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 are transformative.
This sentiment extends to incentive strategies as well. After all, incentives strive to provide the most enticing and relevant gifts to motivate employees.
The importance of keeping employees motivated and engaged cannot be overstated. In fact, businesses with actively motivated employees experience 27% higher profits and see a remarkable 50% increase in sales and customer loyalty.
Cash rewards have their advantages due to their universality. It's undeniably useful, allowing you to cover essential expenses like groceries, gas, and bills. However, every now and then, receiving a reward that you genuinely desire, rather than solely need, can be truly delightful.
This is where incentive events come into play. They offer extraordinary experiences that transcend mere cash incentives. By creating lasting memories and fostering loyalty, these events leave a profound impact on employees. Picture indulging in luxury travel, enjoying exclusive access to sought-after events, or embarking on immersive adventures that go far beyond monetary rewards. These are the types of incentives that ignite inspiration in employees, propelling them to reach new heights.
By incorporating these exceptional events into your incentive strategies, you not only provide memorable rewards but also cultivate a work environment that encourages growth, creativity, and a sense of fulfillment. As a result, your employees will be more motivated, productive, and dedicated, leading to increased profits, sales, and customer loyalty.
360insights’ incentive events service has resulted in results like:
- 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 can boost sales productivity by 18%.
- Organizations that provide non-cash rewards experience revenue increases three times higher than the industry average.
Specific incentive events put on by 360insights have received 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
- Why Incentive Events Are Different
- Unleashing Extraordinary Results
- Crafting The Perfect Event
Let’s get started!
What Are Incentive Events?
Incentive events are trips and experiences meant to motivate employees or partners to increase productivity and performance.
Incentive travel and hospitality are the most powerful business rewards available, offering universal appeal. These events go beyond traditional recognition, incorporating 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 are special experiences or rewards offered to top performers or teams to:
- Motivate staff or partners to perform at their highest capacity
- Help clients achieve their program and business goals
- Improve positive sentiment and loyalty from partners
- Educate partners via the incorporation of business education into enjoyable experiences
- Drive your employees’ or partners’ association between you and a universally beloved, memorable experience
Incentive events can look totally unique depending on the budget, intention, and targeted group. The goal is to create the most memorable, enjoyable, and personalized experience possible. Examples of incentive events put on by 360insights include:
- Long or short haul destination trips
- Spa retreats
- Visits to special events (F1 races, concerts, etc.)
- Cooking classes
- And more!
Why Incentive Events are Different
But what actually makes incentive events so special? Why should you consider utilizing them instead of a different incentive type, say, cash?
The draw of incentive events is threefold: they are specific, they are unique, and they create an emotional bond between the recipient and the company providing the incentive.
They 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 employee motivation and rewards programs. When organizations offer too many one-off perks or incentives without clear direction, it can lead to inefficiency and confusion. Employees 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, creating a one-off incentive event with transparent goals can be highly effective. 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.
They are one-time only experiences
When we talk about incentive events, 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. Similarly, incentive events offer participants the chance to create unforgettable moments that will never be duplicated. This inherent scarcity amplifies the motivation factor for employees or partners involved.
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.
They 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.
Furthermore, incentive events provide opportunities for participants to form relationships with others who are sharing the experience. Whether it's colleagues, partners, or fellow achievers, these interactions lead to the formation of meaningful connections. Building relationships in a relaxed and enjoyable setting strengthens the emotional bond and creates a sense of belonging and camaraderie.
The significant aspect of these lasting relationships is that they become emotionally intertwined with your brand and the incentive trip itself. Participants not only remember the rewards and achievements but also recall the connections they made with others. These emotional associations serve as a powerful reminder of the positive impact your brand had on their lives and the memories they cherish.
Leaving it to the experts
As discussed, incentive events can generate pretty amazing results with high ROI. But this is only the case if an event is well planned and executed.
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. This is where the expertise of professionals with a proven track record of success becomes invaluable.
Award winning service
360events team has won awards like Best Partner Event, CRN Sales and Marketing Awards and Best UK Conference over 1000 people for UKISUG Connect, Conference and Event Awards 2023.
Here’s how we do it:
Incorporating once-in-a-lifetime experiences adds an extra level of excitement and exclusivity to incentive events. These extraordinary moments create memories that participants will cherish for a lifetime. Examples of such experiences include:
- Kayaking with penguins
- Riding Harley Davidsons
- VIP hospitality box at the Singapore F1
- Wild dining experiences in lava caves, glaciers or inside ice caves
- Safari in Africa
These unforgettable experiences leave a lasting impact on participants, further solidifying their emotional connection to your brand and the event itself.
Personalization is a crucial element in making incentive events more memorable and impactful. By understanding the preferences and interests of each participant, the 360insights team tailors the event to cater to individual needs. Some ways include:
- 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.
Partnering with Unique Venues
Selecting unique venues adds an extra layer of exclusivity and excitement to incentive events. By forming partnerships with exceptional hotels and resorts worldwide, the 360insight events team can provide participants with extraordinary locations and settings. This partnership allows for the creation of bespoke experiences that are exclusively designed for your event, ensuring a truly unforgettable experience.
Including an Event Manager on the Trip or Excursion
Having an event manager on board ensures the smooth execution of every aspect of the event. This dedicated professional oversees logistics, coordination, and all behind-the-scenes tasks, allowing participants to relax and fully immerse themselves in the experience. With an event manager handling the details, you can be confident that everything will run seamlessly, leaving a lasting positive impression on attendees.
Post Event Feedback
Gathering post-event feedback is essential for evaluating the success of an incentive event. 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 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 unlock the extraordinary results they can bring.
Interested? Talk to our team today!