On the Road with Motivation Excellence: September 2021

Motivation Excellence

Things are changing quickly when it comes to travel. At Motivation Excellence, our goal is to keep our followers and clients informed on the latest protocols, trends and tips. In our On the Road series, we’ll highlight our own travels for leisure and business, as well as report on current client trends in the incentive industry. Look for the latest On the Road post at the end of each month. If you ever have travel questions during this uncertain time please reach out to us at ME@MotivationExcellence.com. We’re happy to be your virtual shotgun or plus one!

September was a busy month – read below for a coast-to-coast recap of our travels and key takeaways. 

San Diego in September – Always Amazing

Traveler: David Jobes, President/CEO
Destination: Hotel del Coronado for SITE Classic Meeting

I had the pleasure of attending SITE Classic at the beautiful Hotel del Coronado. With more than $400 million in renovation and expansion, the hotel remains absolutely stunning, especially the original woodwork throughout the main venue space. They have a great selection of restaurants on property with great food and great service to create a level of excellence we expect from this iconic hotel. 

Of course, the weather in San Diego was perfect, no surprise there! The SITE team did a great job with this event! There were interesting breakout sessions, speakers and fun activities that truly took advantage of this spectacular resort and city. SITE suppliers donated wonderful travel packages to help raise money for the association.

Key Takeaways:

  • San Diego airport is easy to navigate and I had no delays with the TSA check-in process.
  • Rideshare service was good – usually less than a 5-minute wait. Masking for unvaccinated people was in play and looked to be widely followed.

Back at it in Las Vegas with Howie, Lionel and Motivation Excellence

Traveler: Brad Hecht, VP Travel
Destination: Las Vegas (Wynn) for Client Program

Excited to be back out with our customers at a major event this month for a group of 250 people!  The airports flying from RSW to LAS via DFW were all packed on a Sunday afternoon and evening of travel.  Of course, when I stepped off the plane it was again like old times again and the LV Strip was bursting with energy, people and lots and lots of craziness.

Basically, it’s busy everywhere in Vegas.  Taxi lines, bars, restaurants, and especially the casinos are experiencing high traffic, not to mention sold out hotels.  The only slow place was breakfast at 7am!

Howie Mandel commented how this was his first time in nearly two years performing live. Believe me, we were all excited to be back in a live atmosphere again and Howie and Lionel Richie were amazing at our client event!

Key Takeaways:

  • Our client’s customers were excited to be back at a live event!
  • This is the just the beginning of great things to come for our industry.

Happy to Help a Client in the Happiest Place on Earth

Traveler: Sky Capriolo, Strategic Marketing Manager
Destination: Orlando

I had the pleasure to attend a client event to help with in-person registration of their channel partners and sales reps for their new incentive program! The venue (Gaylord Palms) and our client did a great job with safety protocols throughout the long weekend including adding spacing between chairs at meetings, bringing in air purifiers, masking as needed and staff serving food at buffets. 

Frankly, flying into Florida, I wasn’t sure what to expect, but was happy to see all service industry people (hotel staff and off-site restaurant staff) wearing masks, as well as a good portion of visitors to the hotel and Disney Springs. 

Key Takeaways:

  • Always assume you’ll be placed next to a whining, kicking toddler on your flight to Orlando.
  • The flight back from Orlando is a lot like the flight back home from Vegas…people are exhausted!

A Site Visit for an Upcoming Client Program


Traveler: Rhonda Brewer, VP Sales
Destination: New York City

We had a quick turnaround opportunity to help a client host a meeting/event in New York City in October. I was excited to attend the site survey in September and was pleased with the results! 

New York City requires proof of vaccination to attend inside events at hotels and restaurants. Our client’s group will not all be vaccinated, so we found outdoor meeting and eating spaces in Manhattan to accommodate everyone attending. The pictures above are of a space at the Central Park Zoo we’ll be utilizing. 

New York City is thriving and beautiful in the fall. We really liked the new terminal at LaGuardia Airport! It’s so bright and inviting, despite the continued construction. 

Key Takeaways:

  • NYC is still a great place for incentive travel and meetings!
  • While tricky, accommodating all attendees is doable and appreciated by clients.

Getting in the Swing for Charity

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Traveler: Rebecca Steiner, Business Development Director
Destination: Boston-area

Rhonda Brewer and I were thrilled to take part in a charity golf event hosted by one of our clients at the historic Woodland Golf Course in Newton, Massachusetts. Motivation Excellence was one of 60 sponsors to support this 32-year tradition. Nine non-profit groups (mostly in healthcare, addiction, special needs education and children’s needs) benefited from nearly $150,000 raised! 

Rhonda and I did not win any golf awards, but we had a great time in our foursome and celebrated every great shot on our team (see pic)!

Motivation Excellence donated a travel package that included an $800 American Airlines voucher and a 3-night stay at the Eden Roc in Miami. We’re grateful to our partners at Eden Roc for helping support our client’s charity!

Key Takeaways:

  • If you’ve never tried the “Martini Tees”…get yourself some before your next trek to the course!
  • A golf event is a perfect way to get a good size group of people together safely to have some fun and enjoy camaraderie. 

Client Trends

Our team is very busy with proposals for incentive programs scheduled to start in December 2021 or January 2022. This is the time when budgets for the next calendar year are put in place, so it’s the perfect time to look at how you’re planning to reward and recognize the people who make a difference for your company. 

Group incentive travel, lifestyle upgrade rewards, employee reward and recognition programs and individual travel packages are all ways we’re working with current and new clients to motivate and recognize their employees and channel partners. 

Coming Up Ahead

  • Paris with SITE (Society for Incentive Travel Excellence)
  • A Danube River Cruise
  • Client program in New York City in October

Buckle up and enjoy the ride with Motivation Excellence as your guide!