Incentive Travel – a Key Element for Staff Retention Corporate Well-Being.


Incentive and Reward Travel is the fastest growing trend in the Event Industry according to recent  Surveys.

In the State of the Industry: Corporate Report 2019, Corporate Event planners what they believe are the main advantages of working with agencies over organising events in-house.

1. Specialist skills

One of the main advantages for choosing to work with agencies is gaining specific skills and expertise that corporates don’t have in-house.

“We use agencies when we need extra support, specialist creatives and experts in their fields, as per each event,” said one corporate planner.

In fact, some 30% of respondents said that they turn to agencies for additional skills, knowledge or expertise.

2. Convenience

Another major advantage that corporates see in agencies is convenience, particularly when it comes to reducing administrative workloads on their own teams. One planner says agencies “help relieve duties of additional work on the team”.

Amanda Hoffmeister, head of group events management at Amadeus IT Group said: “It’s a one-stop-shop in terms of invoicing and processing, creativity and new ideas. Agencies also assist with the general day-to-day administrative management, such as managing delegates which can be very time-consuming.”

Another respondent appreciates the “efficiency of delivery” that an agency can provide, adding that “as an in house team we don’t always have the resources”.

Robert Quayle, meetings lead and head of events UK at AstraZeneca, added: “Agencies can provide more flexibility in resources.

3. Thinking outside the box

Quayle also said that “Agencies have more creativity from working with multiple clients from different sectors.”

This sense of creativity and ‘thinking differently’ is something that around 50% of respondents mentioned in the survey.

One planner said that agencies have “connections, buying power and shared conceptualising”, and another added that they offer access to and knowledge of a broader range of unique venues, suppliers and developments in the industry.

“We need knowledge across multiple industries and clients, more resource and time and connections to negotiate with suppliers through bulk buying power,” said Jessica Badminton, senior events manager at Quilter Financial Planning.

UK businesses are spending 22% more on travel incentives, with companies spending an average of £3,100 per person per trip in the last year.

Rising workplace stress among younger employees has led to increased investment in incentives as rewards.

A report – Corporate Wellness 2.0 – which is based on data of 120 enterprises and more than 287,000 employees, found that UK organisations doubled the number of healthy nature-based business trips for employees over the last three years.

UK businesses are spending 22% more on travel incentives, with companies spending an average of £3,100 per person per trip in the last year.

Around 56% of UK business travel now includes nature-based activities, and 44% of all UK corporate getaways will include an element of physical activity.

“Younger workers are more likely than previous generations to prioritise prospective employers’ values and their individual ability to make an impact over salary and status. This is causing big brands to lose out to start-ups in the talent race,”

“Major employers are responding by introducing team bonding exercises and travel incentives, ranging from sports activity days to nature trips to improve health and wellbeing outside office hours. Financial rewards are being replaced by experiential gifts.”

The report also found that in 2019:

  • An extra day off became the most common corporate reward worldwide.

  • Wearable fitness gadgets such as Fitbits were among the ten most popular corporate rewards across EMEA and the US. Individuals are choosing more corporate rewards that benefit their personal wellbeing.

  • Employer-sponsored social experiences such as a ‘traditional afternoon tea for two’ and an ‘enjoyable meal’ were in the top 10 rewards for UK employees.

  • Corporate gift categories such as charity and experiences are increasing in popularity.

The report concludes that the fact that incentive rewards and corporate travel are being increasingly designed around improving mental and physical health will “transform employee mental health”.


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