If you are reading this page, you might be either considering a future Incentive Trip, or already planning one! This article is intended as an introduction to Presidents Clubs.
Advanced articles covering multiple topics in detail will be released shortly.
And by the way, I will be using Presidents Club, Incentive Travel and Incentive Trip interchangeably.
Incentive Travel Planning 101
- Incentive Travel Will Produce Higher Revenue For Your Business
- Considerations for Incentive Travel
- Quick Wrap
Incentive Travel Will Produce Higher Revenue For Your Business
To start, let’s briefly discuss why the use of Incentive Travel has increased from 25% of US firms leveraging it as a motivational tool in 1996, to over 85% today.
Furthermore, according to the Incentive Research Foundation, a not-for-profit that conducts studies around the effectiveness of incentive travel and the financial outcomes produced: the median Presidents Club spend is $4,000 per person, with 40% of US firms spending upwards of $8,000, and Worldwide, 65% of firms are expanding their incentive travel programs.
Those are some big numbers.
You are probably also asking yourself, why are so many organizations choosing travel-based incentives, and not cash? And secondly, why are they spending so much per person?
Because Incentive Travel produces a higher ROI than any other type of Incentive.
It really is that simple.
The Top Companies Leverage It, And So Should Yours!
In fact, the top 20% of companies in ANY vertical are TWICE as likely to use non-cash based incentives.
The reason why it’s so much more successful has to do with the psychological effect of receiving cash, versus receiving an experience, and their ability to tell others about their achievement:
People tend to classify cash into utilitarian accounts, using it for mundane and forgettable transactions like paying gas bills and making mortgage payments.
On the other hand, employees place experiential gifts into mental accounts designated for fun or luxury, which generates feelings, emotion and memories.
There remains a stigma attached to talking about cash but people love to talk about and share dining and travel experiences. Because employees remember, talk about and appreciate non-cash experiential rewards, they reciprocate with greater effort, collaboration, engagement, loyalty and performance. – IRF
Considerations for Incentive Travel
Now that we’ve covered the why, let’s cover the basics of an Presidents Club event.
So your organization has decided to join the leading edge and provide an incentive trip for your top performers next year.
Here are the main things to consider before one of your most important events of the year:
1) Plan early.
If you want to have a successful Presidents club, you should be starting the conversation well over a year out!
In our experience, our clients like to announce where their next destination will be at their annual sales kickoff.
You definitely do not want to announce one of your most expensive and exciting events of the year via email.
Do it when you have everyone together, collaborating, training, learning what their quotas are, and what new methods, products and services are going to be in place to make them successful for their upcoming year.
2) Always Gratitude.
The entire purpose of a Presidents club is to pay gratitude to the Sales staff whom have gone above and beyond in bringing in additional revenue for your company — Usually surpassing their quota by 10-20%.
As such, the quality of destination, hotel, activities, gifts and more, is of extreme significance.
It’s your chance to show off how much their work means to you, AND their significant other, while at the same time inspiring the sales staff that didn’t achieve to ramp it up.
A fantastic trip will have their Significant Other continually talking about how wonderful your company is to their top performer, their friends and family – Further reinforcing loyalty to your organization.
Additionally, if the top performer doesn’t have great pictures, experiences, and enthusiasm upon returning to the office, not only will they be less enthused about going back next year, but what’s to motivate the rest of the Sales staff to sell more?
3) Have the hotel contract signed before you announce a date.
We’ve seen it before, and to be frank, it can look like absolute amateur hour when you announce a hotel destination when the contract isn’t fully executed.
Keep in mind, the time of the year you want to go is VERY competitive – And companies get squeezed out during talks all of the time, because they took too long in negotiations.
You might not realize that an extraordinary number of companies have their eyes on a handful of hotels at a particular destination, and because of the holidays, there are more limited weeks/weekends available than previously thought.
EVEN if you are in talks with the hotel Sales Manager, until you have an executed contract, you don’t have anything.
So for poise, credibility, and overall heart health, get the contract signed before you announce.
This goes back to point 1, plan early.
4) Include all of the extras!
This event should be well thought out. Don’t just pay for the hotel and airfare for your top performers and their +1, consider the fine-dining venues, the activities available, trip inspired gifts/swag, and more.
Your guests needs to be taken care of from beginning to end.
5) Include work functions, but keep them limited!
If you’re the Business, you want to include as much collaboration, and group-time as possible, and if you are the employee, you probably want the opposite.
But find that sweet spot for the sake of the employee’s sanity.
It’s ‘ok’ to have a group activity, and separate group dinner, on top of planning work Ceremonies (Awards, Closing, etc.), but keep in mind, this is essentially their trip – They’ve earned it.
So, limit the amount of forced work-interactions they’ll have, while also not letting them wander too far!
6) Have on-site staff to assist.
One of the last big points I’ll make is to have designated staff on-site at the hotel, the dinners, the ceremonies, and more.
You must ensure that when a guest has a question someone knowledgeable about the hotel, the available activities, dining options, where your executives are, flight plans, and more is available at any time.
Trust us, it doesn’t matter how good your FAQ page on the Registration site is, your guests will have questions throughout the day, every day, and the hotel staff aren’t equipped to handle your trip-specific details.
In essence, this staff will be the designated Presidents Club concierges, usually with at the hospitality desk throughout the day.
Thanks for reading. We’ll be releasing more advanced articles re: Presidents Club shortly, which will cover each topic in more detail.
In the meantime, use the basics above as a guideline for hosting an effective event!
For more information on the importance of Incentive Travel, please visit https://theirf.org/.
If you are interested in receiving a SPECTACULAR proposal for your next Incentive Trip, please submit a Contact form and we’ll be in touch shortly!