What did you do with your last cash bonus? I’m willing to bet it went straight into your bank account along with your paycheck, and then it got lumped in to pay bills, put gas in your car, or pay for your next grocery trip. You probably don’t even know where it went. In fact, a survey by Wirthlin Worldwide Research asked the question, “how did you spend your last cash reward?” and 29% of respondents said they paid bills, 11% bought household items, and 18% didn’t remember!
No one tells their family or friends, “remember when I won that cash bonus at work!?” But they do fondly recall precious travel memories from travel awards that they worked hard to earn. They’ll glowingly recall, “remember when we were on that incentive travel experience in Hawaii and we…”
Cash can be repeated weekly and routinely, often with the same before and after effect. What you need to do to earn cash and how you feel once you get it rarely changes, unless the amounts are enormous (like winning the lotto). (And in that case, you aren’t doing anything to earn it – you’re just lucky. And we want your lucky numbers.)
On the flipside, individual travel awards are individually unique and have the ability to prompt dreamlike states where participants get excited thinking about what they will do and how they will feel when they reach their destination. Travel goals inspire a feeling of being there- more than just being at the destination, but being a part of something special.
When a participant reaches certain program objectives (set by you, the client), they’ll earn award points. As they work towards their target – which could be units, dollars, leads, etc. – they will be constantly reminded of their own personal award goals. Once they have enough points in their account, they can redeem the points for hundreds and hundreds of travel rewards, such as:
- Taking their family on a Disney cruise
- Booking a Canadian fishing trip
- Taking their spouse somewhere special for an anniversary
- Heading to Miami for spring break
Not only does the participant receive their travel award with their points, but they also have the opportunity to consult with an expert to plan their once in a lifetime experience. We’ll consult with the individual to determine desires, likes, dislikes, and must-do activities. We strive to create a tailored experience for each participant with as little or as much pre-planned activities as they would like. Think Anthony Bourdain cooking in your kitchen – that’s us, planning your vacation.
The most popular destinations for individual incentive travel are places like Hawaii, the Caribbean, Las Vegas, Europe, and cruises – but we can send you almost anywhere you desire.
Anyone can plan their own “trip” on a website; information is much more available to the average person than it was 10 years ago. In general, people are much more educated about individual travel and they understand how to evaluate their options and find the information they want and need. Because of the internet, booking individual travel is much easier, faster, and more open to the masses than it ever was.
BUT: many people now are seeking more than just a trip; they want an experience. They want that extra icing on the cake that will help them fulfill their personal dreams and bucket lists, and this is where MEI can help. Planning experiential travel is still not easy to do today, even with all the available resources of the mighty internet. Our team has that expertise, know-how, and resources to easily and efficiently book the experience of your dreams.
So get working. We’ll get you traveling.
Contact us to learn more about incentive travel programs for your employees.
by Brad Hecht
VP of Travel at Motivation Excellence
Brad Hecht has over 25 years of in-depth experience in the incentive travel industry, encompassing operations, marketing, sales, finance and management. Before joining MEI® in 1999, Brad was Vice President at Maritz, Inc. Currently, he has global responsibility for all facets of MEI’s Meeting, Event Management & Incentive travel business.
Brad’s extensive background features: program planning, costing, supplier relationships/negotiations, on-site operations and servicing incentive travel programs and meeting productions. His direct experience involves: new car announcements, Super Bowl, Olympics, major worldwide sporting events, national sales meetings, international forums & product launches. Brad also serves on many hotel and supplier advisory boards, industry forums and roundtables.