You’re familiar with Murphy’s Law, right? The idea that anything that can go wrong, will go wrong? That adage might be feeling particularly true right now, especially if you run a group incentive travel program. But just because things go wrong doesn’t mean your program is ruined. HMI is here to make sure that doesn’t happen.
We’ve been here before – we’ve already talked about why outsourcing your incentive travel program is a good idea. But as time goes on, we constantly find ourselves adding new reasons to that list. So in case you needed more convincing, here’s another reason as to why you should outsource your group incentive travel initiatives: the universe is a chaotic and unpredictable place. Things tend to happen that are out of our control.
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Take, for instance, one of our clients. They’re a building supplies distributor who we’ve helped build a points-based incentive program. In 2019, prior to the start of the pandemic, they had decided to implement a group incentive travel program, but were looking to organize and manage the incentive trip themselves, in-house. During that year, they managed the program on their own, successfully motivating their participants to earn the grand prize – an all-inclusive vacation in Key West scheduled for April 2020.
But, like most businesses who don’t specialize in this kind of thing, our client had a lot more to handle than just incentive trip planning—most importantly, running their own business. They’re busy folks – and so it came that February 2020 rolled around, and they weren’t where they needed to be as far as program planning. Knowing that HMI does a lot in the group travel world, they turned to us. We were happy to step in and help figure things out quickly. As a company that’s been planning group travel trips for four decades, we were able to jump in and figure out the logistics of everything from hotel contracts to ground and air transportation.
Just when it seemed like everything was coming together, though – well, you can probably guess what happened. It became clear that our client’s trip would not be able to go ahead that spring as had been planned. At the eleventh hour, we had to figure out a new plan to make sure our client wasn’t paying for a trip no one felt comfortable attending. Working with our industry partners and relying on those relationships that we’ve been building for decades, we were able to get our client out of their hotel contract without incurring any penalties, despite initial resistance from the individual hotel.
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The value of outsourcing your incentive trip is twofold: one, having worked within the hospitality and travel industries for so long, third-party incentive program planners like HMI have often built up a rolodex of trusted partners who can be counted on to navigate travel logistics and contracts to help you get the best value for your budget. Even working on such a short timeframe, we were able to hit the ground running and pull an awesome trip together for our client and their participants.
Two, we’re able to adapt to volatile conditions when things take an unexpected turn. In this case, that meant working quickly to minimize any losses incurred by our clients due to factors outside of anyone’s control. We know who to talk to, what to ask for, and how to ask for it. It’s what we’re good at.
There are a lot of reasons to outsource a group incentive travel program to a company like HMI. This is one of the biggest. We often like to say it’s like having an insurance policy. Most of the time, we’re here to help with travel logistics, participant registration, and event planning. But you also don’t work with a group travel provider for things to go right, just like you don’t buy car insurance with the intention that things are always going to be okay. We’re here to make sure that when Murphy’s Law takes effect, everything still all works out.