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WHEN, WHY AND HOW TO ORGANIZE AN INCENTIVE TRAVEL?

WHAT ARE THE PURPOSES OF AN INCENTIVE TRAVEL

What does an incentive travel mean? What are incentive travel programs and why do companies invest part of their budget in this direction?

“An incentive travel, or incentive, is a company management tool that motivates employees, external collaborators (eg agents and representatives) or company clients in order to increase and/or to improve the productivity/sales. “

This definition taken from Wikipedia helps us to describe this important tool used by companies to stimulate their employees/clients towards achievement of goals set in their planning. This is a marketing strategy, a very effective motivational tool, which involves various sectors hotels, restaurants, tourism and transport (in particular that of aviation and of charter flights) and which represents an important market segment whose trend, after a period of stalemate, is again positive and in continuous and constant growth.

In this article, we will try to explain the importance of this segment of the Tourism, the trends and the best travel destinations most requested in 2020; how to organize an incentive travel and how That Aviation Italia can make an important contribution in the realization of a successful event.

 

1) Why invest in an incentive trip to reach the company goals?

2) Incentive, Team Building, Convention & Co. What are the market data?

3) How to organize at best your motivational event?

4) What are the 2020 most requested incentive travel destinations?

5) What are the most used means of transport for an incentive?

6) How THAT! can make the difference in the organization of a dedicated charter flight?

 

Why invest in an incentive trip to reach the company goals?

An increasing number of companies use part of their corporate budget for events such as conventions, team building and incentive travel.

Why use part of your budget, which can also be rather significant, to organize an “all-expense-paid trip” for your employees, external collaborators or for your clients?
Simple, because an incentive trip is an investment that improves the productivity of the company.

Of course, it costs, but this sort of travel is a real investment in the most important capital of the company – the human one.

And, as we know, companies are not made only of products and services, but first of all they are made of people who, with their contribution, make the difference.

This is why companies invest in this type of travel as a motivational tool. And it is known that a motivated employee or a client, achieves better results.

But incentive is also able to stimulate other factors that affect profitability and production: it makes the individual members feel part of a team.

Every person involved feels part of a larger project and becomes aware of his role within the overall design, it gives an individual sense of responsibility towards the same company or reinforces it.

The prestige of the Brand becomes a matter of which each one feels responsible for and the improvement of the reputation and of the success of the company/Brand becomes a personal goal. All in a teamwork perspective.
Another key factor is the loyalty program. A satisfied client or an employee who feels appreciated has no reason to look for an alternative. They will remain close to the company.

Therefore, to sum it up, what are the advantages of an incentive trip?

    1. It increases work motivation of employees, external collaborators, clients;
    2. It creates the sense of belonging to a working group;
    3. It encourages the teamwork;
    4. Increases the sense of responsibility at work;
    5. It establishes the prestige of the Company and the growth of its reputation;
    6. It helps to build the loyalty of the clients, employees, external collaborators;
    7. It improves production, sales and increases profitability results.

Therefore, seen in this light, are we sure that business incentive trips must be included in “costs”?

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Incentive, Team Building, Convention & Co. What are the market data?

After a difficult period, due to the economic crisis, which created a stalemate in the sector, in the past two years the market has resumed a growing trend, and now, growth became really significant.

To confirm it there are data declared by the most authoritative national Incentive Travel Agencies.

Italian companies have returned to planning incentive trips and, above all, events with large number of participants.

The aspects related to gratification and the results obtained from the investment in incentive trips, show profound and long-lasting positive effects.

The “secret” lays in creating a trip that can be transformed into unique experiences, with a range of activities that the participants would not be able to live if they had travelled on their own.

The scheduled appointments must be connected to each other and lead the group to create a continuity in the lived experience, which should be able to involve and to amaze, and which would be different from what they could have experienced if they visited the destination on their own.

Today’s public wish to live the place in a profound way, they want to be involved on an emotional and introspective level. Therefore, the choice of the activities proposed during the event becomes crucial for the involvement and achievement of success: the experience must be “unique”.

A recent research conducted by the Incentive Research Foundation (IRF), the Society for Incentive Travel Excellence (SITE) and the Financial and Insurance Conference Professionals (FICP) together with Oxford Economics highlight interesting data detected by Incentive Travel Agencies involved.

Here are some of the most interesting questions:

a) What are the most important advantages that your company records from incentive travel programs?

  • 55% – increase in sales and/or in profits following an incentive travel;
  • 34% – increase in individual productivity;
  • 32% – greater commitment to teamwork;
  • 27% – improvement of relationship between company management and employees.

b) What is the approximate cost per person (total cost of the program divided by the number of people) for incentive trips scheduled in 2019 your team was responsible for?

  • North America – $ 4,206.00 *
  • Western Europe – $ 2,483.00
  • Other – $ 2,816.00

* Take into account the historical lack of critical alternative infrastructures into the US air travel. The rail network is not widespread and well-structured as in Europe, and travel is mainly by air.

c) Assuming that there are no two equal incentive programs, how is the expenditure budget divided into the incentive program?

  • 29% – Hotels
  • 22% – Air transfer
  • 21% – Food and Beverage
  • 15% – Scheduled activities
  • 9% – Land transfer
  • 7% – Other

d) How have the numbers of an incentive trips participants (staff, guests and other participants) in 2019 changed compared to the last year?

  • 35% – From +1% to +10%
  • 12% – From +11% to over +20%
  • 32% – no change
  • 10% – From +1% to -5%
  • 14% – From -6% to over – 20%

e) Which are the most important costs you foresee in the next two years (2020/2021) that will affect spending per person in the organization of your incentive trips?

  • 63% – Hotels Cost
  • 56% – Cost of transfers airplane
  • 54% – Food and Beverage
  • 44% – MICE Travel Destinations
  • 20% – the program duration ;

The following items are of particular interest:

  • 35% – Luxury location
  • 11% – Luxury aircraft

f) What actions is your Incentive Travel Agency undertaking in order to be more competitive and offer added value to your travel plans?

  • 73% – Offering exclusive and unique experiences
  • 36% – Greater assistance and services at the same cost
  • 35% – Higher service offer
  • 34% – Discounts proportionate to the number of confirmed incentive programs
  • 32% – Flexibility of payments

g) What are the key elements that made your clients contact your Incentive travel agency?

  • 66% – Reputation
  • 60% – Creativity and innovation of proposed programs
  • 59% – Skills and prompt responses to the requests
  • 53% – Reliability and former relationship

 

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How to organize your motivational events at their best?

It is possible to be confused between two very similar terms but with a completely different meaning: Incentives and Incentive Travel.

An incentive is an economic reward, a gift. An incentive trip is not only a reward, but it is an experience and, as such, it is unique and unrepeatable. A trip is an incomparable thing.

There will always be someone who makes a more expensive gift or a higher discount, but two trips are never comparable because they are always unique and therefore far more effective from a gratification point of view.

In fact, according to numerous industry researches, over half of the employees (and also clients!) prefer an incentive trip to any other corporate benefit. But in order to be remembered as a “unique experience”, an excellent organization of the trip is not enough, it must be surprising, memorable and extraordinary.

An Incentive trip can be organized directly by the Company, if it has a specific department in charge. Otherwise it is possible contact a specialized incentive travel agency, which with its professionalism and knowledge, will offer the best solution according to the client’s expectations and available budget. And in Italy, we have the top agencies!

But what kay steps must be made in order to organize a successful event?

a) The choice of the destination
Don’t be afraid to experiment with new destinations. Do not be repetitive in the proposal otherwise the “prize” will become less desirable and will make the magic of discovery fade. You can range in the choice and opt for a national or medium/long-range event.
A new and different experience allows us to connect the name of the Brand to the moment lived (for example, a good lunch), to the location and to the event itself.
Obviously, the choice also depends on the budget, the duration and the number of participants.

b) Establish the right date
Choose a date that does not coincide with a holiday or a holiday period, so as not to embarrass your guests and risk not having the desired feedback.
Furthermore, evaluate the period according to the climatic conditions of the chosen destination and define the event in a period in which the absence of your employees/customers does not excessively damage productivity or sales.
Choosing the right date is not an easy task and it could take time and patience but, crossing some data, your team and/or Incentive Travel Agency will certainly find the most congenial one.

c) Create personalized offers for your guests
Find out about the tastes and habits of your guests in order to find a formula that everyone can enjoy.
If, for example, the participants are a mixed team in which some members are sport fans while others do not like physical activities and prefer to visit monuments, make sure to choose a destination that can offer both possibilities.
If, instead, your purpose is to encourage your guests to spend more time together, propose common activities in which everyone can feel at ease.
Choose from formulas like with a stay in Hotel, Residence, resort or Touring, if you are thinking about several stops to visit.
If your guests are football fans, combine your incentive trip to an expected and heartfelt match; if they are passionate about food and wine, propose them a tasting of fine wines.
In short, try to create a special experience that remains etched and that links the company’s Brand to a particular moment you are offering them.

d) Organize your incentive trip step by step, setting yourself precise goals
What do you want to achieve with your incentive trip?
Do you want to present your latest product through a convention? Do you want to increase cohesion within your team? Do you want to reward your clients (or collaborators) for achieving an exceptional result?
Always keep in mind the purpose of your event and build the agenda of activities based on the motivations that led you to invest in the organization of your incentive trip.
The answers to the goals you set will lead to different solutions to reach the goal and to create an effective return and general satisfaction.

e) Create unique experiences
Propose experiences that your guests could not live if they visited the destination on their own.
Forget the standard guided tours and opt for a creative solution, perhaps in a vintage car!
Offer a gala dinner in a renowned starred restaurant maybe prepared by a renowned chef nor accompanied by entertainment with well-known characters that guests would never expect to see live and so closely.
Never forget that an incentive trip has a motivational purpose (to increase productivity): no one feels motivated by a situation that has nothing new and surprising.

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What are the most requested 2020 incentive travel destinations?

What are the most important considerations to make when choosing an incentive trip destination?
We have just seen that the choice of the destination is very important because it must be attractive to the guest and because it must be able to offer the right alternatives of experiences to be lived, based on heterogeneity of the participants.

Beyond these factors, it is also important to consider other factors, such as:

  • The security of the participants
    It is evident that it is necessary to consider the political stability of the chosen destination.
    A classic example is Egypt which in the early 2000s was one of the most favourite incentive destinations, and which for a long time was then set aside due to the unstable situation. Now, fortunately, it has returned to be safe and the country again an increasingly growing tourist destination.
  • Qualified infrastructures
    A good offer of high-level infrastructures is indispensable for the organization of a successful event. These locations must be able to satisfy the aesthetics, comfort and pleasantness of the staying – better, if it gives the luxury feeling – as well as the most purely working aspect like the availability of a conference room roomy with efficient technological equipment, etc.
    Carefully choose the accommodation facility and consider also the presence of a SPA, a wellness centre and a gym, in order to allow your guests to have the opportunity to enjoy moments of total relaxation.
  • The distance and the flight hours, necessary to reach the destination
  • When planning an incentive program, it is important to take into account the flight hours necessary to reach the chosen destination.
    If the project is a three-day stay, a long-haul destination that requires many flight hours it certainly is not the most congenial solution.
    Make an accurate assessment of the aviation and land transfer hours and follow the advices of the sector expertslike That Aviation Italia or other agencies specialized in incentive travel – which will suggest the destinations that best suit the purpose of the trip, taking into account your planning requirements.

On that note, the 2020 most highly requested incentive destinations for That Aviation Italia are short/medium haul flights. Specifically, the most popular are:

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What are the most used means of transport for an incentive?

If the choice of a destination and of a location are highly important for the success of your corporate event, but no less important are the care and the choice of means of transport and of logistics.
Transports are part of the reservation and of the organization which is prior to the stay and are absolutely fundamental not only from a logistical point of view but also from the emotional one.

Let us never forget that an incentive trip among its purposes has that of creating a strong spirit of belonging, of sharing and group. This mechanism triggers upon departure, from the moment of check-in and of the luggage delivery.

The choice of the means of transport is, therefore, very important because it is from here that you begin to build the success of the event.

It is necessary to be methodical, coherent, to have a “roadmap” and, at the same time be ready to face unexpected situations (last minute changes, non-standard requests) with elasticity and capacity of problem solving.

That is why many Incentive Houses rely on THAT! for the flight’s management of those incentive trips they are in charge of!

And this task is not only limited within the choice between scheduled flights, low-cost flights or private plane (charter) but it also includes the management of feeder flights, when the participants are located in different geographical areas and the group departs from a specific airport (or different airports, depending on the situation). This is a complex job, which must be continuously updated until the moment of the departure and which can be modified even at moment of the take-off of the return flight/s. This job also includes an issuing of air ticketing (not always necessary in the case of charter flights).

Considering the fact that one of the purposes of incentive trips is to make the participants feel part of a group, being rewarded and giving them the feeling of “uniqueness” of the trip – it is clear that it is difficult to reach this goal with scheduled or low-cost flights.

On these programmed flights, it is impossible to make distinction between a normal passenger and an incentive participant: the group loses cohesion and disperses among the individual passengers. At the same time a charter private is custom “built” for the event and, consequently, it is totally customizable.

In addition, both scheduled and low-cost flights are scheduled on fixed routes: departure from airport A and arrival at airport B.

A flight charter may be scheduled according to the actual logistical requirements of a specific MICE and it may also reach other airports, not only the traditional ones. Smaller airports which are closer to the chosen location and which allow, therefore, to reduce the transfer time by land (more tedious and tiring) from the arrival airport to the established reception facility.

Even the departure time of both departure and return, is established according to the needs of the client, in order to the benefit the meeting agenda and the organization of the event.

But there is more!

A private plane allows you to create a real community of “chosen ones” and to customize the on-board catering, welcome message, a maximum luggage weight, the airplane’s interior and fuselage branding – all these make the journey and the event unique.

Remember that the way your guests travel will have a fundamental impact on the entire journey.

And it is no longer just a question of comfort: it is a question of sharing, of storytelling and of the sense of belonging.

The company logo that will distinguish the head rest covers, or the wrapping paper of chocolates which will be offered during the catering service, the catering itself – customized and carefully defined together with the beverage proposal (variety and choice of the wine house included) – the company name and the logo on the airplane fuselage and in the check-in area, assure the affirmation of the Brand, its prestige and its notoriety. And for sure, it will make your guests feel part of something absolutely unique and exclusive.

It is from here that the team building process begins, which reflects the nature of the incentive trip!

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What THAT! can offer to make the difference in the organization of a dedicated charter?

That Aviation Italia is among the air charter brokers leaders on the Italian market and incentive trips are one of the main elements of its core business.

With its 15 years presence in the market of charter flights and ad hoc charter private planes, it is able to offer a wide choice of aircraft and a wide range of services to make unique and special any type of corporate event.

First of all, THAT! is proposed as an expert consultant in the field of charter commercial aviation and of executive general aviation to guide to the most congenial choice to the features of your incentive.

Our service is not limited within a simple private plane chartering, but it is expanded to an assistance 24/7, which we provide:

  • During the flight’s planning phase;
  • At the moment of the departure from Italy with one of our assistants on board, who will support the check-in operations as well as luggage delivery and boarding;
  • During the company event, in order to manage in real-time, the eventual work in progress modifications;
  • At the moment of the return (on request) with the on the spot presence of one of our airport assistants, who will support the check-in operations as well as the luggage delivery and boarding;
  • The post-event phase, in the eventuality of the post-flight practice management with the airline company.

Years of presence in the market and the reliability recognized to our company are the guaranty of our proficiency and of the reference point on national and international territory.

Besides the standard offerings such as Boeing, Airbus, Bombardier, Fokker, Embraer, Dornier and turboelica ATR airplanes, with time we have widen our offer with complete full business class (BBJ) which is very rare in the field of incentives, but which is able to elevate theevent to that concept of luxury which, according to the recent data, is an ever-increasing request in incentive, MICE and DMC sectors.

The airline companies we collaborate with in Italy, Spain, England, Greece and Lithuania are the real partners with whom we have productive mutual exchange in terms of support and privileged accesses to respective markets.

Recently we have implemented our offer with a ticketing service for the feeder flights departing from the requested airport.
It is an additional advantage offered to Incentive Travel Agencies that relives them of an onerous task both in terms of time and energy.
This way, the entire flight’s management is grouped and managed both inside the Incentive Travel and directly by THAT!
It is a double control made under a unique agreed management which guarantees security and accuracy.

Lastly, THAT! offers the service of the aircraft and the check-in area personalization, which includes all types of objects and messages in addition to the definition of the agreed on-board services both menu and beverages, the customization of the fuselage with a company logo and luggage weight/dimensions allowed, which is different from the standard ones.

That Aviation Italia is more than just an air charter broker: it is your partner in the organization of your private flights for your conventions, team building, MICE, DMC, incentive and company events with a large number of participants.

That Aviation Italia – beyond air chartering

For any further information and flight price quotation, please contact us.

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