Why Use an Outside Group Travel Partner Instead of DIY?

As the quote goes, “The reward for loyalty or work well done is the opportunity to do more.” Simply put, an attainable reward is one of the best ways to show respect to well-performing employees and loyal customers. And one of the best rewards to the top performers and loyal customers is an unforgettable travel experience.

However, a group rewards event can be a little daunting to plan and execute. It involves preparing a budget, selecting the ideal destination, creating a communications strategy, and executing it all flawlessly. And there are a hundred other important details that need to be just right to make the event successful. That’s where a professional incentive travel partner comes in.

But you might wonder, why hire an outside group travel partner instead of doing it yourself? Well, let me explain.

Why Use an Outside Group Travel Partner Instead of DIY?

It boils down to expertise, convenience, and peace of mind. DIY may, of course, seem cheaper. But when you are planning to reward your customers or employees for loyalty and performance, it’s a good idea to prioritize quality over cost-effectiveness.

And the time and effort in planning and executing an exceptional trip will offset any potential budget savings. Not to mention the myriad of challenges brought forth by working with dozens of vendors. That’s why it's effective to hire experienced incentive group travel professionals.

Let’s dive in a little further by dissecting the challenges of planning the reward travel event yourself and how an outside group travel partner may help counter them.

Budget Planning

What’s the right budget to dedicate to your reward travel experience? Too much, and there’s no ROI on the incentive campaign. Too little, and you may fail to make the intended impact.

DIY Challenge: Creating an accurate budget that considers all costs, including transportation, accommodation, activities, meals, unexpected expenses, etc. It can be difficult, especially for a large group. There is a lack of experience and expertise handling the group’s expenses.

Group Partner Advantage: Expertise in negotiating group  rates for hotels, flights, and activities, and creating a structured quotation for the trip or event. They can create a transparent budget breakdown and suggest cost-saving alternatives.

Contracting

A group travel reward trip involves many providers all requiring contracts. That includes the hotel, ground transportation, tours and activities, gifting, airlines, and so on. Imagine the amount of time it takes to not only find the best providers but also to negotiate and maintain communication throughout the program.

DIY Challenge: Understanding contracts for venues, tours, and transportation, navigating legalese, and ensuring everything aligns with the group's needs.

Group Partner Advantage: Handles contracts, advocates for the group's interests, and ensures all terms are clear and favorable.

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Air Travel Management

An incentive group reward is much different than participating in a business meeting. The latter usually means cost over comfort. With a group rewards trip, you need a perfect balance between budget and convenience. And the travelers (especially when you are trying to incentivize them) must be treated as superstars as they have earned that.

DIY Challenges: Coordinating flights, especially with layovers or changes, for a large group can be a logistical nightmare. Flight changes and cancellations can add further stress.

Group Partner Advantage: They handle flight bookings, track changes, and advocate for the group in case of disruptions.

Communications

A key element of the incentive group travel is the communication before, during, and after the trip. The organizer will need to have constant communication with the group members updating them about the trip details and developments. Plus, they will need to stay in touch with the vendors to ensure there are no hiccups.

DIY Challenge: Keeping everyone informed about trip details, itinerary changes, and important documents can be chaotic.

Group Partner Advantage: They have a whole structure built up to keep everyone informed and manage communication between travelers and vendors.

Trip Disruptions

No one “plans” for emergencies, but a backup would be helpful. The possible disruptions may be around flight delays, cancellations, or destination issues. But you will need a swift and effective resolution.

DIY Challenge: Unexpected events like flight cancellations, illness, or natural disasters can derail your trip. Dealing with these situations while traveling can be overwhelming.

Group Partner Advantage: They have experience handling disruptions and can help rebook flights, find alternative accommodation, and ensure everyone's safety and well-being.

On-Site Management

The trip doesn’t just involve travel. You will need to manage the on-site elements like a hotel, catering, and other logistics. Somebody’s luggage might be lost, people may have issues with the food and catering, room arrangements may not be consistent, etc. So there needs to be contingency plans and reporting processes at the disposal.

DIY Challenge: Navigating unfamiliar locations, dealing with language barriers, and resolving in-the-moment issues can be stressful.

Group Partner Advantage: They can provide on-site support, help with translation, troubleshoot problems, and ensure a smooth travel experience.

These are but just a few of the key elements that will need to be handled during an incentive group travel. Add to the mix that a professional incentive group travel partner will have better negotiation qualities. They can ensure better hotel rates and more flexibility with terms & conditions. Moreover, their depth of knowledge will be able to offer you choices you weren’t even aware of.

To Summarize

Rewarding your top performers with a group trip will surely be a memorable experience for you and them alike. And it’s a guaranteed, strategic investment showing an average ROI of 400%, i.e., a $4 return for every $1 investment.

While you may think DIY will be cheaper, incentive group travel experts will consider the risk of unforced errors from start to finish. Plus, their expertise will come in handy with almost every part of the group travel reward experience.

So, in a nutshell, using an outside group travel partner would be more rewarding than doing it yourself.

Curious to learn more? Reach out and schedule a stress-free consultation with Gapp Group.

Happy travels!