We all know how much there is to juggle when planning a large incentive trip. From food and beverage, to transportation and activities, the line items (and headaches) seem to grow exponentially. And then comes that fateful moment when you and your team are faced with that looming question: “What Will We Give Away?” Deadpan stares occur. Fresh ideas seem nonexistent. Someone inevitably escapes to the bathroom or a forgotten conference call.
Each of us, with enough time in the industry, has been there. It can be difficult to decide on a gift item that’s the perfect combination of fresh, fun, easy to execute, and yes…within budget. And don’t forget that it always has to pass muster with the boss. All very difficult criteria to meet, to be sure.
But don’t throw in the amenity experience towel just yet. We’ve compiled a few tips and tidbits from our years in the industry, to help you land on just the right Amenity Experience for your next event:
- Make it Portable: Whatever you choose for your amenity gift option, guests appreciate if it’s small and fits in their existing suitcase. Conversely, if you offer an over-sized gift item, make sure you have samples on hand from which they can choose, then drop-ship to them post-event.
- Make it Uncommon: There are a lot of tchotchkes out there, let’s face it. Mass-produced merchandise from China does not an Amenity Gift make, so just stop considering those neon green Bluetooth speakers. Everyone has seen those, and no one wants them. Instead, look for the unique, uncommon items that make people’s eyebrows raise up….something that makes them say, “Wow! Now THAT’S cool!”. Scour online catalogs, search your local boutiques, then contact the manufacturer or wholesaler and see if you can strike a deal for purchasing in large quantities. Attendees will sense that you went the extra mile to select something special.
- Make it Experiential: The best part about on onsite gift is the selection experience. Surrounded by friends or coworkers, guest love the fun of chatting, comparing and selecting. Whatever the amenity, make sure the vendor provides a real experience, not just a transaction. And that brings us to…
- Find a Trusted Vendor: Your large incentive trip puts you and your team on a stage, and every element has to be spot-on. Make sure your Amenity Experience vendor/supplier gets this, too. They have one shot at making you look good, and making attendees feel special. Choose a vendor who’s done this before, and has a proven process and track record of creating a remarkable experience at events just like yours.
At the end of the trip, attendees and guests should depart for home feeling valued, appreciated and pampered. By selecting a fun, immersive and unique amenity experience for your event, you’ll go a long way in helping achieve exactly that.