Destination or Experience?

With another recent upsurge in the world of incentive travel, corporates are trying to find exotic destinations and one-off activities to motivate their top earners and subsequently drive sales. Certain incentive programmes have had a reputation in the past of being repetitive or even slightly predictable – it’s essential that incentive programmes provide creative and unforgettable experiences that ‘money can’t buy’ (but making money can!).

Arguably, a huge part of the experience is down to the location – if it’s more unusual is it more thrilling? Yes and No. Although you can’t deny that a day of spotting game followed by a sundowner in the Serengeti trumps teambuilding in the New Forest is great, there are plenty of exciting and even exotic activities that are a bit closer to home.

Incentive travel has been proven to drastically improve motivation amongst teams, boost morale and ideally provide a strong ROI – after all, these programmes aren’t just about fun are they!? In order to secure that ROI, companies need to provide a clear cut set of goals and objectives within their briefs.  According to the incentive research foundation (IRF) for the first time since the 2008 recession, incentive budgets are increasing with the 2016 average per-person budget standing at $3,165. The annual surveys revealed a few more insights showing that the most common strategy in line with the budget increase is ‘adding in wow elements’ and ‘choosing a more luxe property’.

It’s definitely important to consider your brand, values, and employees when choosing a destination, after all your team may be more suited to a weekend in Barcelona than an adventure fuelled weekend exploring glaciers in Iceland (we know which one we would prefer…).

Here are some of our favourite destinations and activities erring on the ‘unique’ side;

ICELAND EXPLORER

Channel your inner Christopher Columbus with this expedition and brace yourself for the cold in the ‘Land of Fire and Ice’. With its abundance of natural wonders and proximity to both Europe and the United States and Canada, Iceland is fast becoming a popular incentive destination. Spend your day’s husky sledding, relaxing in the blue lagoon or even diving in between tectonic plates before hopefully catching a glimpse of the famed northern lights.

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                                                  The drpteam admiring the northern lights

COUNT DRACULA’S ROMANIA

Want to get up close and personal with count Dracula? Being the largest of the Balkan countries Romania has an untold amount of activities to get involved in, but none more fabled than the home of Bram Stoker’s Dracula. It’s easy to see how you can get caught up in the folklore with the breath-taking Transylvanian countryside and of course the chance to explore Bran Castle yourself. Round off the trip with a short stop in Romania’s cosmopolitan capital Bucharest which has been nicknamed ‘Little Paris’ for an exhilarating incentive trip off the beaten path.

Fun fact – Dracula is translated literally from the Gaelic word ‘Drach Ullah’ meaning ‘Bad Blood’

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                                                           The home of Dracula 

DIVE WITH GREAT WHITES IN CAPE TOWN

Did someone say Jaws? Perhaps not for the faint hearted this exhilarating activity will see your group dive with some of the most impressive (or terrifying) fish on the planet. Africa’s oldest city Cape Town does not disappoint when it comes to action packed incentive programmes – dive with great whites in the morning and indulge in a helicopter flight across the city before ending the day with a sundowner on the way to Table Mountain, it’s something to stick your teeth into before the sharks do.

Check out the IRF’s most recent survey here; http://theirf.org/am-site/media/meetingsnet-irf-survey.pdf.

 Jack Roberts 

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