In Incentive Travel, Special Events, Strategic Meetings

Incentive trips have been used for decades in sales-driven organizations to reward employees and channel partners and to encourage high-performance. There is no question an incentive travel program is a motivator for employees, but it also provides incredible, measurable benefits for your company.

Achieve Goals & Improve Performance

The most apparent benefit of a travel incentive program is the ability to provide a reward to employees and partners for achieving their goals. By creating a pre-defined goal that must be reached in order to qualify to attend the trip, you can increase performance each year even among your top performers.  The U.S. Travel Association noted that “in order to achieve the same effect of incentive travel, an employee’s total base compensation would need to be increased by 8.5%”1

Increased Revenue and Positive ROI

Incentive travel programs come in many shapes and sizes – and at many price points.  The good news? A study from the Incentive Research Foundation (IRF) showed that a well-crafted incentive program can produce a 112% ROI and increase productivity by 18%.2  Developing an incentive travel program can pay for itself in just one trip. A joint study from Society for Incentive Travel Excellence (SITE), Incentive Research Foundation (IRF), and Financial and Insurance Conference Professionals (FICP) noted that 80% of organizations reported increased revenues from incentive travel.3

Increased Loyalty & Improved Employee Culture

Incentive travel programs often have sales and profitability as their top goals; however, many companies are finding that their programs are helping improve engagement and strengthen employees’ emotional commitment to the company. In fact, 71% of companies report increased employee loyalty after the addition of an incentive travel program.3  This positive impact helps drive behavior that achieves goals and increases employee retention & recruitment.

Stronger Teams

Shared experiences are the best and fastest way to bond a team – and companies with incentive travel programs report stronger bonds between employees and executives.4  Employees return home with a greater sense of purpose and a desire to continue to improve their connections with their team members. The knowledge-sharing and inclusion developed during an incentive trip continues throughout the year and improves productivity and reduces workplace conflict.

Healthy Competition

The development of goals required to quality for an incentive trip helps create healthy competition within an organization. High performing employees strive to stay at the top, and lower performing employees increase their work quality and productivity in order to reach the ultimate goal of joining the trip. Encouraging and sharing the excitement around your travel incentive program – before, during and after a trip – will help increase the drive to qualify.

Long Lasting Employee Appreciation

Travel challenges us on a personal level, and it gives us the gift of memories and stories to tell. More than any other kind of incentive program, travel creates long lasting appreciation. Financial incentives get spent on life’s necessities, but a trip is an indulgent gift that provides lasting memories and connections. The trend of “Transformative Travel” cuts across all demographics including age and experience5 making an incentive travel program particularly impactful for organizations with a diverse employee base.

A custom incentive travel program can quickly create positive impact for your business from increased revenues to improved employee engagement. Taking on the creation of a program can be a daunting project for a current employee whose plate may already be full. SDI Meetings & Incentives has been working alongside our clients for nearly 30 years to create custom, high-achieving, strategic incentive travel programs. Ready to see the positive impact of incentive travel in your company? Give us a call.

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