Home' micenet eMag : micenet February 2016 Contents OPINION | BELINDA DOERY
s we increasingly recognise the
ways in which Millennials are
changing the workplace and
shifting planners’ meeting
strategies, it has become clear that this
generation – defined globally as individuals
born between 1981 and 2000 – are one of
the most influential forces in the incentive
travel space today. Millennials are taking their
turn in the driver’s seat and rewriting the
formula for a successful incentive program.
Internationally, we’ve seen some
companies go so far as to create totally
separate trips to appeal to different
generations, however not every company has
the bandwidth or budget to customise trips
by generation. As Millennials become a larger
segment of the global workforce, keeping the
generations together with an eye to the
evolving preferences of Millennials may be a
more successful and sustainable strategy.
Perhaps the most exciting philosophical
shift is that the Millennial generation is one
which wants to be engaged. The promise of a
vacation and some on-trend gifts is not
enough to inspire Millennials to do their best in
the workplace. A local immersive experience is
what this growing population is looking for,
and what will inspire them to succeed.
Millennials often crave exotic and cultural
adventures. They are also motivated by doing
good – leaving a location better than they
As one of the most influential in the incentive space, it’s imperative to get
programs right with Millennials, says American Express’ Belinda Doery.
found it. “Sun and Fun” style trips are slowly being replaced by those that involve hard work,
either in the form of volunteering activities such as building houses or schools, or extreme
recreational activities, such as climbing or survival skill challenges.
With an endless number of food shows on television, and ingredients formerly considered
gourmet now deeply rooted in the mainstream, Millennials have grown up as food lovers. Older
generations have developed a new standard as well. There’s an expectation of having local food
and wine or a craft beer experience as part of the incentive trip for attendees of all ages.
Heightening the local focus and upping the level of sophistication around food and beverage
can be a real winner for incentive events.
Down time for Millennials isn’t as simple as planning music and fun by the pool, shopping
excursions, or golf, which used to be the staples of incentive travel. They want to be stimulated,
inspired, educated, and engaged. Being born into the digital age, they are accustomed to
immediate gratification. If you don’t deliver fast you may find them more engaged in
smartphones or looking to discover new places on their own.
In terms of locations for a successful incentives program, Millennials are interested in an
authentic local experience, where they can be immersed in culture. This means locations
outside of major cities, off the beaten track, can be among the best options to consider. As
Millennials love to share all of their experiences, and photos, across social media, being able to
boast on experiences and locations they have visited which are less common, and haven’t been
experienced by friends, are highly attractive.
In Australia, while we’re not yet seeing separate incentive events to cater to the different
demographics, we do see organisers consider varied activities throughout programs, different gifts,
and after-parties following evening functions, to give guests the opportunity to tailor their experience.
The formula for a successful incentive event is certainly changing. In some way, perhaps, it is
more complex but it is also more conscientious, inventive and unique – qualities which should
engage and inspire top performers and incentive travellers. Creating the right combination of
destination, property, cuisine, entertainment, and gifts can help you meet and exceed incentive
traveller expectations. Perhaps more importantly, you can create the motivation for employees to
excel and drive business results in the hope of being selected to attend the next year’s trip. m
To learn more contact Belinda Doery, regional director, APAC, American Express Meetings and Events
28 | micenet
Links Archive micenet December 2015 micent April 2016 Navigation Previous Page Next Page