In Incentive Travel, Strategic Meetings

Selecting the ideal property for your incentive program or corporate meeting can be challenging. There are the obvious factors to take into consideration – space, budget, quality and the experience – that all help determine where will work best for your group. But to create a truly extraordinary event, site selection requires a thoughtful examining of some additional strategic factors.

1) Know the Objective

Consider your stakeholders and their goals and expectations. An incentive trip celebrating incredible sales achievements versus a senior executive meeting, for example, have very different intended outcomes. How much time and space should be dedicated to full group versus small team activities?  Do they require quiet workspaces for focused interactions? Understanding what your attendees are trying to achieve throughout the trip is critical.

2) Know Your Audience

Senior executives, mixed groups of colleagues, spouses included, millennials – each group has varying needs and desires. To achieve the outcome of a highly rated, successful trip or event, knowing and managing the expectations of the audience is important. Traditional luxury golf and spa resorts will appeal to some groups, while the opportunity to participate in unique experiences may be the ticket to a memorable event for others, and you just might need to deliver both in the same program.

3) Understand What’s Important

Once you understand the objective and audience, you can begin to prioritize the elements that are most important. Of course budget, quality and value will always be core to destination selection, but recent trends in incentive travel demonstrate that other factors also come into play. New and interesting venues and off-the-beaten path destinations have incredible appeal. Unique activities and distinctive experiences that are highly authentic to the destination create memories that stay with your attendees long after the trip has ended.

4) Make the Journey Special

The destination gets most of the attention – but part of an extraordinary trip is making sure the journey is special as well. Create opportunities for personal attention for your attendees from the beginning to the end of their travels. Consider unique modes of transportation or special experiences and activities that can be planned along the way. Taking advantage of making their travel memorable makes the trip much more successful.

5) It’s About More Than Just Price

Incredible amenities, exceptional service and unique experiences are all at the center of hospitality and are what make a venue stand out. Make sure you take into consideration everything a site offers when determining value. Personal attention and a deep partnership with the property differentiate a good trip from an extraordinary one.

Destination selection is a critical part of planning any incentive trip or meeting. It takes thoughtful consideration of goals and desires, creative thinking and a meeting planner with the expertise and resources to deliver a flawless event. At SDI, we know this better than anyone. The key to our 28 years of incredible success is our ability to provide our clients with a custom experience and 100 percent satisfaction. Our clients work with one point of contact – always. And our account managers deliver seamless service through the close partnerships they have developed with properties around the globe.

If you’re ready to start your journey to a handcrafted, unique event or incentive trip – we’re here to help.

About Us: SDI Meetings & Incentives is the global-yet-boutique incentive travel and strategic meetings partner that creates travel and meeting experiences to reward performance and fuel growth. Founded in 1992, SDI taps decades of expertise to deliver custom solutions defined by our clients’ goals and managed from concept through execution by one tenured point of contact. We’ve produced programs around the world, for groups from 10 to thousands, and we start with strategy and planning and follow-through to the wrap-up and evaluation. Find out more and contact us at