel program is to bring people together through shared experiences. People often form bonds over things they experience together – in fact, according to a study done by Yale University published in Psychological Science1, people who share experiences with another person rate those experiences more pleasant than those who undergo the experience on their own.
When you bring people together on a group program, you’re harnessing the benefits of not only treating them to an experience, but also the value of enhanced relationships.
Creating these shared experiences is at the heart of what we do, and this is the beauty of a travel incentive: it provides a motivating factor for your participants, and it also provides value for you, the sponsor.
Motivating Your Participants
Travel incentives are earned, and we make sure that people really want to earn them. One of the biggest motivating factors for these types of programs is pretty simple: bragging rights. When the stakes are high and the spots are few, people become competitive and want to guarantee their place on the trip. Participants are often working alongside each other, tracking each other’s progress and staying on top of their performance in order to earn the reward.
Of course, when they do earn it, they’ll enjoy lovely accommodations and outstanding activities. But what makes these trips so worth it to the participants is the opportunity to spend time rubbing elbows with your leadership team.
Your sales teams and channel partners alike often love the ability to meet & greet with the higher ups on a personal level, and a laid back atmosphere such as a travel experience is the perfect venue to do this. No suit & ties, no stuffy environment. Just you and them, enjoying a few days away from the office and creating new experiences.
Providing Value for You
When you give your winners the opportunity to join you on a travel program, you’re providing a chance to build relationships you’d not be able to have otherwise. The connections you build with your team, channel partners, or best customers are ones that will serve you well beyond the length of the trip.
As you nurture these relationships, you’re building loyalty and trust. Year after year, these same participants will vie for a spot on the trip, and you’ll continue to enhance your relationship. Some of our participants have even said that they feel as though they are becoming part of the family:
“I know these travel experiences are working because after three years, the customers are now telling
us they feel like they are a part of our family and that each year is yet another reunion. Once again you and your team have nailed it.” –VP of Sales, Construction Manufacturer
The lifetime value of a travel experience is invaluable and cannot be duplicated through other means such as cash, rebates, or gift cards, especially when the experience is earned and repeated.
At the World Meetings Forum in Mexico’s Riviera Maya, Site President Paul Miller gave a presentation on incentive programs:
“People want to feel that they have earned their incentive rather than winning it – it’s not a lottery,” he said. “They want to feel that they have joined an elite group—the best of the best. The sense of achievement and bragging rights last longer than any material good,” he added.
Miller also noted that incentive travel programs increase individual performances by 22%, and team performances by 44%. Those are some pretty staggering numbers.
Read more about incentive travel programs here.
1Psychol Sci. 2014 Dec;25(12):2209-16. doi: 10.1177/0956797614551162. Epub 2014 Oct 1. Shared experiences are amplified. Boothby EJ, Clark MS, Bargh JA.