A properly planned incentive trip should never be viewed as an expense, but as an investment in your employees, staff, clients, and future. If planned properly, an incentive trip will add to the bottom line with a great return on investment (ROI).

In today’s competitive environment, why leave things to chance? Call one of the Incentive Travel Specialists at First Discount Travel and let our experience, expertise, and personal knowledge of your travel destination ensure the success of your trip! Every incentive travel account we work with is as unique to us as your business is to your industry. Although the goal is always the same, the way we assist each company in reaching that goal is a personal approach that allows us to customize our expertise to best help you plan the event that maximizes your ROI.

Our professional Incentive Travel Specialists have the knowledge and experience to make your incentive trip the most sought after vacation of the year! We are there to assist you every step of the way… from initial destination selection, airfare, and hotel to planning a once-in-a-lifetime dinner event worthy of the most hard to impress CEOs. Our personal contacts at the resort and firsthand knowledge of the destinations allow us to tailor a program for the company’s goals and budget. We can’t wait to discuss your company’s individual needs.

While most executives have heard of incentive travel, not everyone knows how to get started or what will work best for their company. We are here to help! There are several general categories of incentive travel and knowing what’s been done before or what is working for other industries can often help you formulate the best strategy for your company. While we are not limited to the below scenarios, these are some areas in which we have successfully helped our clients reward their employees, encourage tenure within the company, gain loyalty from their new and existing clients, increase sales, create teamwork, and provide a positive attitude and working atmosphere. What is better than employees that wants to work and succeed!

Individual Incentive Awards
This type of award is when only one person from the company will be traveling as a reward or recognition for something they have achieved individually. A companion is typically included in the award.

Sales Incentive Awards
This type of award is utilized to motivate the sales force to achieve increased sales over and above what would normally be expected. These programs typically have a defined time period, are multi-tiered, have specific measurement criteria, and identify the reward to be earned at each tier level.

 Group or Team Awards
This type of award is when a group or team achieves a result that is deemed of significant value to the employer and the employer rewards and recognizes the group or team for the exceptional contribution. This can be a predefined goal or awarded for exceptional performance initiated by the group or team.

Customer Loyalty Programs
These programs are often structured to help retain sales when new competition enters the marketplace by providing incentives to your long time premium customers to continue to do business with you.

Tenure Recognition Awards
These awards are provided in recognition of an employee or associates tenure with the company. For example, when an employee reaches their 10th year with the company they may be given a trip to reward their longevity. As motivators, these are not particularly effective as you are typically awarding existence and not necessarily performance.

Company Wide Performance Campaigns
This type of award is when the company sets an overall goal to achieve something specific and measurable within a designated time frame and recognizes that every division, function and activity within the company plays a role in achieving that goal. Specific performance goals are set within each unit to benchmark the contribution required to meet or exceed the goal. These may be structured as points programs where points are award for successful achievement of predefined tasks that lead to improved company performance overall and in specific operational areas.

Incentive Programs Combined With Meetings or Training Programs
These programs typically combine an important business function such as an annual meeting, specialized training or directors meetings. The award program ties in based on achievement of predefined goals and measurement system wherein the award is graduated based on the level of accomplishment.

Product Launch Campaigns
In order to promote a new product or product line, awards programs are designed around who can move the most products into the marketplace in a specified time period. The reward and recognition are proportionate to the perceived importance of introducing the product to the largest number of consumers possible.

Dealer Incentive Programs
This type of award program seeks to build brand loyalty and promotion with the retail outlet and encourage the dealer to direct sales toward your product or product line over another. The opportunity to attain a reward deemed of value to the dealer increases your market share.

Member-Get-a-Member Campaigns
This type of award program is specifically geared to membership based organizations wherein you use the credibility and experience of current members to increase your membership base. The recruiting member is essentially a testimonial for your organization and is generally the most influential type of new member recruitment tool.

*A Note on Goal Setting
Remember, to be effective the goal must be specific, achievable and measurable. To the extent possible, it should be challenging and fun. You must also provide the participant with the tools necessary to be successful. The reward for achieving the goal must be perceived as valuable by the recipient or your program will likely struggle.

A Prescription for Failure
One important thing to keep in mind with Incentive Awards programs is that the fastest way to undermine it is to reward marginal or problem employees with the same rewards you are giving your best employees or top producers. While your marginal employees will love it, you will demotivate your best people who will see your program as meaningless. Another mistake is to make the goals so easy to achieve they become irrelevant to actual improved performance.

Tough Times Produce Great Incentive Programs
Some of the best, most effective incentive programs have come about in the most difficult economic times or when competition is the fiercest. It is often what sets successful companies apart from those who struggle. Smart businesses look for ways to do better and achieve more by thinking outside the box. Incentive Travel Programs are a highly useful tool in accomplishing that.

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