by Leo Jakobson | September 30, 2013
Every year, Incentive gathers a group of experienced professionals from every sector of motivation, engagement, and incentives to talk about the state of the industry. On June 20, 12 participants gathered at the Ocean Reef Club in Key Largo, FL, for some sun, sand, and serious conversation. Topics this year ranged from government regulation and return on investment to gamification and the return of luxury. 

What follows is a more detailed and extended version of that discussion regarding individual incentive travel programs.

INCENTIVE: What are you seeing in terms of individual incentive travel?

ANNMARIE MOLINELLI, Vice President, Marketing Manager, M&T Securities, Inc: We offered it through our program. They did like it, but they liked the Amazon cards better. Those who used it, however, absolutely loved it. They went and then they spread the word. They took pictures. They sent them back to us. It was pretty amazing. It’s the next best thing next to a top producers’ trip, [but] without the peer-to-peer recognition. It gives them ability to go some place where they really want to go utilizing the gift card. We had a travel agent on the other end who helped them plan the trip out and it was great.

LYNN RANDALL, Managing Director, Randall Insights LLC, and Education Director, Incentive Research Foundation (IRF): Did you ask them to send the photos back? Was that part of the program?

MOLINELLI: They just did it.

KIRSTEEN SCOTT, Business Visits and Events Manager, VisitEngland: And they chose where they went. So they’re actually in control of where they go rather than where the top level told them to go.

MIKE MAY, President, Spear One, and IRF Trustee: We’ve seen some really good interest, maybe not in travel gift cards, but in individual travel packages. They’ve created more demand for that high-end travel experience where we’re creating a unique trip of a lifetime for somebody. That’s been very popular. I think it really turns the card into a VIP travel experience, where it’s almost concierge-level service that they get.