In the past, many clients arranged and paid for group excursions for foreign retreats and incentive trips. The benefit of this approach is that shared experiences can be a time of bonding. The downside is that no matter what group activity is selected, it won't appeal to some participants. Some individuals welcome an opportunity to just relax on the beach while others opt for excursions and activities that appeal to them.
For this reason, some clients pay to provide a menu of options and allow participants to select their preferred activities. (In fact, you can never go wrong spending some time to find out the types of experiences that are of value to attendees.)
It's not hard to do. Provide a checklist of the types of excursions available and include a question inviting attendees to suggest their own ideas. From these you can create bespoke experiences and excursions that are tailored to the preferences of attendees. For example, there was a clients whose attendees expressed an interest in an off-the beaten track motorcycle excursion. Time had to be invested in finding a supplier who could offer this experience safely, but it paid off. This custom designed excursion was the highlight of their trip.
Other examples of bespoke excursions include:
- tours and personal shopping at luxury department stores or designer boutiques
- culinary events or chef's tables with celebrity chefs
- boat excursion to an off-shore island
- scuba diving at a secluded location
- behind the scenes theatrical production tours
- luxury chocolate factory tours
- access to polo events
- luxury car events
The key is that they must be custom designed, based on the preferences of the individuals.
Instead of just selling from a menu of popular excursions, focusing on unique, bespoke experiences creates an opportunity to exceed client expectations. It may take a little longer to come up with options that fit the preferences of small groups of attendees, but the options that are offered are more likely to hit the mark.
For more advice on catering to the needs of attendees during overseas retreats and incentive trips, also read& Flexible Foreign Itineraries Stretch Corporate Event Budgets, Balancing Team, Family and Free Time During Foreign Corporate Events and 12 Ways for Event Planners to Communicate DMC Value.
Photo Credit: Cupcakes Take the Cake