Skip to content

The Rewards That Money Can't Buy - Unlocking Extraordinary Results with Incentive Events

The Rewards That Money Can't Buy

Think back to a time when someone gifted you an experience that left a lasting impression. Perhaps it was a trip to the movies, a thrilling day at a theme park, or a relaxing vacation in a warm and sunny destination.

These memories are easy to recall because they hold meaning and significance. Maybe the movie became one of your all-time favorites, or you conquered your fear of roller coasters, or formed lifelong connections splashing around in the hotel pool.

In other words, events and experiences are transformative.

We’ve seen incentive events and experiences result in…

  • Over 65% of participants strongly agree that event incentives and rewards are remembered far longer than cash payments
  • Well-designed and well-executed incentive event programs boost sales productivity by 18%
  • Organizations that provide non-cash rewards experience revenue increases 3x higher than the industry average

We’ve also seen incentive event and experiences receive feedback like:

  • 98% of attendees stating they thought of the brand sponsoring the event "more favorably” after the experience
  • Networking opportunities being rated 4.8 / 5 across the board
  • Attendees saying that, “The relationships built [during the event] will stand the rest of time”

In this blog, we are diving into the “what”, “why”, and “how” of incentive events. We are covering:

  • What Are Incentive Events / Experiences
  • Why Use Incentive Events / Experiences
  • How to Unleash Extraordinary Results
  • Crafting The Perfect Event / Experience

Let’s get started!

What Are Incentive Events and Experiences?

Incentive events are trips and experiences meant to motivate employees, customers, or partners to increase productivity and performance.

Incentive travel and hospitality are incredibly powerful business rewards, offering universal appeal. They incorporate desirable destinations, aspirational activities, and memorable experiences. They aim to create excitement, engagement, and loyalty among participants, driving them to perform at their best and achieve outstanding results.

Incentive events:

  • Motivate staff, customers, or partners to perform at their highest capacity
  • Help you achieve your program and business goals
  • Improve positive sentiment and loyalty from your audience
  • Educate your audience via the incorporation of business education into enjoyable experiences
  • Drive your audience’s association between you and a universally beloved, memorable experience

They can also look totally unique depending on the budget, intention, and targeted group. Afterall, the goal is to create the most memorable, enjoyable, and personalized experience possible, not fit into a pre-determined rewards mold.

Examples of incentive events include:

  • Long or short haul destination trips
  • Spa retreats
  • Visits to special events (F1 races, concerts, etc.)
  • Cooking classes
  • Festivals
  • And more!
Why Use Incentive Events / Experiences

But what makes incentive events and experiences special? Why should you consider utilizing them instead of a different incentive type, say, cash?

First, Some Stats

The importance of keeping our employees, customers, and partners motivated and engaged cannot be overstated. Take salespeople, for example:

While many workers feel less engaged, experiential rewards are making a difference. How, then, do we capitalize on it?

This is where incentive events come into play. Their draw is threefold: they are specific, they are unique, and they create an emotional bond between the recipient and the company providing the incentive.

When you incorporate these exceptional events into your incentive strategies, you not only provide memorable rewards but also cultivate a work and channel environment that encourages growth, creativity, and a sense of fulfillment.

As a result, your audience will be more motivated, productive, and dedicated, leading to increased profits, sales, and customer loyalty.

How to Unleash Extraordinary Results

Top notch incentive events:

Provide a focused, clear goal

Have you ever been at the supermarket trying to buy groceries and have gotten caught trying to select between the dozens of options — brands, special flavors, low sodium, etc.? That feeling is called choice paralysis. It’s a psychological phenomenon where, instead of feeling good about the multitude of choices available, a person can get overwhelmed and associate their experience with anxiety.

Choice paralysis can extend beyond the aisles of a supermarket and seep into various aspects of our lives, including motivation and rewards programs.

When organizations offer too many one-off perks or incentives without clear direction, it can lead to inefficiency and confusion. Your audience may feel overwhelmed by the multitude of options, unsure of which rewards to choose or how to make the most of them. This confusion can, in turn, associate a sense of anxiety with what should be a motivating reward.

To counteract this potential pitfall, create a personalized goal for them, based on the performance you’d like to see them do this year. Usually, you want to make sure they maintain their business with you. A few percentage points above last year's sales should be good.

By focusing on a specific event rather than an array of individual perks, organizations reduce the possibility of choice paralysis and the associated anxiety. Participants are provided with a clear target and understand the parameters within which they must work to achieve it.

This clarity eliminates the need to navigate countless options and instead directs all efforts towards a common objective.

Create a once-in-a-lifetime experience

When we talk about incentive events and experiences, it's important to acknowledge that while the destination or activity may be repeated, the experience itself cannot.

Each event is defined by a combination of factors, from the unique group of participants to the weather conditions on that day. This exclusivity adds a sense of excitement and anticipation that simply cannot be replicated.

Think about it - why do people frequently return to the same vacation spot? It's not just about the location itself, but rather the opportunity for new experiences and memories.

Knowing that the incentive they are working towards is a one-time thing can create an extra level of motivation. It adds a sense of urgency and timeliness, as participants understand that once the opportunity is gone, it's gone for good. This realization pushes individuals to give their best, seize the moment, and strive towards their goals with unwavering dedication.

Create an emotional, personalized bond

One of the remarkable aspects of incentive events is their ability to create deep, emotional connections between participants and the experience itself.

These events are personalized experiences, meticulously tailored to cater to individual needs and preferences. The effort invested in crafting a personalized event goes a long way in forging a strong bond between the recipients and the memories they create during the trip.

When participants feel that an event has been uniquely designed with their interests and desires in mind, they develop a sense of emotional attachment. This emotional connection extends beyond their outstanding performance and encompasses the brand or event itself. They associate the positive experience and the recognition received with the organization behind it, creating a lasting impression that fosters loyalty and engagement.

Crafting The Perfect Event / Experience

To ensure that your event is not only memorable but also generates impressive results and a high return on investment, it's essential to leave nothing up to chance.

Tip #1: Upgrade your personalization

Personalization is a crucial element in making incentive events more memorable and impactful. By understanding the preferences and interests of each participant, you can tailor the event to individual needs. Some ways include:

  • Offering specially catered experiences for them to choose from, like if your group all gets sea-sick easily, don’t offer a catamaran tour!
  • Choosing a destination they will love. If they’ve been to the Caribbean over and over again, maybe they’ll want to switch it up and go to Europe. Cross something off their bucket list!
  • Asking participants about their preferred newspapers or magazines and providing them in their rooms each morning.
  • Crafting personalized welcome letters written by the host.
  • Offering customized gifts that resonate with each attendee.

These personal touches create a sense of emotional connection and enhance the overall experience for participants.

Tip #2: Look for unique venues

Selecting unique venues adds an extra layer of exclusivity and excitement to incentive events and experiences. Help your participants cross something off their bucket lists by creating bespoke experiences that are exclusively designed for your audience, ensuring a truly unforgettable experience.

Tip #3: Post Event Feedback

Gathering post-event feedback is essential for evaluating the success of an incentive event or experience. Collecting and analyzing feedback from participants provides valuable insights into their experience and allows organizers to make improvements for future events. By understanding what worked well and areas for enhancement, they can continuously refine and elevate the event experience to exceed expectations.

Businesses are encouraged to explore the potential of incentive events and experiences to inspire their teams and achieve exceptional outcomes. These events offer a platform for recognition, reward, and relationship-building, all of which contribute to increased productivity, motivation, and satisfaction among participants. By investing in well-planned and executed incentive events, organizations can create a positive and memorable experience that leaves a lasting impression on their teams.

So, embrace the power of incentive events, tap into their ability to create emotional connections, and unleash their potential to drive success. With careful planning, personalization, and a focus on creating unforgettable experiences, businesses can harness the full benefits of incentive events and experiences and unlock the extraordinary results they can bring.