Time to plan your next B2B Travel Incentive Program

Travel Incentives are back with a bang!

Without a doubt, the interest in travel incentives is gaining momentum, and many organisations have started planning their next Incentive and Event Programs for 2023 and beyond. Travel incentives remain a top motivator despite regular interruptions in the last two years. Many top performers and reward earners are eager for a new adventure or just a change of scenery from attending the meeting on Zoom or Microsoft Teams.

At the recently concluded trade show in Sydney, Managing Director of Tourism Australia, Phillipa Harrison, said, “It’s been incredible to see international bookings coming back in force from about 2023, so there is a little bit of gap now, which is where the local travel fits in, but there is a huge demand for it ’23 and beyond”.

While it is hoped that the recent travel industry recovery can be sustained, it’s unlikely that the excitement of a potential B2B Travel Incentive program will wear off anytime soon. After the initial returning groups share the euphoria of travelling, it influences more organisations to include events as part of their plans. This is because the pace of the industry recovery can be seen in the whole travel industry, be it airlines, hotels, resorts etc. In a recent press release, Marriott International CEO Anthony Capuano stated, “Globally, robust demand trends continued in April. Going forward, we expect travel to remain strong, business travel to accelerate, and cross border travel to gain momentum”. 

A trap now is to leave it too late to do something, now is the time to have a clear strategy and start testing these assumptions. With signs of recovery for domestic and international travel, there isn’t a better moment to shed the cobwebs on your B2B Travel Incentive Program. For top tier customers or achieving staff, a travel incentive trip could be their first time travelling since the pandemic began—a trip they’ve been dreaming about for ages. Within the B2B incentives rewards and programs, travel incentive is still one of the best non-cash rewards you can provide for your channel partners or employees.

Let’s look at some of the intrinsic motivators for travel incentives. 

Create a Story

Does your travel incentive focus on just a swanky destination? Or is it part of your organisation’s long term strategy? It’s time to create a story that aligns with your strategy and what you would like to achieve from this incentive program. The Travel incentive must have that ‘wow’ factor that the attendees will remember for the rest of their lives. 

Our 212F Travel and Event teams hosted three different groups at the GP, with over 200 people enjoying the race and experiencing the luxurious hospitality at the event. Exclusive helicopter transfers, luxury accommodation at The Langham Melbourne, and fine dining experiences, including an ‘Old & Rare’ whiskey Masterclass, we delivered what can only be classed as first-class luxury event itineraries. The ‘X-factor’ of the incentive was the opportunity to have Australian racing driver Daniel Ricciardo join the group (and some 212F staff) at a private lunch. 

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Transformative experiences 

Make your travel incentive experience a transformational one. There are several ways to create such experiences, but that will depend on the group. Enriching experiences have transformative potential to grow and develop in new and profound ways. Educational, cultural or study tours are some ways to provide such experiences. Study tours are a great way to enrich relationships and motivate stakeholders to engage more with your brand. Well-designed education programs and events should allow any level of customer or internal stakeholders to participate and educate themselves. 

Hands on & immersive travel incentive experiences that are part of study tours allow participants to learn and experience information shared at the source. Just imagine your stakeholders . . .

  • attending a tour of a manufacturing plant in Tokyo, followed by VIP seats at a sumo wrestling tournament
  • attending a TedX talk in LA before hearing from world class speakers at an industry trade show at Disneyland
  • experiencing a helicopter flight over the desert while learning about climate change

Disconnect to reconnect

We are all fed up looking at the world through laptops or phones. Everyone is craving for a change and travelling is the best way to rejuvenate yourself. But do we ever really disconnect? Does your travel event have enough engagement touch points to ensure that your group is genuinely disconnected from their ‘normal’ lives and reconnecting with themselves and their colleagues? A strategy driven itinerary will help you achieve these goals by creating experiences that are in line with the strategic pillars, which provide excellent brand recall value and focus on objectives while having an immersive and rejuvenating travel experience. 

Flexible and Agile

It is more important than ever for your travel incentive and event program to have flexibility. Although we know that domestic and international travel is on the rise, you never know what the future holds. Industry expertise and a supplier with a strong network will give you the foundations you require to be agile in a changing and adapting industry. 

We created an incentive growth program that offered our client’s biggest customers the opportunity to travel with their partners on a trip to the picture-perfect islands in the Maldives. The trip included a private tour and dinner with an ocean view, Sandbank Trip, Snorkelling, Beach Photography, Luxury Speedboat Transfers, and a Sunset Cruise. 

Unfortunately, due to COVID’s challenging travel restrictions, the destination for the trip had to be changed within Australia to ensure the reward program would remain engaging and in front of mind. The result was 5 nights to experience the best of Sydney and the Blue Mountains. A private tour and dinner at the Sydney Opera House was an incredible welcome event to open the trip, and other highlights included:

  • Harley Davidson rides
  • Lunch at iconic Bondi Icebergs
  • A sailing regatta on Sydney Harbour
  • Hot Air Ballooning In The Hunter Valley
  • An awesome 4WD tour through the Blue Mountains

Why 212F?

The 212F E-Series Event Behaviour Model considers people, content and behaviours to identify and align with current and desired business outcomes. We are the experts in pain-point based B2B travel incentives and reward program design, and base all our travel and event programs on this E-Series strategy design. For more information about getting your travel incentive program perfect for your target audience, feel free to get in contact with the expert team at 212F today.

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