While some companies have eliminated their foreign retreats and sales incentive programmes or put them on indefinite hold, there are other options. With a flexible itinerary, companies can save money and deliver a more satisfying experience for participants. Here is how to do it:
- Reduce the length of the programme by a day and give guests the option to upgrade to extend their stay.
A 3-night programme can have a great impact if it is well designed. Some participants will happily pay to extend their time at a foreign destination.
- Choose an affordable destination.
The Cvent Event blog regularly profiles affordable destinations around the world.
- Select off-season dates.
In some destinations such as the Caribbean or parts of South East Asia, off-season is still comfortable. Companies can get a lot more bang for their buck if they avoid high season.
- Be flexible with your dates.
Many resorts offer value dates. Companies can take advantage of significant savings if they are flexible with their dates.
- Opt for an all-inclusive.
All-inclusive help companies control their budgets and cover core elements of the programme by locking in the cost of transfers, accommodation, food and beverage, and some activities.
- Book flights well in advance to take advantage of the best rates.
For group travel, many airlines accept a deposit with final payment closer to the date of travel.
- Leverage currency fluctuations.
- Reduce the number of mandatory group activities.
Guests will appreciate the free time and, especially if the programme is a day shorter, this will give them ample time to explore the destination at their own pace.
A group check in with orientation and a welcome lunch plus a group dinner one night will strike a balance between group time and personal time.
- Pay for a dedicated tour desk for a few hours every day so that guests can book and pay for their own tours and off-property excursions.
Guests will be able to design a customized itinerary based on their own interests, preferred activities, and budgets. Some will opt to relax on the beach and others will choose a more active itinerary.
Eliminating incentive travel and foreign retreats are not the only option when budgets are tight. With careful planning and flexibility in dates, companies can deliver programmes of high value without exceeding their budgets.
For more tips for creating budget-friendly foreign events also read Affordable Spring Destinations in Europe, Caribbean Incentive Travel: Summer Travel Benefits, In the News: Europe and the UK More Affordable This Fall, 6 Ways to Stretch Your Meeting Budget in Canada, Luxury All-Inclusive Resorts Deliver Value for Corporate Events, Villas Offer Affordable Luxury for Incentive Travel
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