Business travel has long been a necessary practice for all types of companies. It’s a way to share ideas and knowledge across the miles. However, despite the availability of technology that allows instant communication between individuals and groups, some situations require a more personal approach. Sometimes it takes meeting in-person to beat the competition, secure a deal, and shake on an agreement.
So, since business travel remains an essential practice for many businesses today, why not look for ways to accomplish more with your travel budget?
Business Travel in the Post-Pandemic Era
Both business and luxury travel slowed during the pandemic, but it is expected to fully recover over the next couple of years. Meanwhile, increasing fuel and hotel costs have some business owners looking to reduce travel expenses where feasible. Some businesses are shifting their budgets toward raises and higher introductory salaries.
While cutting travel expenses might seem like a reasonable step until business travel fully recovers, there is another option. Not only can businesses still focus on traveling for essentials, but they can also expand on each trip to give it more value. Turning business trips into luxury travel serves a dual purpose. It allows businesses to maintain a higher level of social interaction with other companies either domestically or internationally. It also offers incentives to new and existing employees who consider business travel a perk of the job.
The Power of Incentive Trips
Statistics show that nearly one-third of job seekers are prepared to accept positions that pay less if they include business travel. In response, companies provide travel money, meals, accommodations, and transportation to make business travel more appealing. So, instead of reducing your travel budget, consider combining it with the budget you set aside to retain and attract employees. It’s simply a matter of giving employees what they want. This kind of reward will make them feel like a valuable asset to your company.
Every business trip has a destination and an agenda that might include meetings, training, or events. There is at least one mode of travel, hotel accommodations, and meals. These are expenses that you as a business owner will pay when you send employees on a business trip. However, they are also opportunities that a destination management company can turn into a valuable experience.
Today’s New Bleisure Travel
In the past, it was considered taboo to add time or entertainment to a business trip purely for the sake of indulgence. However, today, “bleisure travel” is becoming the norm. Instead of minimizing travel expenses and getting as many tax credits as possible, companies are earning a different kind of benefit. By adding more luxury features, they achieve employee satisfaction and provide incentives to accomplish a higher level of performance.
Tips for Turning Business Travel Into Incentives
There is a multitude of ways that you can make any business trip an incredible experience. Whether it’s for a top-performing employee or the entire group, some things will make each step of the journey stand out. For example:
Research the Destination
Destinations like New York City or Hollywood are packed with special things to do. But even smaller destinations have something to offer. Know the area and what it’s popular for — plan for perks to add long before travel time rolls around. Look for unique events like high-ticket concerts or sports games. Whatever it is, make sure it’s a good match for the employee you’re trying to impress.
Make It Personal
Getting to know your employees on a personal level is another modern practice. It makes it a lot easier to provide an incentive to keep them happy. That’s especially true when it comes to planning their dream trip. For some, it might be a day at the amusement park with family. For others, spending time at the casinos with some betting cash is ideal. So find out what matters to employees and make their dream trip come true.
Investigate Transportation Options
Suddenly, it isn’t about getting the cheapest fare from Point A to Point B. Now, it’s about the fun they can have along the way. Maybe it’s bumping up their airline ticket from coach to first class. Or it might be taking a leisurely cruise during the last portion of the trip. You could even book a limousine tour of the city — anything that makes the trip more of a treat than a part of the job.
Surpass the traditional fruit basket and bottle of champagne for daily gift drops that are appropriate for the area and location. Gifts make the trip even more rewarding and give employees a reason to feel truly appreciated.
Don’t Forget the Business Aspect
There are many benefits of combining travel incentives with business travel. Still, the trip does have a business component that shouldn’t harm the overall experience. So do what you can to make the business meetings, conferences, or show more enjoyable and productive. For example, you can book the best conference rooms, implement the most advanced technology, or hire top talent to provide presentations.
Think Outside the Box
Keep in mind that bleisure travel is becoming a more common concept among companies vying for talent. Don’t expect to win over employees by offering them more of the same incentives that they can get anywhere else. Let EVOKE do what we do best and develop an unforgettable experience on your behalf.
Create an EVOKE Experience
EVOKE is a destination management company with a long record of success. We understand the significance of creating exceptional customer and employee experiences. So whether you have a destination in mind or need ideas for developing a travel plan, EVOKE has the experience, expertise, and skills to help you get more value from any business travel.
To learn more about our services, reach out to us at 469-879-4222 or use our online contact form.