Case Study: Reimagining the Group Travel Experience
An automotive manufacturer looks at an old idea in new ways to create an emotional connection
The Client and Their Past State
A leading global automotive manufacturer
To provide a unique and rewarding travel experience without compromising on what they and their participants have been used to in previous years while enhancing the emotional connection with their participants.
The pandemic provided a series of challenges. In addition to the trip’s initial postponement, the client had been accustomed to rewarding their participants with trips to all-inclusive, international resorts. However, due to the client’s global policies, this was not possible. Finally, these challenges were compounded by the large group size—roughly 500 people.
The Client’s Current State and Key Results
The success of the program demonstrated the ability of companies—even large, multinational ones with varying pandemic policies—to host a memorable group incentive trip for their participants.
The Reimagined aspects of the program showcased the tremendous value that can be created by simply looking at old ideas in new ways.
Above All Others
In the case of this client, they were eager to reestablish their traditional group trip. Nevertheless, they also showed a willingness to remain openminded about things like destination and resort choices, while trusting in HMI’s ability to provide a memorable and unique trip that at once felt both familiar and new.
Ultimately, the result has been a highly customized travel experience that has furthered the client’s brand and appreciation and allowed participants to rediscover what made these sponsored trips so special.
Following the postponement of their highly anticipated group trip the previous year, the client was looking to make a big impression on their participants by getting back to the type of rewarding travel experience they were used to. Unfortunately, due to ongoing pandemic policies, the client was unable to offer the same type of trip from previous years: namely, an all-inclusive experience in an international destination.
With these challenges top-of-mind, HMI sought to Reimagine an incentive travel program that inspired participants while keeping with the spirit of their traditional trip experience. Having a deep understanding of the client’s need, HMI recommended Puerto Rico as the destination. It offered the best of both worlds for the client: an exotic Caribbean feel that appealed to the desires of the participant that would also meet company guidelines of staying domestic.
Reimagining the Experience
Unfortunately, Puerto Rico does not have any truly all-inclusive resorts, so the challenge became how to create a similar experience for trip participants:
- In working behind the scenes with the resort, we were able to come up with one solution in the form of a complimentary “grab-and-go” breakfast option. This would allow participants to avoid any lines or wait times and enjoy breakfast wherever and whenever they chose.
- We also provided each of the 500+ participants with complimentary transfers and gift cards that could be used to cover the cost of an off-property dinner. Furthermore, through the use of our mobile app we were able to upload local restaurant recommendations and seating availability to help participants avoid long wait times, as well as maps and other resources to make the dining experience as seamless as possible.
The trip was also designed with a focus on HMI’s Reimagined approach to group incentive travel. Specifically, we looked for ways to customize various elements in order to make the trip uniquely impactful. These included:
The Welcome and Farewell Dinners
- Creating a Puerto Rican-themed Welcome Dinner, which occurred during Puerto Rico Discovery Day, a celebrated local holiday. The dinner incorporated local décor and traditions and helped establish a connection between participants and the local culture right from the start.
- Designing a similarly distinctive Farewell Dinner that honored the culture and traditions of the foreign-headquartered client. This included a number of paper lanterns that were brought by our program manager in her own suitcase just for the occasion.
The Corporate Social Responsibility Event
- Organizing a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) event for a local non-profit. HMI organized a donation drive for the benefit of Hogares Teresa Toda. The goal of Hogares Teresa Toda is to provide girls ages 6-17 years with a safe, structured, and caring environment where they can overcome and manage the effects related to traumatic experiences caused by abuse, neglect, or abandonment. To learn more about or donate to this wonderful organization, visit their website, hogaresteresatoda.org, here.
- After a hiatus on group travel due to the pandemic, travelers were excited to be traveling again and eager to lend assistance. HMI respectfully requested travelers consider packing an item or two from a thoughtfully prepared list. The sisters of Hogares Teresa Toda were overwhelmed as the donations were presented with everything on the list from toothbrushes to towels as well as monetary donations and a few surprises for the girls. They were extremely grateful for the initiative taken by HMI and the sponsoring client.