Is Your Company's Incentive Travel Experience a Top Performer?

Sponsored by IMA (Incentive Marketing Association)

According to the 2023 Incentive Travel Index from the Incentive Research Foundation and SITE, incentive travel reward programs once used primarily to recognize top sales performers, are shifting to a more focused focus on company culture. At the same time, increasing program costs are leading to a new emphasis on measuring the performance and ROI of the travel reward program.  

Incentive Marketing Association (IMA) travel reward program designers highlighted the importance of setting clear, measurable goals, personalizing all aspects of the program, and gathering data at every step from before, during and after your event.  

Setting Goals  

Overall program goals can focus on boosting sales revenue, improving customer satisfaction, enhancing employee productivity, or increasing employee retention.  

While sales goals are highly measurable, it is important when including non-sales personnel to assign a value to the actions you want them to achieve to earn their place on the trip. It might be something learning-related. For example, will their increased product knowledge or a new certification help someone contribute to improved customer satisfaction?  

Personalize Everything  

Creating a brief quiz aligned with key points on the attendee journey that you want to personalize can help you gather valuable insights. While all participants are traveling to the same destination, they will have different interests. Curating specialized travel experiences, handpicking accommodations, or crafting exclusive activities, ensures that each participant's trip reflects their interests and needs. Generational differences are a solid starting point, but it is important to look deeper by looking at life stages, types of hobbies and preferred interests, and socio-economic profiles.  

It is important to apply the same personalization to communication as it is vital to creating excitement which adds to the experience.  

Onsite gifting events allow participants to choose gifts from a curated selection and foster a sense of choice and personalization which ensures they will receive something they enjoy. Popular items include weather-appropriate clothing, shoes, beach towels, watches and jewelry, fitness trackers, or wireless power banks  

Continuously Gather Feedback 

In addition to measuring key program metrics such as participation rate and cost-per-reward, it is important to conduct pulse checks during your incentive travel event so you can adjust daily or as needed. When analyzing ROI, it is important to consider the short-term and long-term impact of your program. While some benefits, such as increased sales, may be immediately apparent, other benefits, such as improved employee engagement, may take longer to realize.  

Incentive Marketing Association  

Whether it is planning your incentive travel program or delivering gifts participants will appreciate and remember; the IMA member network is a valuable resource for incentive travel planners. IMA President Jim Atten, vice president of client success at Wolfe, LLC, says “Through the IMA our members build relationships across every sector of the marketplace, and this gives us ready access to products and services provided by members in the US, Brazil, Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific, and more.”  

Learn more at: or visit the Incentive Resource Guide  

Written by

SITE Staff


You might also like...


The Value of Incentive Travel in a Post-Pandemic World

David Riddell Memorial Scholarship Winner

17 December 2021


What’s ahead in 2023 for SITE Young Leaders

Our thanks — and congratulations! — to Ashley Krueger, the author of today’s post and our new Young Leaders representative on the SITE International Board of Directors (IBOD).

9 January 2023


Incentives, Laughter, and Lifelong Bonds: My Journey with SITE and the Incentive Industry

13 December 2023

Discover our Chapters

Chapters are the lifeblood of SITE, connecting members at local, national and regional levels. Find your local chapter and join our global community

Become a member of SITE

SITE offers a number of options and categories for individual and group membership. Find the one the best suits you and connect with the Business Events industry’s only association dedicated to incentive travel.