Lets be honest: incentive travel programs are created to achieve business results, but, each year, company goals shift and grow to support the changing needs of the market and the company itself. Companies usually adjust their go-to-market strategies, but what about their incentive programs? When was the last time you evaluated how today’s corporate priorities (the “why”) line up with the structure of your current incentive program?
Have you gathered your personnel in a conference room to consider the “why” of an incentive trip today versus the “why” from when you initially launched it?
To get on the same page, try to answer these few questions:
- Do the qualifying rules of your business reflect today’s new realities?
- What new behaviors will drive success?
- Are there teams that help drive results and should be included in the program?
- Should the trip qualification period be a full fiscal year or a shorter promotion?
- Is there a need to add elements to support new objectives?
Focus on who
Goals shifting aside, companies frequently lose focus on the true target – the sales reps they are trying to motivate and reward. Many voices have opinions on destinations, hotels, activities, etc, but does the incentive experience surprise and delight the folks who are moving the needle?
Like any successful marketing program, your incentive trip needs a comprehensive communication strategy. From contest qualification to the pre-trip mailer, there is an art to the promotion of the program details, the qualifying rules that drive ROI results, and keeping your program top of-mind.
However, there is no one-size-fits-all incentive trip. Selecting a motivational destination is a mix of both art and science. The expertise of a good DMC can be extremely beneficial. They are the pros on destinations, flight options, and “incentive-quality” hotels. They have traveled to most places in their target country, seen venues and resorts inside-and-out, vetted amazing activities, and built strong local partnerships. They know the hot-list of new openings and the properties with not-so-hot service. So, the key to unlocking all your destination has to offer is collaborating with the best DMC available.
What really is a DMC and why do I need one?
Destination Management Companies (DMC) or Destination Management Organizations (DMO) are the critical link connecting travelers and service providers. They are specialists in local knowledge, from regional language to the best tourist opportunities to the most authentic dining places. Very objectively, a DMC is a company that provides tourism services for both leisure (individual or groups), but mostly focused on incentive and convention trips.
These agencies aggregates all the services necessary to meet travel business need needs. From a professional guide waiting for your team at airport arrivals, to take them to a transfer, to complete organization of a convention and all the logistics involved, among many other things.
A good DMC will:
- Scope the travel plan and objectives
- Listen and anticipate your needs
- Discuss the design of the trip
- Prepare a detailed project plan and timelines
- Provide an emergency preparedness plan
- Build and maintain your budget
- Source and manage suppliers (ground transportation, production, accommodation, tours, travel insurance etc.)
- Reconcile final invoices and provide comprehensive reporting
- Assess and share ideas for improvements on future travels
Read more about What is a DMC in tourism at our blog!
What services can GT DMC help me with?
If you choose to provide an incentive trip to Brazil, GT DMC can design exclusive and personalized travel experiences for groups of all sizes and types. Our team of travel management experts have a very close relationship with all Brazilian suppliers, ensuring prices that an agency or operator would not be able to do directly. GT DMC can manage everything from the boarding in Brazil to the return; every step and service of the itinerary; every phone call with international suppliers and every ticket purchase. The list is long and could go on for a few more pages. And the key fact is: by hiring the services of GT DMC Brazil you save time, money and can be sure to deliver unforgettable moments for your teams.
We can also guide you through the process of choosing event venues, meetings, hotels with the required profile, formatting tours and authentic experiences, diverse attractions, support staff and so on. Everything will be under professionals at all times. This increases confidence, making the job easier and guarantees that it will turn out well. Those imponderables will no longer be a problem with a person who knows the destination perfectly by your side.
What are the benefits of working with GT DMC?
Like your expertise in your industry, a trip pro spends their days completely immersed in every aspect of the incentive travel industry. GT DMC Brazil know the travel business inside and out and our mission is simple: make your job easier and make you look great. We offer valuable expertise and management services that save you time and money.
- Destination expertise – The number one reason to work with a DMC may seem obvious, but its importance can’t be overstated: local expertise. DMC staff know their destination inside and out and can recommend the best things to do and places to go, whether off the beaten path or on the main drag. Their local knowledge means they can suggest unique ideas that you may not have thought of or even been aware of. They can also provide local support staff so their expertise is available onsite whenever you need it.
- Full experience – with the most popular tour models (nature and ecotourism, paradise beaches, cultural and social, adventure, couples and spa, gastronomy and wine tourism) and the latest innovations in Brazil’s tourism at our fingertips.
- End-to-End management – of hotels, transportation, events, activities, participant support and communications by CMPs (Certified Meeting Professionals) who do this all year long; we are faster, save you money and reduce risks.
- Cost Savings – just as a DMC’s relationships with local suppliers lead to quality assurance, they may also lead to cost savings. Some DMCs may receive preferred pricing that wouldn’t otherwise be available to you, and they have the time and experience to save you money while still delivering on the attendee experience. For example, you may have heard of the most popular restaurant in town, but the DMC staff knows that the locally-owned family restaurant actually serves the best food at a fraction of the price. They also know the standard pricing for the area to help you avoid scams or unnecessary add-ons.
7 golden tips for setting up a great incentive trip
- Set a budget
The budget should include the travel expenses as well as any costs to implement and advertise the trip to the team. These costs should also be considered when determining the goal to set. In many cases, incentive travel can actually be a great way to increase the bottom line by increasing sales.
- Start early
Begin 18 months or more in advance, to build excitement and give your team the chance to “earn” the trip. Depending on where you want to go, the high season might mean planning even earlier. And if the destination is international, you need to give team members the time needed to get passports and other documents ready.
- Set a goal
Be sure the goal has been well-defined to your team before rolling out the incentive trip.
- Be specific.
Make the goal challenging but still within reach. Assign dollar amounts, percentages or any other metric appropriate to the goal so team members know exactly what they need to achieve to receive the reward.
- Get to know your employees
After setting the budget for the trip, observe the profile of the employees and verify if the planned destination would be interesting for them.
- Good Communication
Make sure everyone is well informed throughout the process. People really appreciate being kept in the loop about an upcoming trip. Along with periodic (emailed) updates, a customized website is one of the best ways to ensure attendees are kept up to date with the latest information.
- Opt for new travel experiences
Great companies that provide incentive travel programs to their employees do their best to add some uniqueness to the incentive. Instead of simply borrowing or copy-pasting ideas from other companies, come up with unique activities that make the whole travel experience memorable for your staff.
Discover a new way – simples, safe, and uncomplicated – to plan an incentive trip. Click here to get know more about our portfolio and bring your teams to Brazil with GT DMC.