Decision Drivers 2022: Elevating the Experience, a new report exploring incentive buyers’ current priorities, considerations, and challenges in designing incentive travel programs that meet the changing demands of today’s workforce, has been released by the Incentive Research Foundation (IRF).
In August, the IRF in conjunction with Destination Canada Business Events gathered a group of corporate incentive program owners and third-party incentive house executives from across the country who met in person in at the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise, Alberta, Canada. The group participated in roundtable discussions and shared their insights on the program elements, desired outcomes, and top considerations when selecting incentive travel destinations.
“Experience, authenticity, and wellness are driving the decisions for today’s incentive program owners,” said Stephanie Harris, president, IRF. “Hotels, DMOs, and CVBs who bring together critical program elements in a way that is seamless for the planner, and can demonstrate their ability to execute as promised, will come out ahead.”
Insights shared by incentive travel buyers in Decision Drivers 2022: Elevating the Experience include:
- Incentive travel buyers expect hotels to honor the destination by both embracing the unique elements of their surroundings within the experience they offer but also delivering incentive-level service.
- Consistency in delivery and staffing is an area of significant concern. This uncertainty means an increased need for transparent conversations between suppliers and program owners.
- Thoughtful use of the environment, creative and authentic education about the area, and meaningful immersion into local culture are drawing in program owners and decision-makers.
- Tapping into the expertise of DMOs and CVBs can result in exciting new experiences and additional resources to support programs.
- Program winners want free time to explore on their own. Planners are choosing destinations that have a variety of experiences nearby for participants to take in on their own time.
- Many US companies continue to prefer keeping participants close to home and are reconsidering destinations that offer immersive and different experiences without creating uncertainty.
- While some companies are open to emerging destinations, they are not willing to compromise service or luxury when considering a new, off-the-beaten-path destination.