• mhoffmanpremier

Travel Agent vs. Incentive House

Updated: Jan 20

Which one are you using for your corporate incentive travel program?

You are using a travel agent and not an incentive house for your incentive program if

1.      You only talk travel

A sales program can be 6-months to a year, a long period of time. If you only hear from your provider about the actual travel booking, then you are just using a travel agent. A travel agent can get the job done, but what added value are they bringing to the program vs an incentive house. Incentive houses specialize in corporate travel which means engaging a multi-generational and demographic workforce. They devote time to studying the art and science of what motivates people. Many travel agents have other jobs or own other businesses that prevent them from specializing or executing incentive travel as a niche. Many of them promote all-inclusive properties only and have no knowledge of destinations like Europe. For example, I currently am aware of a company that uses a hair salon owner that dabbles in incentive travel to plan their trip. It's important to have professionals that can help you with creative ideas and strategic insight year after year.

2.    They have no process for sales program assistance

A true incentive house is up to date on actual sales processes, trends, skills, and software. They regularly publish periodicals, webinars and engage in meetings that educate and add value to the actual sales people themselves.  If you are designing programs for sales people, it's important that your incentive house is experienced in SALES! A true incentive house provides a service that helps monitor, maintain and measure your program. This includes your communications and all graphic design work involved with your kickoff announcements, trip video, trip swag, teasers, push notifications and a monthly momentum program. An incentive house develops a program within the program to motivate and engage even the lowest level of performers and the behaviors that lead to success.

3.    They don’t incorporate technology

On a recent meeting with a company considering changing incentive providers, I was shown to a small room. I had used a variety of platforms to create a stunning slideshow and a short video. I went to great lengths to provide our presentation in different formats. I needed a room with audio/visual equipment. They informed me that their last provider presented incentive programs on a piece of paper. Incentive programs need technology and gamification esp for multi-generational participants. A good incentive house provides an App that compliments your corporate sales tracking software. It allows participants to select an avatar, collect points, rewards and incentives along the way as well as earn badges and progress to the next level. Participants can track their progress, register online and receive push notifications about the trip and extra experiences they can earn. The sky is the limit. Take your program to the next level in 2020.

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