Pivoting When Group Travel Trips Get Cancelled

Three alternative solutions when having to pivot away from incentive travel while still maintaining fun and excitement for your programs.

The Client and Their Past State

The Clients

A global supplier of protective coatings, linings, and fireproofing products; a leading cybersecurity ratings firm; and a national automotive parts distributor.

The Audience

Employees, Salespeople, and Customers

The Objectives

To reward and delight top customers, salespeople, and employees; demonstrate appreciation for service and loyalty; and replace an exciting travel experience with something unique, desirable, and convenient for all recipients.

The Challenges

The challenge for all three clients was the same: how to organize and implement an alternative to a group incentive travel program when a global pandemic, or any other set back, takes group travel off the table.

The Client’s Current State and Key Results

A Flexible Pivot

Each client’s ability to pivot from group travel and into an effective alternative has provided a blueprint for remaining flexible.

Mitigate Risk

While there’s always the hope that group trip will go off without a hitch, these past two years have shown that this may be wishful thinking. That’s why being prepared for these sorts of potential situations can make all the difference between a disappointed audience and an appreciative one.

More Capabilities

As protocols, mandates, and personal preferences continually shift, having the option to still offer participants something that is exciting and that goes beyond compensation can’t be understated.

Emotional Connections

Rewards like individual travel and experiences, customized merchandise bundles, and expansive marketplaces all can be intrinsically motivating in their own way. Each provides something of value that reward-earners likely wouldn’t be purchasing on their own. This is key.

How They Got Here

Program Design

Recognizing the disappointment that their participants would be feeling due to delayed or canceled group trips, each of the three clients sought to provide their people with a unique way to acknowledge their success while still offering something that was intrinsically valuable:

The Global Supplier

HMI recommended our Surprise & Delight gift experience combined with themed rewards packages. The S&D gifts were designed as a “thank-you” that offered participants a small taste of the experiences they were unfortunately missing out on.“Taste of Italy” and “Taste of Mexico” gift baskets brought a number of high-end, country-themed items direct to their doorstep.

In addition, a branded fulfilment site was created that offered a series of reward packages. Some themes for these packages included:

    • Grillin’ bundle, featuring a Weber grill and Ultimate Accessory Pack and a mouthwatering Omaha Steak sampler
    • Get Things Done bundle, featuring a DeWalt® 6-Tool Combo Kit, Multi-Level Workshop, MAX Sliding Miter Saw Kit, and more
    • Callaway® Golf bundle, featuring 4 top-shelf clubs, a range finder, golf bag, and more
    • Around the House bundle, featuring an Amazon Echo bundle, electric fireplace, Dyson vacuum, Instant Pot, Ring Video Doorbell, and more
    • Apple® bundle, featuring AirPods, an Apple Watch, Apple TV, iPad, and more
The Cybersecurity Firm

A uniquely branded online marketplace was created to appeal to their global employees and help celebrate a decade with the company as well as recognizing the employees’ hard work for helping achieve a record setting year.

    • The marketplace featured aspirational rewards that included luxury items, hotel bookings, individual travel, experiences, and event ticketing, as well as unique white-glove concierge services.
    • The marketplace was also designed with custom branding and offered a robust communications campaign explaining the change in plans and reiterating the firm’s appreciation for their employees.
The National Automotive Parts Distributor

The participants’ group trip was repositioned as an individual travel reward for two that could be redeemed by participants at any time within the next two years.

    • HMI was able to work with vendors in both the hotel and airline spaces to provide this tremendous level of flexibility and accommodation.
    • Participants were thus able to individually use their travel reward at a time that was comfortable and convenient for them and their spouses.

Interested in running a program like this one? Talk to an incentive expert today!

Need more incentive insights? Check out these case studies.

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