The last few years have forced us all into a cautious optimism, but, as Bob Dylan sang, the times, they are a-changin’.
In the last six days alone, I’ve come across two articles announcing incentive travel is making a comeback, having been considered a taboo subject in the industry during these last few years.
As Steve O’Malley, president of Site International Foundation points out in Sara Welch’s piece in yesterday’s New York Times, The Return of Incentive Travel, there now seems to be a higher degree of comfort in using incentive trips as tools to drive business performance.
Increasingly, companies are climbing back on the incentive travel bandwagon and they also seem to be a lot more comfortable talking about it. Incentive travel is not a dirty little secret that the industry needs to shy away from. It should be seen for what it is: a valuable business tool for motivating employees, which, in turn, can contribute to the bottom line.
According to Brenda Anderson, a former chief executive of Site, quoted in Welch’s piece, “if incentive programmes are done right, they can increase revenue.”
Investing in your team, motivating your team and getting your team together makes good business sense. It is not a waste of shareholder money.
As an industry, we need to continue working together to raise the public’s awareness of the strong business case that incentive travel represents. We endeavour to do this for every one of our IBTM events and will continue to do so. I’m not only optimistic, but also strongly confident that this positive sea change will directly benefit exhibitors, Hosted Buyers and trade visitors at all of our IBTM events