Cecilia Yeung Wai-ling, director of sales
Jetour Mice Services
Expectations for incentive trips are high because business travellers are accustomed to premium-class flights and luxury hotels. Much research and preparation is needed before presenting ideas and answering clients' queries. Do a site inspection if clients have selected a destination. In one case, a CEO's secretary joined an overseas inspection trip and sampled every detail to ensure the site would meet the expectations of her boss.
Planners should accompany the group to ensure a more personal touch and monitor client comments. Planners should be thoughtful and go into details. They must be alert to what's happening externally and be creative.
Air tickets and hotels are the biggest expenses. Destination management companies (DMCs) should devise and control a complete budget plan. The gala dinner is the biggest element of incentives. Decorations at venues should be part of the cost.
Establish a link with diligent DMCs and even line them up as partners for information exchange. This is why I attend international Mice trade shows regularly. You may access the latest trends, ideas and concepts while building up contacts.
Be original and never copy incentive ideas from others. Even if your concept is applied, you may modify and fine-tune it to suit new clients. Remember to inject new elements to keep ideas fresh.