Successful Incentive Travel Begins With Good Planning

Developing a successful incentive travel reward takes a little pre-planning and work to ensure it generates desired results. A company must first determine what business goals are to be achieved through the use of this type of program. Having a basis of what will be accomplished makes it easier to set reachable milestones and select a motivating destination. This basis also allows a company to choose an itinerary that is capable of promoting the purpose of the program. Travel packages are typically implemented to boost sales, amplify morale, promote a product, retain employees, or as a method for creating a loyal customer base. One program does not typically solve every experienced difficulty within an organization. Needs should be organized in a list fashion in order to tackle the most urgent ones at first. An incentive could target customers, employees, or a business area such as sales and should be used as a driver to reach the desired results.

Incentive Travel: Tips for Setting Reward Objectives

The set objectives should be a first priority when beginning to form an incentive travel plan. Trip packages are more capable of supplying the anticipated outcome when the necessary accomplishments are known and understood. Taking a problem and turning it into a goal makes a good approach to resolving organizational issues. An issue can include these among other scenarios:

Sales

Safety

Service

Teamwork

Morale

Attendance

The characteristics of possible realistic aims will guide the way as a company chooses what will be accomplished by a motivational program. A business or department performing this planning must remain focused on what is to be accomplished and create simple aims with a precise purpose. All objectives being achieved with an award program have to be related in order to for participants to understand what must be done. Unrelated goals should be achieved in separate packages to ensure a successful incentive travel plan. An ambiguous goal can seem like a great idea; however, it will only be a success when the objective is achievable. A planned set of objectives must be:

Realistic

Reachable

Measurable

Timed Appropriately

In Line With Company Goals

The path to an award has to be measurable in order to make the process fair and encourage continued participation. Incentive travel awards create an environment full of healthy competition and measurable progress is the only way to make this productivity fostering environment possible. Awards used on the customer side of business must also be measurable to make certain consumers know what they have to do to receive the offered incentive. Setting a high sale goal or a set number of new customer sign on during a slow time of business is not fair to participants. The purpose must match the time of the year and what is realistically possible for a program to be effective. Additionally, all chosen goals should fall in line with organizational aims and stay true to set policies. Taking the time to properly decide these elements before choosing a destination or promoting activities will greatly increase the success of this motivational endeavor.

Time Travel Not Possible?

Introduction

I said that I would give time travel further consideration in my paper on what Time truly is. My theory of Time dealt with time dimensions and how our concept of time is different from the reality of time. This, true time, includes the motions that we measure with time and my belief that the fourth dimension of time can actually be divided up into the 4th,5th, 6th, and 7th dimensions of time. I had to consider the possibility of time travel in that discussion, but I never made an formal claims. I have now formulated a hypothesis based upon what I believe our concept of time travel is as it relates to true time (All 4 time dimensions).

Hypothesis

It is tempting to believe that time travel is somehow possible. I myself would be lying if I said that I wished there was no such possibility of time travel. The thought is far to tempting to want to believe anything else to the contrary. After giving it much thought, I am 99.9% sure that time travel is not possible and I base this on the following argument.

In order to fully grasp this hypothesis I must first describe how the human race perceives time. It is this perception that has lead to the belief that time travel should or could be possible. I use the analogy of the digital recorder that is so popular with Direct Television or Tivo. This technology simply digitally records a program and then allows you to access that information at any time. You can rewind during the show, fast forward up to a point, or save it to watch at another time. When we eventually watch our show, we are in a sense, traveling back in time. That is to say that a past event, the show, has been recorded and can then be played back later. This allows your mind to experience a segment of time that has already occurred. This is very much the same as how our brain works. The past is nothing more than a collection of our memories. Every event that we have experienced up until the present is stored in our brain whether we can remember it or not. This is the digital recording. Our brain has taken in information and saved it for later use. The future is nothing more than our ability to conceive of future events. I wonder what studies in the area of psychology have been done on this subject. I would have to believe that it is our past that allows our brain to conceive of a future. We know that events have happened so it is reasonable to assume that we can use the creative side of our brain to try and formulate what could happen in the future. This is slightly different from making plans. A person can plan to go to dinner on Saturday with a friend. This is simply a matter of our ability to conceive that another Saturday will come, because we have had reoccurring Saturdays in the past. So, we know that eventually it will be Saturday again. So, we plan to have dinner on that day at some predetermined time. We then commit that appointment to memory, so we can make the date. We can’t exactly count this as foretelling the future, because sometimes we forget the plans we make. By making the plans we increase the likelihood that the event will take place. I guess this leaves us with two ways our brain looks at the future. There is the creative future, where we may dream about or conceive of what events we would like to come about; and there is the Planned future, where we make a plan, commit it to memory, and try to make sure we are there to see the outcome of that future event.

This is how we conceive of our reality. We are born and our brain begins taking in all sorts of information. We commit this to memory for later use. I would assume that memory is merely a remonence of our survival instinct. It used to be that our parents would teach us the things we needed to survive. We also committed as much as we could to memory. If we didn’t then we simply died. Our parents would show us that leopards are bad. If we didn’t have the ability to commit things to memory then we may try to pet the leopard later and get eaten. That is bad. In order to survive we had to rely on our memory so that we could tell what we should or should not do based upon the situation presented to us. Fast forward thousands of years and we come to a point in our history where our standard of living has removed us from those leopard like situations. Now we are faced with a new challenge, surviving in a technological and hectic world. The new lessons are, work to get paid so we can eat and have a home. If you do not do these things then you end up homeless, starve, and die. A new set of survival information that has to be committed to memory. No other species has come as far as we have. They still have to rely on the good old leopard method or True Primal survival instincts.

Our environment and lifestyle has changed but our old abilities remain. Our ability to learn and commit things to memory is still with us. We now find ourselves faced with having to find new and varied things to commit to memory. We have education, and careers, social interactions, entertainment, sports, etc. etc. The list goes on and on. We have so much more to commit to memory and it seems that our memory and brain has adapted to allow us to handle this new life style. Our brains have grown larger and along with it our ability to cram more information in to that brain for storage. Along with all of these new things to commit to memory comes our concept of time. We can conceive of a past, because our past is committed to memory. Whether we can recall it or not, the information is still in our brain. From the day we are born we are storing this information to call upon throughout our life. We draw on these past experiences to conceive of a future or to make plans for the future. All the while the only true reality is the present. This point in time.

What I am saying is that the time line itself is nothing more than a memorized past coupled with an imagined future. That is all. The reality is that the present is all there is. In this present events are occurring all across the universe based upon the laws of physics. Events take place based upon these laws and it is why we see a cup fall to the ground and break instead of the other way around. Can you remember the last time you saw a broken cup fall upward and piece itself back together as it lands upright on the kitchen table? No, just as we have never seen a bunch of leaves fall upward and attach themselves back onto a tree. Events progress in a certain manner. Cause and Effect. If we remove human beings from the equation and look at other animals and objects. No doubt a dog has a concept of time, but do plants? Animals have a concept of time, because they need to call upon past events in order to survive emerging events. Their concept is no where near as developed as ours, I wonder how close an elephants or a dolphins concept of time is? Better still, I wonder how a chimpanzee or a gorilla conceives time? I am sure that their concept is different than ours, less evolved and more primitive. It still serves them for survival. Let us now consider a rock. What is this rocks concept of time? I would have to bet that it has no concept of time. It doesn’t need one, because a rock does not have to survive. No survival means no memory. No memory, means no concept of time let alone anything else. It is that way with any object that has no need for survival, because it is not alive. An asteroid floating through space was set upon a path based upon an interaction. If another body were to come along and strike it then that asteroid would move in some new direction until gravity or another object dictates otherwise. I assure you that the asteroid has no concept of time, of anything for that matter. It is not alive so does time not exist for that asteroid? No, time exists. It exists because the asteroid is in motion. It is undergoing a series of events that are determined by the forces that have acted upon it. Since there is motion then there is time, because the asteroids motions can be measured. I explain this concept further in my paper on my theory of time.

Another analogy I like is this; “If a tree falls in the woods and no one is there to hear it, does it make a sound?” This analogy perfectly illustrates the difference between reality and human conceptions. Does it make a sound? Yes, it does make a sound. What is the definition of sound? Webster’s New World Dictionary defines it as; 1) that which is heard, resulting from stimulation of auditory nerves by vibrations (sound waves) in the air ; 2) the distance within which a sound may be heard ; 3) the mental impression produced /the sound of his report/

The funny thing is that the above definitions are also concepts that fit within what we believe terms to mean. What I am saying is that these words I am typing would not exist if the human race did not exist. The first definition is the most useful, because it points out the difference between reality and conception. “That which is heard, resulting from stimulation of auditory nerves by vibrations” We can conclude from this that the falling tree is not heard. If no one is there to hear, than how can it be heard? What we need to consider here are the facts. A tree falls. The trunk breaking releases energy and the tree hitting the ground and anything on the way down also releases energy. This energy sets the air molecules around it in motion. This sound waves moves outward as the energy is dispersed in all directions. Eventually the sound wave will dissipate, because the energy will be lost along the way. We have to consider these two words, sound, and heard. The falling tree is not heard because no one is there to receive the sound waves. The sound waves still exist based upon how we perceive the travel of sound through the air. So, yes the falling tree makes a sound, but it is not heard.

The 1%

I hope that all you have read up until this point has allowed you to attain a clearer picture of the world around us and how we perceive the world around us. The universe would still go on being the universe whether humans do or do not exist. We know the universe existed before humans so it is reasonable to assume that it would still exist if we did not. So now let us move onto the other 1%. The possibility that time travel is possible. Under what circumstances could we achieve time travel? I will start with the speed of light. The magical notion that by traveling faster than the speed of light then we will somehow be able to travel backwards or forwards in time. Light is a part of the universe, not the master of it. If we were in a ship and traveled faster than the speed of light and we were some how able to maintain our structural integrity then, what? We would get to where we were going a lot faster. We would, however; not pass through time.

I did conceive of this; ” What if we could somehow get every single object in existence to run in reverse?” This is impossible, but just for arguments sake. What if we could get every single object in motion to run in reverse? Nothing would happen, and I will tell you why. We would end up with a universe full of objects violating the laws of physics along with other motions that would simply be occurring in the present. No time travel here. What if we moved towards the sun at faster than the speed of light? Would we then go back in time? Nope, we would simply get to the sun and back again a lot quicker. I say this because even if we travel faster than the light from the sun interacting with objects on the earth, it would not matter to other objects out in the universe. In order to travel back in time all things would have to be involved. You can’t just have a localized event somehow effecting everything in the universe. Just as it takes light millions of years to reach earth from distant parts of our galaxy, events occurring there are different from the picture we are seeing. In fact, much of the universe when we look out into space is different then what we are seeing. So we must look elsewhere for our time travel scenario What if we could somehow punch a whole in the universe, a bridge between two events. Calculate the exact position of the earth on a certain day in the past and then create a bridge between the present and the past? Would this somehow work by calculating the position of the earth in the future? Again, I do not conceive of a way to punch a whole in space leading to the past or future. This scenario would have to include the notion that every single possible event that can occur has occurred. This leads to the creation of new dimensions. Billions upon billions of dimensions and when we punch our hole we are not traveling to the past of this dimension, but the past of one of those alternate dimensions. Perhaps this is not the case. Instead, perhaps; every single moment that has ever occurred exists in separate dimensions. In this case then we could calculate the position of the earth, punch a hole to that dimension and in a sense travel back in time.

This is the one percent that I consider. That the time line is actually a series of universes stretching back through time containing every single second. An infinitesimal division of time that exists in an infinite number of universes that represent the time line Calculate the position of the earth in the past and then travel to that dimension. In reality the time line is composed of nothing but the present, just a present contained in a dimension for every event that has ever taken place on earth or the universe. The only way to travel into the future would have to include the belief that the future has already occurred. Think of it as a long string stretching from the beginning to the end, assuming the universe will end. Take a slice from this line and that is a dimension.

Everything that has happened up to this point and will happen in the future is divided up into dimensions. Each dimension representing the present. We could then conceive of the possibility that we are traveling through dimensions right now. It is always the present, but as events in the universe continue, we move into the next dimension. It would then be possible to travel backwards and forwards in time by somehow bridging the gap between “Dimensions of the Present”. Another unique concept of time travel would be that of the mind. Our bodies are constantly moving forward through “Present Dimensions” . Conceive of our birth to our death as a subdivision of these dimensions.

If we could then somehow transport our consciousness throughout this subdivision of our life then we would, in a sense, be time traveling. In this case our awareness would be moving through our “Present Dimensions”. The film “Butterfly Effect” illustrates this concept nicely. So, the 1% is composed of two possibilities of time travel. 1) Physically creating a bridge between this present dimension and some past or future present dimension. In this case we have to deal with the problem of having two of you in the same dimension. Don’t touch yourself, it could be bad. 2) Instead of transporting our physical being via a bridge, we instead try to move our consciousness back and forth through the “Present Dimensions”. The intriguing thing about number two is this. Our mind could conceivably be connected to the dimension immediately before us and in front of us. The same can be said for the us before that and in the dimension ahead of that. In this case it would be like taking a butter knife and smearing you from birth till your death. This smear represents your life and the sub dimensions of your life. You are, in a sense, connected to your entire past and perhaps your future as well. It would then simply be a matter of transporting your consciousness to some version of you in the past or future. This could possibly be achieved by using energy. Convert your consciousness into data and then try and transport that energy into one of the other present dimensions. It could also be as simple as altering your brain waves in some way to allow for this movement along your time line. In this case though the time traveler could only travel along the length of your own life span.

The beauty of number one is that you are not limited by your life span. You can punch a hole into another present dimension. For as long as the universe has been in existence, events occurring, may have led to the existence of an unlimited number of dimensions contained within our universe. This would represent the “Time Line”, that we like to believe exists.

If this form of time travel is possible we would then have to consider what would happen if we did something to alter the past. This may then lead to branching of the time line. If I travel to an alternate present dimension and change something then a new series of dimensions would be created along with the old time line. This is one possibility The other possibility could lead to the destruction of every dimension from that point forward. Everything you do from that point on would lead to the creation of a new dimensional time line where every event in the universe may occur exactly the same, but includes what you may do differently. Perhaps it is a combination or perhaps all events could occur differently leading to a completely new dimensional time line? I dare not venture any further, because messing around in this manner could lead to any number of outcomes. I shall have to consider these possibilities further.

Conclusion

I still cannot exclude entirely the possibility of time travel. In reality it would be dimensional travel. We would travel to a dimension containing a slice of all of the events that have ever occurred in the universe at one exact moment. Each dimension representing a snapshot of events scoping the entire universe. If such a trip were possible we would then have to consider how smart taking that trip would be. For all we know, the destruction of every dimension from the point you travel back to forward could lead to an explosion that would take out existence as we know it. Then again, maybe nothing would happen. The most important point of this hypothesis is that time does not exist the way we believe it does and time travel is not possible the way we conceive of it. Human conception is the biggest factor. The way we perceive the world may not necessarily be, in fact, reality. What I mean by reality, is the way things exist in the present universe. It is an interesting exercise, but remove humans from the equation and then try and conceive of how events take place in the universe. Events that are independent of our observations. Time exists, because things are in motion in the universe. Humans just are not there to make the appropriate measurements and observations. This is the essence of true reality. The way matter interacts in the universe when humans do not exist. If we can conceive of this, then we can conceive of how the universe truly exists.

Increase Sales With Travel Incentives

Today’s business environment has changed dramatically over the past 10 years, it can be a tough task to make a sale. Just being aggressive doesn’t cut it any longer. Sales skills alone aren’t enough to compete when so many new products and services become everyday commodities. Consumers nowadays are being smart. You’ve got to distinctively separate your business from the competition and lead each of your prospects and customers to think, ‘I would have to be a complete idiot to do business with anyone else… regardless of the price.’ They are shopping for the best bargains and they all seem to want more than what they paid for. Every industry both online or offline needs a cutting-edge cost-effective powerful marketing tool that appeals to every kind of consumer.

Vacation and travel incentives are one of the most powerful methods of attracting business, retaining profitable clientele, increasing profits, enhancing product awareness, improving employee productivity. Businesses that have used vacation travel incentives in their marketing and promotions have seen at least 30% increase in their sales on both sides of the buy and sell cycle. Companies of all sizes and virtually any type of retail, wholesale, manufacturing, internet, service, distributor or direct sales business will benefit from incentive travel programs.

Why use incentives?

Here are some compelling reasons why you should consider using incentives:

·Knowledgeable and attentive employees account for 80% of the reasons consumers feel satisfied, according to a PNC Bank Corp. survey.

·Fewer than one in four American workers is working at full potential; half of all workers do no more than directly asked, and 75% of employees say they could be more effective in their jobs, according to the Public Agenda forum.

·70% of unhappy customers abandon vendors because of poor service, according to the Forum Corp.

·A 5% increase in customer retention can increase lifetime profits from a customer by 75%, according to the Loyalty Effect by Frederick Reichheld.

·’Reward and retention efforts can produce big dollar returns.’ That’s what the Incentive Federation found in a 2003 survey asking hundreds of businesses using incentive travel promotions ‘Does Incentive Travel Improve Sales Productivity and By How Much?’

What then can we conclude from these survey results?

The bottom line is loyal customers and productive employees are the foundation of a successful business. But to continuously retain and motivate people can be a difficult challenge. Vacation and travel incentives, a proven motivator, will achieve this purpose.

Do your incentives measure up?

Today’s business environment demands a new breed of incentive programs. Many companies have already discovered that standard incentives of just a few years ago just don’t cut it with the customers as well as the workers in our continuously changing economy. Your choice of incentives have to widely appeal to your clients’ and employees’ wants or desires in order to measure up and get results you are looking for.

Hundreds of promotional companies offer incentive programs that are designed to evoke an emotional response and motivate people to take a positive action. It’s obvious from industry surveys of companies using incentives that travel is the most widely appealing incentive where everyone wins. Your sales people will close more sales, your clients will enjoy an exciting vacation experience and your business will increase its profits.

Why use travel incentives?

-Travel is considered to be the most effective reward.

According to the result of an email survey conducted by CMI, 58% say travel is more effective than cash or merchandise. Survey respondents consider travel to be the most effective reward. (Incentive Travel Fact Book)

“Cash bonuses are necessary but travel is a higher perceived reward,” says Verizon’s Porterfield.

Additionally, in a recent survey of American workers, 85% said they were motivated by vacation travel incentives.

-Nothing beats travel for long-term results.

In a 2003 Incentive Survey of Buying Practices conducted by the Incentive Federation, survey respondents believe that travel and merchandise awards are remembered longer than cash payments. Specifically, 69% strongly agree with this statement. (Copyright IPC)

Porterfield added, “When people spend their money, it’s gone. But the recognition that comes from our travel incentives lives on.”

-Travel has a universal appeal and high-perceived value.

USA Today, on their recent survey, stated that “93% preferred travel over other incentives.” This is because vacation travel is something that some or most people would not be able to get for themselves.

-Travel is desirable.

Another question asked on the Wirthlin Worldwide Research 2003 survey was “Suppose your employer wanted to reward your work performance. What would you find most rewarding?”

88% – indicated a trip they plan and take with a companion to the destination of their choice

5% – indicated a trip planned for them and a companion of choice with their co-workers

5% – indicated a trip planned just for them and their co-workers

-Travel has a promotion value.

A more exciting and memorable program can be built with travel than you can with cash.

Do travel incentives work?

According to the 2003 Incentive Travel Facts survey, travel incentives increase sales by an average of 15%. In addition, half of the respondents reported that travel incentives meet 75% – 99% of their objectives. (Incentive Magazine)

Where can I use travel incentives for?

Sales Incentives – To increase sales

In a May 1998 Promo Magazine special report, it was noted that LifeUSA attracted new agents and sent sales soaring by abandoning its annual cash incentive program for a more inclusive campaign that gave out merchandise and travel. By the program’s conclusion, policy enrollments exceeded LifeUSA’s initial goal by 700%. There were 10,000 certificates issued and were more than twice what the company planned for. (Copyright IMA)

Employee Incentives – To motivate, retain and reward loyal and efficient employees

A small retail store in Maryland, Target Appliance, used travel incentives. “We introduced our first travel incentive for sales employees five years ago,” says President Daryl Gamerman, “and since then we’ve only lost staff due to retirement. I don’t ever have a problem with our sales people not working hard or volunteering for extra work, because they know it will help qualify them for a great trip.

Customer Loyalty Incentives – To build customer loyalty and trust

The Frequent Builders Program at Garco Building Systems offered travel awards to individuals. Since launching the program five years ago, Garco has experienced a 15 to 25% growth rate, compared to an industry standard of 2-3%. In 2000, the company grew a robust 37%. While it’s impossible to measure precisely the role that the Frequent Builders Program played, “there is no doubt in mind that it helps to build customer loyalty,” says Loomis.

Referral Incentives – To develop contacts or promote referrals.

‘Refer three new customers to our Tanning Salon and we will give you a free cruise to the Bahamas or Mexico.’ is one example of so many ways to use incentives to get those referrals every company needs.

Purchase Incentives – Increase cash flow and obtain money upfront.

‘Pre-pay a one year service agreement, you will get a free 7 days and 6 nights resort condo accommodation in the destination of your choice.’ is an example how incentives can be used to up sell.

Member Perks – Sell new accounts or member ships.

‘Join our golf club now and we will send you and a companion to Las Vegas with airfare and hotel for free!’
‘We will send you and a companion to a free vacation for 3 days/2 nights in over 30 destinations when you open a checking or savings account with us.’

Encourage responsiveness or trial of product or service.

‘Send back our questionnaire, we will send you and a companion to Orlando near Disney with free hotel and airfare!’

‘We will give you a free 3 day/2 night vacation to Orlando when you test drive our all new 2002 Honda Hybrid.’

Improve attendance

Create new markets

Foster teamwork

Build traffic

Set appointments

Business gifts

Consumer/User promotions

Cash vs. Travel Incentive?

Cash as a motivator is considered an unemotional award and widely over used. It seems that all human behavior stems from one of the brain’s two hemispheres: the left, which thinks in rational, linear terms; or the right, which operates in terms of images, emotions, and feelings. When companies offer money as a motivator, they are addressing performance issues from a rational, left-brain point of view. Tangible rewards, however, are often more motivating because they appeal to the right brain eliciting images. (Copyright IMA)

On a survey conducted by the Wirthlin Worldwide Research, a question “How did you spend your last cash reward?” was asked.
The following results were gathered:

29% – Bills

18% – Don’t remember

15% – Never received cash

11% – Gifts for family

11% – Household items

11% – Savings

Though its value is concrete and while it could be used to purchase a lifestyle award, most likely cash will be charged against a pile of bills or deposited into a leaky checking account where it soon ceases to exist. And with the demise of the cash award goes the memory of its origin leaving no trace of psychological branding.

Joe Devlin of Mitsubishi Fusco Truck of America Inc. quoted, “Cash goes straight into people’s pockets, and they need it to supplement their salary, but our trips give us the competitive edge. They’re a big part of how we motivate the salesperson at the dealership that has the opportunity to sell more than one product.” (Incentive Travel Fact Book)

In 1994, Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company sponsored an incentive campaign to improve sales of tires. Two groups were formed; one was offered monetary rewards, and the other an equivalently priced selection of merchandise and travel – related rewards. The group receiving lifestyle and travel rewards outperformed the monetary rewards group by nearly 50%. This was the first documented evidence that cash, as a motivator, is not as effective as travel or merchandise. (Copyright IMA)

Using non-cash incentives such as travel will distinguish a company’s campaign from cash compensation packages. The programs do not become an expected part of an employee’s income. Surveys by Incentive Federation show that organizations use incentive travel because it creates lasting memories for the participants and generates positive buzz throughout the organization. Because they do not have an impact on compensation, it’s easier to use incentives as needed without creating the impression that people are getting pay cuts when no program is in gear. (Copyright IPC)

Join hundreds of other companies like:

Car Dealers

Banks

Manufacturers

Real Estate Brokers

Service Providers

Credit Card Companies

Public Speakers

Furniture Retailers

Mortgage Lenders

Sports Organization

Insurance Companies

Jewelry Stores

Non-profit organizations (fundraising, etc.)

And more…that have discovered the positive impact of incentive travel in their business.