Kerry Wright is part of senior leadership team at Lime Venue Portfolio having been with the brand since its inception over 10 years ago. Her experience and understanding of the dynamics of the market has been invaluable to LVP clients, here she looks to take this knowledge to try and predict some of the most turbulent times for meetings and events …
Talk to us about the incentive market? What are its usual dynamics?
We really like incentives at Lime Venue Portfolio. Our venues really lend themselves to moments outside the meeting, and they encourage delegates to seek interest, inspiration, as well as some fresh air.
Luckily businesses are also falling back in love with this sector; gone are the days of the ‘corporate junket’, companies now see incentives as investments that are measured in the same way as training. They are starting to play a vital role in gelling together fragmented teams and creating the lost ‘water-cooler’ moments that have been missed by workforces.
We’ve seen in the past that incentives were increasingly combined with conferences, training days and smaller meetings. This worked well for budgets but it also allowed businesses to be clear on the messages that the business wanted to pass on to its people.
We see this as continuing, with an addition of casual work space as well, so that meeting together, working together, and playing together are all bought together into a central event.
What do you think will happen to these meetings following the postponement of many Christmas parties?
This is a really important trend, and gets into the heart of what incentives are all about. This is a market that is all about ‘reward’, but not just a big jolly, but a clearly articulated and considered one. The modern day Christmas party is a good example of this, corporate messaging is there to see, but its also a luxurious pat on the back.
Now, with some businesses choosing to move their Christmas events, there is a need to show loyalty and reward to staff; something that they will be getting impatient for.
We believe this will manifest itself in a larger Summer Party market place than we’ve seen before, possibly with incentive and team building extensions as well.
It makes sense, we get an open air environment, an elegant event, but mixed in with corporate communication that says; “thank you, you mean the world to us and we understand what you’ve all been through.”
You mention that these events are increasingly important, but can businesses afford them?
There is no doubt that budgets are under pressure. However, the normal cycle for business events when economics hit is; we see the grass roots in the training market, then the business wants to speak through conferences, then they look to reward.
In 2022 this is going to feel different, right now businesses want to reward and secure loyalty from their talent first and foremost. We’ve all had nearly two years of digital training and information; it’s now time for a pat on the back!