The “New Normal” of Incentive Travel

As we approach the next point in the post-pandemic roadmap (May 17th) we’ve sat down with our Incentive Travel Account Director, Endellion King. As he shares what he thinks the “new normal” for Incentive Travel will look like…

I’ve had this conversation a lot with clients during the pandemic. While I’ve been there 100% to reassure and re-build confidence in travel – the main thing I try to enforce is that we can’t predict the future. But, we can help you navigate it. So, for me, the new normal is whatever delegates want it to be. The way we’ve navigated incentives throughout the pandemic is by making ‘choice’ king, and it’s how I see incentives moving forward over the next 12 months.

Why is choice important?

I go on about choice because it’s vital to not forget that we’ve all had different experiences of the pandemic. Not everyone is ready to get back in action and though some employees might be ready to travel, others might live with vulnerable people, have underlying conditions etc. and just aren’t ready to go abroad.

After the year we’ve all had, I think everyone should have the freedom to experience things how they choose. Whether that’s an individual trip with a friend, prizes or vouchers as a trip alternative or a completely home-based experience. The future is all about keeping safety at the heart and we’ll work hard to ensure all employees have a SHARED experience where everyone feels like they’re being rewarded.

Fundamentally that’s what incentives are all about – creating once in a lifetime experiences your delegates wouldn’t normally have. It’s all about personalisation and going down to the tiniest details that make everyone feel special, which means giving people experiences they want to have. Nothing should feel forced and right now, the best thing we can do for delegates is give everyone the opportunity to shape their own adventure and only partake in what they feel happy, safe, and comfortable doing.

It’s all about shared experience

The fact we’ve had a year apart is something really important to remember as travel begins again. Regardless of what the experience is – the most important thing is for your delegates to feel CONNECTED, even if they are not physically together. So, it’s not necessarily about the destination, but the experience everyone has, even if it is in isolation. We can give everyone the same individual adventure so once they’re back in the office, they can get together, discuss and have shared memories – even if they all experienced it separately.

Incentive Travel

That being said, the goal for me will always be to get your team on an Incentive travel trip that they’ll never forget. There is nothing like that wanderlust feeling and watching delegates faces as we immerse them in a new culture or experience that’s beyond anything they could do on their annual all-inclusive. So, to make sure we’re ready to go when the world allows, we’ve put procedures in places to make sure delegates don’t feel at risk, but still feel like they’re having a luxury experience. Safety must be at the heart of everything we do. If we’ve learnt anything over the last year it’s that we can’t be too careful with our health.

Keep things flexible

From a logistics point of view, we’ve got more flexibility for your company booking and our policies are updated with favourable terms, conditions and cancellation clauses that are proving incredibly successful. The thing I would say as a takeaway is that it’s vital to remain open, accept that things might change and trust that we as an agency are in an incredibly stable position to support you if something comes up that halts your plans (and are well equipped with alternatives!). 

If you want to talk about creating a totally unique incentives programme for your delegates – get in touch! I’m always at the end of the phone and am happy to discuss any questions you have about getting your team back together for an experience they’ll never forget.

Learn more about our incentive offering here and make sure to connect with Endellion on LinkedIn using the link below!

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