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Engaging the New Generation in Incentive Travel Cheat Sheet (DRAFT) by [deleted]

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


With all the buzz about how Millen­nials are changing the workplace and shifting planners’ meeting strate­gies, it comes as no surprise that this genera­tio­n—d­efined globally as indivi­duals born between 1981 and 2000—is perhaps the most influe­ntial in incentive travel today. With Millen­nials set to make up half of the global workforce by 2020, designing incentive travel programs for all genera­tions, but with the evolving prefer­ences of Millen­nials firmly in mind, may be a successful and sustai­nable strategy for many organi­zat­ions.

Ultima­tely, 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, American Express Meetings & Events recently released its 2016 Meetings & Events Forecast, which focuses on these five key components of incentive trips and defines this growing class of travelers.
http:/­/ww­w.m­eet­ing­sto­­m/A­rti­cle­Det­ail­s/t­abi­d/1­36/­Reg­ion­ID/­0/A­rti­cle­ID/­274­83/­Def­aul­t.aspx by Issa Jouaneh.
Issa Jouaneh is the senior vice president and general manager of American Express Meetings & Events.


1. Emerging Destin­ations and Corporate Social Respon­sib­ility (CSR)
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.

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.

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.