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5 tips for organising employee incentive trips

We’ve been organising employee incentive trips for over 30 years and never tire of seeing the success they can bring to both individuals and businesses. Employee incentive trips can be a rewarding way to boost morale and productivity, and not just for sales teams, any employees can benefit from a formal incentive scheme to help stay focused and achieve goals.

In this blog we share five tips to ensure these trips are successful. Organising employee incentive trips is by no means limited to just five steps, but these tips will certainly help ensure your trips are well received.

What is incentive travel?

Incentive travel is a motivational mechanic used by businesses to reward employees, customers, or partners for achieving specific goals or performing exceptionally well. These trips are designed to be both a reward and a means to foster motivation, loyalty, and engagement within the organisation.

According to the 2023 Incentive Travel Index, 53% of senior leaders now consider incentive travel a "need to have".

Incentive travel trips may involve UK and overseas group travel experiences. An effective trip doesn’t have to always involve overseas travel, the destination should be selected based on appropriateness and available budget. We have devised, developed and delivered some truly unique incentive travel experiences, more of which can be read here.

Incentive travel can be tailored to suit various types of businesses and employees, depending on their specific goals, size, industry, and corporate culture:

  • Small businesses may seek to run smaller, personalised and intimate trips, perhaps over a weekend, designed to strengthen team relationships and cohesion.
  • Business sales teams would likely want a high-energy overseas trip that enables adventure and cultural experiences, designed as a motivator to reward top performers who have achieved their sales targets.
  • Recruitment agencies will focus on networking trips such as conferences, workshops or travel to industry hubs. This combines professional development whilst allowing recruiters to network, learn and relax.
  • Large companies may send employees from multiple departments on an international trip, bringing together employees from various regions, all traveling to one location from multiple countries. The benefits of which will recognise and reward a large number of employees, fostering a sense of global community within the company.
  • Customer service teams may favour a relaxing and rejuvenating trip, such as a spa break, wellness experience or team building activities. Offering a break from the high-stress, fast-paced customer service environment.

Most respondents (90%) believe that incentive travel is gaining in strategic importance due to the role it can play in retaining talent, while 83% said it is valued as a reward and 79% said it’s important for bringing together dispersed workforces.

FMI’s top 5 tips for organising employee incentive trips

Here are five tips to ensure these trips are successful:

1. Understand Your Audience

To plan an effective travel incentive trip, it’s crucial to know what motivates and interests your employees. Conduct surveys or informal polls to gather preferences regarding destinations, activities, and amenities. Choosing a location is going to be a critical factor in how your incentive is marketed and received, it’s needs to be both attractive yet affordable. Consider factors such as age demographics, fitness levels, and cultural interests. Tailoring the trip to the specific tastes and needs of your team will ensure higher engagement and satisfaction.

2. Think Outside the Box

Surprise your employees with unique experiences that go beyond the typical tourist attractions. Consider adventurous activities like zip-lining, culinary tours, or cultural immersion programs. On a recent group incentive trip to Thailand, participants learnt the art of traditional Thai cooking, a fantastic hands-on experience! Look for locations off the beaten path that offer exclusive experiences or local secrets. This not only makes the trip more memorable but also shows employees that you’ve put thought into creating a special event just for them.

3. Good Communication

Clear and consistent communication is key to the success of any trip. Provide detailed itineraries well in advance, including information on flights, accommodations, activities, and local customs. Ensure these communications are branded, along with your event, to bring it to life pre-event. A strong incentive theme can really generate excitement. Set up a dedicated communication channel, such as a WhatsApp group or an event app, to keep everyone updated. This helps in addressing any questions or concerns promptly and ensures everyone is on the same page, it can even be used to arrange rendezvous points.

4. Negotiate

Maximise your incentive travel trip budget by negotiating with vendors and service providers. Whether it’s hotels, airlines, or tour operators, securing bulk deals or group discounts can significantly cut costs. Don’t hesitate to ask for added perks, such as complimentary meals or upgrades. Building good relationships with suppliers can also lead to better service and more favourable terms in the future. This is where leaning on a trusted incentive agency partner can take away some of the stresses and responsibilities, allowing you to focus on driving the incentive forward.

5. Check, Check and Check Again

Attention to detail can make or break an incentive trip. Double-check all bookings, itineraries, and logistical arrangements to avoid last-minute issues. Verify transportation schedules, confirm reservations, and recheck event timings. Create a contingency plan for emergencies or unexpected changes, and if travelling overseas ensure everyone has appropriate passports and visas for travel. Thorough preparation ensures a smooth and enjoyable group travel experience for everyone involved.

Planning your next incentive travel with FMI

We’re a specialist incentive travel agency, based near London, that knows how to drive return on your investment in incentive travel. We have designed, developed and managed unique incentive travel experiences both in the UK and overseas for some of the world’s most familiar brands (Sony, LV=, Three and Audi) – engaging and motivating entire workforces.

Our experienced UK and international incentive travel team prides itself on its destination knowledge, offering a range of fully-managed incentive travel services including:

  • Full incentive management
  • Venue and destination finding
  • Accommodation and logistics
  • Entertainment and speakers
  • Cultural experiences
  • Gala dinners and receptions
  • Onsite activities
  • VIP experiences


We capture your audience’s attention, communicate effectively and drive participation and engagement whatever your budget. So, to start the process of designing your next employee incentive trip simply complete the form below and we will get in touch to discuss.


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