Innovative incentives powerful for talent retention and acquisition

Corporate incentive trips are growing as a pull for talent retention and acquisition, opening avenues for planners and suppliers to introduce more innovative products.

This information was revealed in a joint survey by the Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA) and Melbourne Convention Bureau (MCB).

The appeal of incentive trips has grown, especially with baby boomers

Focusing on how the Asian incentives market is impacting business events, the survey’s initial findings showed that in some 65 per cent of cases, the attractiveness of company trips has even overtaken financial incentives, said Karen Bolinger, CEO of MCB, who was speaking at the Singapore MICE Forum (SMF) 2018 on Tuesday.

Additionally, incentive travel beyond Asia is expected to increase by 50 per cent, and companies are using these trips to motivate, attract and retain staff, shared Sherrif Karamat, president & CEO, PCMA.

As a result, trip planners now demand more innovative and out-of-the-box experiences from their suppliers. Karamat observed: “In the Asian market, the ‘been there, done that’ idea is very present.

PCMA’s Sherrif Karamat and MCB’s Karen Bolinger speaking at SMF

“This presents a huge opportunity for destinations that are not as well known (yet) to create unique experiences. Established destinations – such as Melbourne, Sydney, Singapore and London – must also reinvent to introduce new experiences, (and not just offer) the same old ones.”

These experiences should also be “value for money”, Karamat pointed out. The survey also showed that a total of 59 per cent of companies anticipate a decrease or no change in incentive budget.

Bolinger advised: “This is a generation of globetrotting baby boomers who are tech-savvy and affluent. They want experiences that money can’t buy. Their expectations are high, and they’re not taking the stock standards like Harbour Bridge and Opera House. It’s important to think about what locals do every day that is undiscovered by visitors. Give them something to talk about.”

For example, instead of merely looking at street art, a recent incentive group in Melbourne was involved in creating public street art that in turn drew crowds, said Bolinger.

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