As event planners who specialize in managing incentive programs, it truly disappoints us when we hear about someone having a less-than-stellar experience at an event we didn’t manage. Especially when you KNOW the incredible potential it should have had. This got me thinking…let’s talk about incentive programs.
Demographics change, values change, budgets clearly change, but one thing that remains constant is that people want EXPERIENCES they could never achieve on their own and can talk about for years to come.
Do you test out every activity that your attendees can participate in for your incentive programs? If not, how do you know what the experience will be like? How do you ensure it's a worthwhile activity? Can you look at each activity objectively and through the eyes (and age) of your attendees?
Do you scale your activities offered? While some people are content sitting at the beach or pool daily, others seek more variety. Having a range of activities offered daily helps prevent any poolside boredom. Offering an activity or excursion every day, or even the option to do nothing, caters to everyone’s preferred activity level. Remember, not everything has to be for everyone. Providing sign-up opportunities prior to the trip is crucial, as people will inevitably change their minds at some point.
What about destination-specific themed events? Do NOT assume a luau in Hawaii, for example, sounds perfect without actually experiencing it for yourself. Test the food, the service, and the quality of the performance. An A-list group of club winners won’t accept just anything.
Nothing is more upsetting than learning your attendees left an event early and had to order room service because the entertainment was hokey and the food was terrible. It’s even worse when they become bored after just a few days.
Do your research, know your audience, get the survey feedback, and for goodness’ sake, TEST EVERYTHING!
A once in a lifetime experience is supposed to be just that - unforgettable. Let’s ensure we create memorable moments that exceed expectations and leave a lasting impact on our attendees.