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Engage New Generation with Incentive Travel Cheat Sheet (DRAFT) by [deleted]

This is a draft cheat sheet. It is a work in progress and is not finished yet.


The goal of any incentive travel program is to motivate, recognize and reward. Millen­nials, however, also want to be engaged. This population desires authentic, immersive experi­ences as well as inspir­ation to succeed, which is perhaps the most exciting philos­ophical shift of late.

The impact can be seen in five key components of any incentive trip: destin­ation selection, property selection, food and beverage, entert­ainment and gifts.

To address the Millennial genera­tion, focus on these five key components of incentive trips and defines this growing class of travelers.

1. Destin­ations & Corporate Social Respon­sib­ility

When selecting destin­ations for incentive trips, “sun and fun” types of trips are slowly being replaced by trips that involve hard work, either in the form of CSR activities or extreme recrea­tional activi­ties. Incentive planners hoping to cater to a Millennial audience can engage attendees with opport­unities to explore the local geography and cultures while giving back.

2. Selecting Properties With a Purpose

It will continue to be important to ensure a property can accomm­odate your incentive group in terms of rooms and conference space. However, there is a growing expect­ation that the property will also delight and enrich the attendee. Properties with new themes and amenities are abundant and many have a focus on priorities like connec­tivity and wellness. Overall, unique and locally adapted properties are typically welcomed by Millen­nials.

3. It All Comes Back to the Food & Beverage

Attendees of all ages have developed an expect­ation of having a local food and wine or a craft beer experience as part of an incentive trip. Height­ening the local focus and upping the level of sophis­tic­ation around food and beverage can be a real winner for incentive events, especially for Millen­nials.

Incentive Travel

4. Engage With Intera­ctive Entert­ainment

It is no surprise that Millen­nials want to be stimul­ated, inspired, educated and engaged. Additi­onally, being born into the digital age, Millen­nials are accustomed to immediate gratif­ication and have already seen and shared a lot of the new trends and popular gadgets. This leaves incentive planners with the challenge of trying to impress a worldly, savvy audience.

5. Gifting, Updated

In the past, brand and labels might have been important to winners, but this generation of younger attendees prefers to choose their gifts at an amenity bar, often set up right at check-in. Companies can offer a wide range of choices, including anything from beverages and flowers for the room to custom goodies or on-site experi­ences.

Conclu­sion: Formula for Success

The formula for a successful incentive event is changing. Crafting the right combin­ation of destin­ation, property, cuisine, entert­ainment and gifts will help you meet and exceed incentive traveler expect­ations. Perhaps, more import­antly, with this formula you can create motivation for employees to excel and drive business results in the hopes they will be selected for next year’s trip.