Hot and Not. Where should you plan your next incentive program?

AussieThere’s a reason the top incentive travel destinations are the top incentive travel destinations. They’re obviously great, or people wouldn’t continue going there. But why keep going to the well when the competition gets more intense every year? Don’t battle for space in destinations that are in serious danger of becoming played out.

Don’t take to mean you should start planning an incentive program in Rock Island, Il, — there’s nothing wrong with you Rock Island, but your 39,018 residents can probably attest it’s not exactly buzzing with activity. The most important thing for people who want to be a part of an incentive program is a destination that inspires them, but it’s not the places you typically think of — Hawaii, Florida, Western Europe — that people really want to go to.

Continue reading

Stories from the field: Always go the extra step — even if it’s into a dumpster

triumph1

We’ve been out there planning and executing meetings in the field for years. Spend as much time as we do out there, and you are bound to have some close calls. If you are still around in this business, it’s because you know how to respond to these instances and make things happen under pressure. Whether it’s picking up the slack for a vendor who dropped the ball or going above and beyond to ensure a client gets exactly what they want, we’ve seen it all.

This iteration’s experience: Go the Extra Step, even if it leads to a dumpster.

Continue reading

Don’t underestimate the value of group meetings and events

meeting“Why should I spend money and time on meetings and travel?” It’s not uncommon to hear the question tossed around. People started tightening their economic belts and were looking into any and every way to cut costs, limit spending and increase efficiency. The problem with the strategy was many businesses blindly cutting spending without looking into the potential ramifications, which frequently led to more financial hardship.

According to an Oxford Economics study, “Detailed statistical modeling over 18 years and 14 industries indicates that for every dollar invested in business travel, U.S. companies have experienced a $9.50 return in terms of revenue.”

Continue reading

Savvy Planning Tips – Cutting costs without losing that high-touch feel — Catering

signature cocktailWithout a doubt it’s important to seek value when planning an event. This doesn’t mean you can cut corners, but it’s about making your resources go further. This instalment of our Savvy Planning Tips is concerned with avoiding frivolous spending on your catering costs without losing a distinctly high-touch feel. We’d love to hear some brilliant insight from you on saving while still splurging on ambiance, so let us know what you think.

Continue reading

Fall Destination Ideas

NZ Wine CountryOh, the offseason. It’s an overlooked time of the year, but only for the uninitiated. The reality is autumn provides both incredible value and a remarkable aesthetic for many places. Why fight high demands and inflated costs for a location that is quite plausibly more pleasant in the fall, which happens to coincide with reduced demand and costs. The summer travel rush may be over, but that just means more opportunity for you.

That said, here are a few of our fall destination tips. Feel free to chime in with any of your own.

Continue reading

How to avoid hotel attrition costs

Attrition bills can put a damper on otherwise successful meetings and incentive programs. It can be difficult to avoid these dreaded costs, especially since organizing a fantastic program takes a tremendous amount of planning, often over the course of many months.

Continue reading

Stories from the Field: Always Preview Your Venue

triumph-350We’ve been out there planning and executing meetings in the field for years. Spend as much time as we do out there, and you are bound to have some close calls. If you are still around in this business, it’s because you know how to respond to these instances and make things happen under pressure. Whether it’s picking up the slack for a vendor who dropped the ball or going above and beyond to ensure a client gets exactly what they want, we’ve seen it all.

We’ll provide some anecdotes on some of the more unique experiences we’ve had, and we hope you’ll share some of your as well. Hopefully we can all learn a lesson from these experiences and be better prepared to deal with whatever may face us in the future.

Continue reading

Negotiate better value for meetings and incentives.

When was the last time you bought something out of the classified ads without negotiating? How about a car? Truth of the matter is you probably wouldn’t. In those circumstances it doesn’t make much sense to simply pay whatever arbitrary rate was being offered. So when it comes to planning group travel, meetings or incentive programs, why would you simply accept the rate being offered without investigating what kind of value you were getting?

If you aren’t negotiating, you are being taken advantage of. It’s a rough truth, but it happens to planners every day. Everything is negotiable; just ask the right questions and put some thought and effort into getting more from your investment.

Continue reading

Time is Money

It’s certainly a cliché, and it is often talked about ad nauseam, but time is the most valuable resource there is. Whether you’re a professional planner who has 100 events on your plate or you’re an executive assistant charged with planning a single event, time spent organizing the fine details of an event is time not spent doing the myriad other tasks you are charged with.

Continue reading

Eliminate lost opportunity costs.

At what point is mediocre service no longer sufficient? Is it when ten percent of guests are unsatisfied? Five percent? Two percent? In a high stakes, high-touch setting, it’s likely that any number of unsatisfied people is too many. It reflects poorly on everybody involved, and often even slight dissatisfaction among attendees can derail the main objectives of your event.

Continue reading