Case Study: How a 500-Person Incentive Travel Program was Pivoted Into Motivating Individual Rewards

In three short weeks, Creative Group designed a series of extraordinary rewards and experiences to replace a trip to Australia.

A trip to the Australian rainforest is one of the 200 individual rewards offered in place of the group program to Sydney.

In early March, when motivation firm Creative Group and a tech client realized that the coronavirus pandemic was going to thwart a planned May incentive trip to Sydney, Australia, for the client’s top 500 global salespeople, they realized a quick change was needed. The immediate goal was to shift the group travel incentive without losing any momentum and brand loyalty from the original program.

Creative Group presented their client with several alternative rewards, ranging from changing the date of the program to replacing the group trip with an individual reward program. Given the unknowns related to the pandemic, the client opted for the individual-reward solution; they even expanded it to include the top performers from its two subsidiary companies, who were not part of the original program.   

In just three weeks, Creative Group created a roster of more than 200 individual rewards, customized to fit the needs of the company and its winners within each group and country. The options included individual travel packages (Australian rainforest/Great Barrier Reef, the French Riviera and an African safari, to name a few); travel experiences (such as brag-worthy options like a high-end Porsche-driving experience, tickets to the World Series and a trip to the Sundance Film Festival); charitable donations, and more. All the individual travel rewards are good for 36 months, giving winners plenty of time to schedule beyond the few months after the world opens back up again.  

The new rewards were rolled out this week on an online platform that allows participants to learn about their options and then make their selections; the winners have a two-week window to pick their prize via computer, tablet or smartphone. Participants who select individual trips have access to a dedicated “concierge” who will assist them in booking their trips. The platform also generates usage reports on demand, allowing the tech client to monitor their top performers’ engagement with the tool and to help them determine preferred rewards for future programs.

According to Craig Seymour, Creative Group’s senior director of sales and business development, by opting for the quick switch to the travel and experience offerings, the winners “will still have immediate gratification.” He added, “It gives them something to look forward to and keeps them motivated for the 2021 program. It shows the organization cares, and [the participants] will continue to work hard.”