Editor’s note: This article was previously published on 6/8/2017.
At one point or another, you’ve probably had to tackle this question: “Should I outsource?” Whether it’s your marketing efforts, your HR department, or a big IT project, there are arguments both ways.
If your company has an incentive program, you may already be allocating the job to internal staff. But is it being sufficiently handled? Are you truly satisfying the participants of the program, or could it be better? If you want improvement, you have two options: to grow your company’s capabilities by adding specialist staff, or outsource it to a group of professionals.
Well, when it comes to group incentive travel programs, there is one clear answer. To run a successful program that keeps your audience engaged and motivated, you need one backed by professionals.
You may be considering a group incentive travel program for the first time, or you may even be running one yourself already. Whichever boat you’re in, take some time to consider these three reasons you should be outsourcing this function instead of trying to do it internally.
While there can be hang ups and speed bumps while traveling on your own, those problems can be compounded when things go wrong for a group incentive travel program. So, why run a half-hearted program that doesn’t completely satisfy your attendees, when you can run a full-fledged, highly functional trip that delights them instead?
Despite this, there are many companies out there that try to run their own group incentive travel programs, or hire a partner that focuses more on fulfillment rather than execution. The problem with these programs in a lot of instances is that they take a full-time team to coordinate and are not executed to fully maximize the attendee experience.
On the other hand, when you do business with a strategic full-service group incentive travel company, you gain professional staff, whose expertise can make the difference between a truly successful trip and one that never gets off the ground.
Would you be prepared if something unexpected happened on your group incentive travel program?
Running a fulfilling and engaging group incentive travel program is tough work, especially when that weight is distributed among only a few internal employees. In today’s world, attention spans are fleeting, which means that keeping someone engaged day in, day out is a struggle.
A 2015 Gallup study found that only a striking 32% of employees are considered “engaged” in their day jobs. With this statistic in mind, how do you plan on gathering up the other “not engaged” and “actively disengaged” employees, customers, or salespeople? Use a half-hearted program that only rewards for birthdays and years as an employee? No.
Instead, invest in your audience. Look into programs that will empower them and better their careers. For instance, a Harvard Business Review study found that a targeted coaching effort to “average” performers can lead to a 19% improvement within that group.
We at HMI have found success in enacting these findings with group incentive travel programs which dramatically increased audience engagement and improved overall performance. In some cases, companies have seen an increase of hundreds of thousands of dollars in sales and program ROI delivered an astounding 270%.
One of the more common arguments you’ll hear in favor of outsourcing is that the price of hiring an agency is far less than having to expand your internal staff. Salary, benefits, you name it. It all adds up eventually, whereas outsourcing only costs an annual fee. You hear this argument often, because it is, perhaps, the most compelling.
Group incentive travel programs take up a lot of time and cost commitments when running them on your own. For example, let’s say you don’t have specialized internal staff, and instead, you’re asking a marketing associate to book a travel destination for 50 of your top customers.
That associate now has to either put aside their day job, or commit overtime hours to book hotel, flight, activity, transport, (the list goes on), for 50 people. All while trying to find the lowest price. Do you trust that trip to be rewarding and cost-effective?
Additionally, let’s say you do have internal staff, but only run one trip a year. Now, you have a person on salary only working a few months of the year. Your program may be run more efficiently, but is it cost-effective?
When you outsource, however, a team of professional group travel agents will handle your program with skill and expertise, for a price much lower than enacting it yourself or bringing someone on full-time.
Outsourcing will free up your time and wallet so that you can focus on other vital business development strategies.
Still not convinced? That’s okay! We love to talk about this kind of thing. Reach out to HMI at 888.220.4780 or firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about outsourcing your group incentive travel needs.