Ignite

Nov/Dec 2014

A fresh resource for people who plan and manage meetings, events, business travel, promotions and incentive programs. Providing you with inspiration, guidance and great ideas.

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November | December 2014 | Ignitemag.ca | 61 T HE PAST MONTHS has been a banner year for incentive travel. And with some caveats, it's expected to remain in positive territory for at least the next two years. The economy is stable, companies want to motivate, reward and retain their key employees and group incentive travel is certainly a suc- cessful strategy to attain those goals. For Cynthia Richards, president of Event Spectrum Inc., based in To- ronto, the multi-generational aspect of incentive travel presents some interesting program developments. "Some of our clients have a younger workforce, and they tend to be easier to please. All-inclusives remain popular as they †t the budget. Younger people want nightlife, they're more †t and active, so you need to program a lot of activities." With a more discerning audience, ie: the Boomers—"I like to say to staŽ, since we're not creating any new countries or cities that I know of, we need to make them experience a desti- nation in a new way. How can we make them see it diŽerently?" says Richards. One example of this was in Panama. "Most incentive winners are business people. So in Panama we had senior level local business people in to talk to a program about how the growth of their city has taken 'ight. We try to bring what's happening in the culture or the city into the experience." For Barbara Finn, manager of operations of New Wave Travel, her groups of up to By Sandra Eagle incentive travel report STABLE STEADY Cruising on smaller ships is enjoying a resurgence because of a more relaxed seagoing culture. "Cruising used to be so structured, so formal," says Finn. "Now it's more casual, like a country club. You don't have to have the formal- wear that was once required for dining." She adds no one wants to take the sales force on a ship that holds 4,500 people. "The smaller mid-sized ships for 400 passengers are ideal, as you can effectively own it. You always come back together at night after day excursions. You can have themed logos anywhere on the ship and you're not shelling out for every cocktail party or jaunts on shore. It's a very cost-effec- tive way to move people and they can see a number of different destinations but still be together." She has recently used the Regent, Seabourn, Silverseas and the Oceania cruise lines for clients. We need to make Boomers experience a destination in a new way. How can we make them see it differently? CREATING MEMORABLE EXPERIENCES

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