The Innovation Imperative

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Brian Kellerman, CEO of GoGather, on how to create meaningful outcomes for incentive travel programs.

Innovation in meetings and incentive travel is more than just finding the newest technology to incorporate into a event, says Brian Kellerman, CEO of GoGather. “We always encourage our clients to stop and think about the “why” before adding in a layer of innovation just for innovation’s sake. What we’re really focusing on now is taking the program beyond traditional event objectives to create a more holistic program that does more than just reward top performers. In this regard, an innovative incentive experience is one that motivates real outcomes in an organization and instills a sense of pride, ownership and belonging among attendees.”

Some of the key ways that Kellerman sees incentive travel programs following this path of innovation include:

  • Designing a food & beverage menu around connection and shared experiences, rather than just three square meals a day.
  • Incorporating corporate social responsibility into the program to help attendees give back to the destination they’re in and feel a sense of connection and pride in the company they’re with.
  • Integrating technology into the entire experience, from placing a welcome message on each attendee’s TV when they arrive, to capturing event memories all in one place.
  • Emphasizing the importance of executive sponsors and designing micro-moments such as an event lounge and smaller group activities to allow for connection between executives and attendees.

Innovation also includes designing incentives on a larger scale and with additional qualifier recognition, adds Kellerman.  “It’s more than just the individual trip,” he says. For example,  the program can include an “incentive club” that gets attendees involved beyond just working towards a vacation—it can also help to create feelings of connection and appreciation. “This can include monthly feedback calls, hands-on strategy sessions with leaders and other inclusive activities and events,” says Kellerman.

Check out the new issue of Prevue to learn more about innovative offerings from a selection of destinations worldwide.

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