Q & A: Ocean Reef Club Jeff Homad Talks Incentive Trends

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Ocean Reef Club Pool on Buccaneer Island
Ocean Reef Club Pool on Buccaneer Island

Jeff Homad, executive director of sales for Ocean Reef Club, has noticed a “quality over quantity” trend in luxury incentive programs. Here’s the scoop:

What’s trending for 2014 incentive programs?

Homad: More incentive planners that I survey on prospecting calls or during site visits say they are interested about wellness as a part of their programs, are reviewing how to incorporate it and want to hear unique ways that our property or destination could integrate wellness into their programs.

Increasing corporate health initiatives and growing consumer interest in health and wellness is making this a key factor in the site selection process.

Have the expectations of “luxury” incentives changed over the last year?

More and more organizations are looking to adapt and evolve—to stay ahead of—or at least keep pace with rivals who are also shifting quickly. Incentive planners are expected to engage winners in a personal, memorable way, thus creating meaningful memories, not deliver trips!

Clients want incentive planners and suppliers that create a sense of anticipation, that encourage winners to actively look forward to earning next year’s event. With that said, ‘quality over quantity’  seems to be more prevalent as organizations search to find an environment where these experiences can be manifested in place of just choosing a luxury brand property.

Let’s talk about selecting “luxury” destinations. When you’re selecting a destination, we always encourage our potential new clients to look for unique venues with broad appeal. Participants love choices. When they have the choices or options to them, generally ratings from those programs are higher as we have witnessed in most of our post group survey reports. They also appreciate having options, in terms of activities, entertainment, dining options, sight-seeing options, shopping options, etc. We are all seeing an increase in family incentive programs. I know we are at Ocean Reef Club. As these requests increase in popularity, especially with so many dual-income families and those families using these incentive programs as their vacations, if you will, it’s really important to customize programs with activities that will appeal to families.

Frankly, with so many diverse interests among participants these days, it’s even more important than ever before to offer choices to your participants. Did I mention that we have over 50 total activities available onsite here at Ocean Reef Club?

How are cost-conscious planners getting the most ROI in their incentive programs?

Even with budgets slowly returning most cost-conscious planners at progressive organizations are searching for ways to maximize ROI by using incentive travel programs to bring key top-performers together to learn from one another, to grow, and to engage them in solving key business issues. Attendees can even be used as catalysts and mentors to the next rung of leadership within their organizations. A fitting environment is crucial to promoting this program.

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