Room gifts – do they add any value to travel incentives?
Our World | On 11, Oct 2011
These days we see a lot of company ‘gizmos’ being dropped into delegate rooms whilst on travel incentives. Be it the latest consumer electronic gadget, cosmetics, sweeties or whatever, they are judged, more often than not, on their monetary value, while the human value is lost. But the gift that shows real creativity and actual thought is the one that achieves its’ goal – a lasting memory of a wonderful experience.
When gifts are placed in guest rooms, it must be made clear to housekeeping as to actually where they should be positioned – the table, the bed, the pillow – upon entering the room the delegate is then immediately confronted with the item. A note from the sender (host of the group) should be included for added clarification (so often it can be confused and thought of as a gift from the hotel!).
Timing is also important. Budgets are always tight but think carefully as to the difference a few flowers, wine, fruit, or delicacies, can make to first impressions after a long journey from home. The truly thoughtful gift however is better timed when your guest has unpacked and settled in. Gifts relating to programme experiences before or from the day, show real care and attention to detail. For example:
- A pair of binoculars before a day’s safari
- Monogrammed chopsticks after a spectacular Asian meal
- An extra lightweight folding bag after a days shopping
- After sun lotion following a day on the water
Without having to dent the overall budget, room gifts can be distributed on a daily basis in accordance with the programme of your travel incentives, and will often make the difference between ‘good’ and ‘delightful’.
Use of gifts from the local area makes sense too, but ask yourself ‘would I bother to take this home’? Think about the profile of the audience in terms of gender, age, income and don’t waste money on tacky items for the sake of it. Whatever you have to spend – there is always a solution, and some of the better local gifts are very often more about the presentation than content, which immediately increases the perceived value.
Don’t underestimate the power of little touches, they can make all the difference to your travel incentives. It’s pure incentive and it’s giving that little bit more than your competitors. Remember you need to show you care about your hard working staff.
Susan Sexton, Events Team