Incentive Planning: Get What Incentive Winners Deserve

June 28, 2012

Every planner works from a different checklist when devising an incentive trip. Meetings Today consulted incentive experts to find out their top planning priorities.

  • Easy and Affordable Lift (ok, at least not grueling beyond tolerable limits!)
  • A Hotel that understands how to truly handle incentive groups (not tour or FIT groups, but actually incentive groups). A good way to get a measure on this is whether they are willing to comp the site visit for you and your client – this tells a lot about how interested they are in courting your business and how confident that their property will provide a truly great experience.
  • Partners/Suppliers who will be flexible on contract terms and are empowered to modify that contract within reason (every client’s needs are truly unique).
  • Unique and interesting area – not just a nice hotel, but a truly cultural and unique experience.
  • Service, service, service. In other words, unless you plan to have a hundred staff on-site, you need to rely on the property to respond and deliver VIP service to each and every guest without constant follow-up.
  • Suppliers with whom you have a very good working relationship and who have historically proven to deliver what’s promised.
  • A really strong CSM committed to be on-site throughout the program and who actually delivers what Sales promises!
  • Easy and comfortable transfer between airport and hotel.
  • No customs or easy enough customs to manage expectations.
  • Only deal with destinations that truly appreciate and want your business, those that have bigger and better opportunities could end up sabotaging your program in the end if something sexier comes along.


Sandi DanielSandi Danielis President and CEO of FIRE Light Group (, an engagement marketing company based in Madison, WI.  She is also the Vice-Chair of the Incentive Research Foundation ( and sits on the advisory board of the Enterprise Engagement Alliance (