If you’re hoping that your incentive travel programs will make earners feel appreciated and increase their loyalty to the company, there’s good news in the latest release of data from “Incentive Travel: The Participant’s Viewpoint,” a study conducted by the Site International Foundation and the Incentive Travel Council of the Incentive Marketing Association.
Nearly 9 in 10 incentive attendees reported that earning a travel award made them feel appreciated, while 73 percent said they have an increased feeling of loyalty to the company sponsoring the award. These results were released in part three of the study, focused on attendees’ emotional responses to and the intensity of their memories about various aspects of the incentive travel experience. (Of the 1,003 respondents, 83 percent are male and 17 percent are female; the median age at the time of the survey was 44 years old.)
The intensity of participants’ memories was felt most strongly with regard to the destination: 78 percent of respondents felt those memories with average or above-average intensity, and this element also drew by far the most respondents who reported memories of above-average intensity (39 percent versus the next most intense memory, “connecting with senior leaders,” with 18 percent reporting above-average intensity).
The least-intense memories were around corporate social responsibility activities, with less than half of respondents reporting these memories as having average or above-average intensity. Digging deeper, though, when the study asked if aactivity should be included in an incentive travel program, 46 percent of respondents said yes, while only 22 percent said no. The researchers conclude that “if this feature is important to the sponsor, then they may want to review the type of CSR activity they are including in an effort to improve its effectiveness.”
Participants were asked about the emotional impact of their experiences. Out in front again is the destination, with 73 percent of respondents rating the impact “positive” or “very positive.” The next highest element is camaraderie with other participants, which 64 percent of respondents said had a “positive” or “very positive” emotional impact. More than half (53 percent) said connecting with senior management was “positive” or “very positive”; less than half (46 percent) felthad a “positive” or “very positive” emotional impact; and, finally, 36 percent reported the memory of a CSR component to have a “positive” or “very positive” emotional impact.
The survey was designed with assistance from practicing incentive managers and other incentive industry professionals, and then assembled by the marketing research firm Research Now. There were 1,003 valid responses from individuals who had been eligible to receive incentive travel. Respondents' companies break down as follows: technology/telecom (19 percent), financial services (15 percent), healthcare (10 percent), automotive (4 percent), and other (52 percent).