The incentive market is a fascinating one to watch. It is one of the easiest to attack and one of the first to go when things go bad, but increasingly it has the ability to bounce back with a vengeance. While recessions kill some industries, with the incentive market it seems that what doesn’t kill it simply makes it stronger. 

So what is it about this sector that has the rubbery bouncy-ness that other parts of the industry doesn’t? In our mind, it’s the simple fact that if you want high performance, positive business works and the carrot always needs to be bigger than the stick. This could be with employees, customers, contractors or clients; bringing people together fosters partnerships, partnerships are what businesses are built on.

Globally we’re seeing the rise of the uber-extension trips; of thousands of people, all travelling from country to country. These are not follies or junkets, these are major investments from large companies and they are doing it because it works.

The elasticity of the incentive is also showing through. Increasingly we’re seeing incentives being used as an extension to a company meeting. It makes sense; set the ambition, give the numbers and the messages, fire ‘em up and then send them out to do something that they love and that will bring them together. It’s like underlining a conference or event.

But it is not all about golf for the boys and spas for the girls; the unusual venue sector has entered the market and things are getting strange, fun and fantastic. Skiing in the Snow Dome, a trip to the Zoo, and even duck herding are all accepted incentive extensions to meetings. Golf and spa can come later, but now is the time for something more interesting, engaging and creative. It may even say something new and different about the company that puts it on.

This is why incentive organisers are looking more and more to unusual venues. Unique venues are inherently creative, always interesting and so will be the incentive options on hand.

This is an important part of the events industry, one that needs wrapping in cotton wool and defending for the very real, tangible and positive business effects they bring.

In unusual venues they have a wiling and enthusiastic partner.


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