I am just back from an incentive trip I organized for a client. It got me thinking about the proven benefits of incentive travel, some of which can be measured in hard dollars, while others are less intangible (but nevertheless powerful):
- The Incentive Research Foundation study results revealed that a well-designed incentive program can generate an ROI of 112.5%.
- Incentive Trips are a powerful motivator for sales teams.
A report released by the Incentive Research Foundation underscored that fact that incentive trips can boost the productivity of sales teams by 18%. Sales professional will work harder for a coveted reward like a trip.
- Non-cash incentives are also an effective strategy for motivating supporting cast members in roles like engineering, channel management, and inside sales.
Aberdeen Research results revealed that 63% of best in class organizations support this approach vs a 48% industry average.
- Companies that offer non-cash incentives like trips experience higher year over year revenue growth.
According to an Aberdeen Research survey, their average year over year revenue growth is 23.1%, three times as high as the industry average of 7.2%.
Not all benefits of incentive travel programs are financial. Other benefits include
- Breaking down silos.
When team members from different regions and departments are given an opportunity to interact away from the pressures of work, it gives them an opportunity to bond and improve communication.
- Reinforcing the support of family members.
When team members work hard to achieve results it sometimes involves long hours and time away from the family. It is important to have support on the home-front. Giving guests the opportunity to upgrade and include spouses and children gives pay-off for the family.
A Maritz travel study revealed that, particularly for dual-career families, it's a way of gaining back some quality time with families.
80% of those surveyed from companies that did not include families on incentive trips indicated they would prefer to have family members included.
- Forging stronger alliances with suppliers.
Strong relationships with suppliers are a key success factor for any business.
A number of my clients invite one or two key suppliers to domestic and foreign corporate events. They indicated that providing an opportunity for 1 or more suppliers to participate in the incentive trip every year is an effective strategy for building stronger alliances.
Suppliers welcome the opportunity for more face time so much that some will partially or fully sponsor sales incentive trips.
- Foreign incentive trips can be a useful tool to introduce employees to the cultures of the countries where companies do business.
The more employees understand the cultures, the easier it will be for them to design effective marketing programs and provide top quality customer service.
When companies are determining the value of starting or continuing incentive travel programs, there are a number of benefits to keep in mind both tangible and intangible. More and more hard data is highlighting the fact that these programs are well worth continuing.
For more information about incentive travel programs, also consult 3 Reasons Why Travel Incentive Programs Rule and Designing Family Friendly Conferences, Retreats and Incentive Trips.
Read the Cvent Event Blog every Tuesday for incentive travel destination ideas and every Wednesday for corporate event venue ideas.
Photo Credits: Anne Thornley-Brown, Executive Oasis International