In Incentive Travel, Special Events

Many things changed with the reality of the Covid-19 pandemic, but so many things have not at all. Recognizing and rewarding employees in meaningful, impactful ways remain critical to a company’s success, regardless of our ability to gather in person or travel. As a long-term client’s incentive travel program shifted, pushed back and ultimately cancelled for the year, SDI quickly managed the tactical details of unwinding a luxury trip to Hawaii and focused creatively on how then to appropriately celebrate its nearly 100 highest-achieving employees. Guests across the USA, Canada, Mexico and Latin America were honored in a virtual awards gala commensurate with their powerful contributions to the company’s continuing success.

Make the Experience Personal

Incentive travel offers a powerful opportunity to impress high-achieving professionals with new destinations and unique experiences.  Impressing this group with a memorable and unique experience virtually no doubt has its challenges.  To set the stage for success with a personal touch, SDI first sourced and curated luxury gift boxes to be delivered to all participants and opened together as the virtual event commenced. To ensure a similar experience worldwide — across the champagne, charcuterie and gifts to be enjoyed during the evening — the team leveraged partnerships with local purveyors globally to secure the exact right ingredients no matter the geography.

Surprise and Delight Your Guests

The awards evening, hosted by the company CEO, opened with participants exploring and discovering together all the surprises of their gift boxes.  A guest speaker entertained and inspired guests, followed by an intimate awards ceremony streamed live with a spotlight and recognition of each winner and their contributions. The top honorees of the evening were in for a very special surprise.  Secretly, friends, family and colleagues had recorded video clips sharing their love, support and pride in the winners, and the playing of these clips added an intimate feel to the evening and to the recognition they earned.

Keep Global Teams Connected

When your attendees are spread around the world, in-person incentive programs and award ceremonies are key to keeping everyone feeling connected and recognized. When it became clear that a pivot was needed, SDI quickly had to turn an event virtual that not only would fill the gap, but also bring the energy and appreciation the winners truly deserved.  Feedback after the event was overwhelmingly positive — the winners were so pleased to be recognized and our client was able to shine a well-deserved spotlight on their team. The impact usually made by the incentive program was achieved, and the team looks forward to returning to travel, connecting and celebrating in person someday soon.

Effectively supporting our clients through change – and now pandemic pivots included — is one of the standout benefits of working with SDI. From in-person programs to hybrid to virtual, and whatever change may happen in-between, our tenured team works as an integral part of developing and supporting successful incentive programs. In these challenging and changing times, experience matters – now more than ever.

About Us: SDI Meetings & Incentives is the global-yet-boutique meetings, incentives and special events partner driven by the basic truth that Experience Matters.  Creating custom experiences to reward performance and fuel growth, SDI taps decades of expertise to deliver solutions managed from concept through execution by one tenured point of contact. We’ve produced programs around the world, for groups from 10 to thousands, combining the exact right elements to support our clients’ goals and to motivate and inspire their attendees. Find out more and contact us at