Plan the Most Memorable Corporate Incentive Travel to the East Coast of the US
Look. It’s no secret that the COVID-19 pandemic brought leisure travel to a screeching halt. Everyone that loves – and lives – for vacations, long weekends away and even day trips were stranded at home and had to resort to virtual travel and staycations courtesy of their own backyards. However – there is also an often-overlooked sector that was grounded by the pandemic – those that work for companies that offer incentive travel to their employees. And for those employers that use travel to incentivize, reward and boost moral it made it pretty darn difficult to do just that – perhaps just when it was needed most.
The good news however is that just as leisure travel has come bouncing back with a vengeance, those in the know assure us that corporate travel isn’t far behind. And honestly, what better way is there to show your team how much you appreciate them then by gifting them with something they haven’t been able to enjoy the past two years – time away from the daily grind, outside of the office – be that office found in a skyscraper or a hastily converted guest room.
Whether or not your company has utilized incentive travel in the past or is looking to do so in the future – the staff here at Beyond Times Square has some pointers that ensure you’ll get both a high quality and a memorable experience for your team. Below are our guidelines on how to plan corporate incentive travel – specifically to the East Coast of the US. They range from the goals you should define when choosing to use travel as a reward, to finding travel professionals to help you put it all together – and that are destination experts, to ideas for the best experiences in your chosen destination. Check it all out below!
Goals to Achieve Through Corporate Incentive Travel
One of the first goals that comes to mind when speaking of corporate incentive travel is the team building aspect of it, and that aspect is perhaps more important now than ever. Whether your staff were essential workers that were in the thick of it all and stressed to the max or were simply relegated to work from home for the past two years – workplace relationships took a beating in one way or another. Giving your employees the opportunity to get out of the office, out of their houses and into a new environment is a great starting point for re-grouping and reconnecting. Let’s face it – new and exciting surroundings can also expand your teams’ horizons and boost their creativity – which should be a key goal of incentive travel as well. Think about it. They’ll be face to face, experiencing a new destination with each other, shedding workplace stress and breaking bread together every day. All that goes a heck of a lot farther in strengthening relationships and having impromptu brainstorming sessions than any Zoom call ever could. And you know what else? It’s fabulous PR for your organization! In this day and age of social media – the amount of free, positive press you’ll rack up will be priceless in its own right because rest assured there will be plenty of pictures making their way to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and the like, touting the benefits of working for your company, shining a positive light on your corporation – and perhaps resulting in a clever new hashtag or two. Honestly, hitting just these three simple goals is a win – win. It’s a great way to bring everyone together, to show your employees how much you value them, give them quality bonding time as well as time to bounce new ideas off one another – all while strengthening their loyalty to you and your brand.
Find Travel Professionals That Know Your Destination the Best
After the decision has been made on which destination you are heading to, the next logical step is to find a destination management company – or DMC – to assist you in putting together the trip. While the planning, managing the logistics and execution of incentive travel can be done in house – it can be overwhelming and is best left to those who have made a business of it. Of course, you don’t want to mess around here so you should be researching DMC’s that have prestige, a positive track record, an affiliation with a renowned travel consortium, plenty of experience in executing group trips and of course, high-quality service. Now should you choose New York City, Boston, Philadelphia, Washington DC or one of the more secluded destinations in the Northeast – we can help you with that search because Beyond Times Square is an obvious choice. Why? Well let’s see. There’s our 19-year history – yup – two decades – of delivering tailormade, luxury travel programs with authentic local experiences for sophisticated travelers. There’s our extensive network of specialists, local experts, and high-quality vendors in these destinations that allow us to meet our clients’ every need. There’s our knack for curated travel planning through a variety of experiences based on your vision and input and our expertise. Oh, and we’re a proud member of Virtuoso, Signature, Ensemble and Traveler Leaders (Internova). Long story short, by selecting Beyond Times Square to take the reins, you’ll get a stress free, frictionless travel experience along with supreme hospitality – meaning you won’t be taking chances with your valuable time and you can relax and enjoy the trip along with your staff.
Flexible Travel Policy & Step-By-Step Assistance
Not sure I need to even need to mention this but the events of the past two years undoubtedly brought to the forefront the need to book travel that has wiggle room – i.e. – allows us to make changes without being penalized big time. And that goes for whether it be as simple as a just a hotel room, a flight or a rental car for a leisure or business trip – or as complicated as a corporate incentive trip involving a group of employees traveling from all over the country – or world. While no one is expecting a near total shut down of the globe like we saw in 2020 – you do need to be prepared for the unexpected changes and challenges that often accompany any type of business travel. One way to head off any issues from the get-go is to work with a travel professional that offers a flexible travel policy. Which means when you are in the process of choosing a DMC to work with – be certain that they check all the boxes in this respect. First and foremost – you want someone that does it all and does it all seamlessly – from transportation to accommodations to meals to experiences to offsite events. Second – they need to be both pro-active and responsive – taking care of you every step of the way – from inception to execution to completion of travel. Third – they need to be accessible when you need them – any day, any time – end of story. Flexibility is key. PS – Check out BTSQ.com and you will see that we do all this – and more!
Classic, Innovative & One-of-a-Kind Destination Experiences
Once you have narrowed down the destination and the Destination Management Company – the next step is hammering out the details. Since you have chosen to work with a DMC your part is simple. Generally, you will provide the details such as the duration, how many attendees there will be, where they are coming from, when you plan on holding meetings/sessions/seminars and when there will be free time. The actual experiences to take place during that free time – i.e., tours, shows, events, etc. – are up to the destination experts. At Beyond Times Square we can help you pick and choose the vibe, the flavor, the feel – whatever you like to call it – of your trip. To make it easy we have narrowed it down to three of the most popular categories.
First there the classic experiences – the ones the destination is known for and the most requested by visitors to the destination. For instance, in New York City we could set up private tours of its most iconic attractions, such as the Empire State Building, Central Park, Times Square, the Statue of Liberty and even tours of some of the most sought-after boroughs other than Manhattan such as Brooklyn. In Washington DC classic experiences would consist of a visit to Arlington Cemetery, the many monuments and memorials including the Lincoln Memorial, the MLK Memorial and the Washington Monument, as well as one or more of the 19 Smithsonian Institution’s museums that can be found there. The classics in Philadelphia would no doubt entail checking out the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall and the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Should you decide on Boston that itinerary could include guided tours of the Freedom Trail, Faneuil Hall, Old North Church and Cambridge. And it is important to point out that having your offsite in one of these major cities does not limit you to their borders as we can also arrange for day tours to surrounding areas such as Upstate New York – Hudson Valley, Niagara Falls and the Finger Lakes, Long Island, the Amish Country, Gettysburg and more.
Next up are the innovative experiences. Beyond Times Square has plenty of these as well. In the Big Apple how about a fun team building event like a scavenger hunt at world famous Grand Central Terminal? Or our Private New York After Dark tour which takes you to all the iconic landmarks at night when they are brightly – and breathtakingly – illuminated. In Washington DC we can provide your team with a similar experience with our Monuments by Night Tour. In Philly there’s the Beyond the Scenes of the Revolutionary War Walking Tour that highlights the fact that even though the battles of the war didn’t take place there – the seeds were being planted long before the shot heard round the world in Lexington was fired. And in Boston a night of fun after a day of meetings with our Private Historic Boston Pub Crawl will have them saying “Cheers” (pun intended).
Finally – if you want to completely wow them – consider one of our one-of-a-kind experiences. New York City is known for theater, but anyone can take their team to a Broadway show. What about a Broadway show where afterwards they can have a meet and greet with cast members at a private cocktail reception or dinner? And with the city being known for its culinary scene – why not take it one step further and host a corporate event on Liberty Island with a catered dinner in the lobby of the new Statue of Liberty Museum, or on Ellis Island with a catered dinner in the Great Hall? In DC we can take it up a notch with a combination private bike tour of the city to get the team moving after a morning of seminars that culminates in a relaxing private sport boat cruise along the Potomac River for a different vantage point of the monuments. Heading to Philadelphia? It’s home to Americas most historic prison, Eastern State Penitentiary, and BTSQ can arrange for a night tour with a private happy hour on site beforehand to take this experience up a notch. And not to be outdone – Boston has its own once-in-a-lifetime opportunities – like a VIP private yacht complete with open bar and hors d’oeuvres that sails the Boston Harbor at sunset providing unparalleled views of the skyline from the water.
Of course, this is just the tip of the proverbial iceberg as the sky is the limit to what the team here at Beyond Times Square can make happen in all of these destinations. All signs point to the fact that business travel is coming back so when it’s time to for your company to plan corporate incentive travel, consider these East Coast cities for all they have to offer – including easy access thanks to the proximity of major airports, railways and highways. And when choosing your DMC – hopefully we’ve made the choice an easy one for you. Give us a call and let’s discuss how we can make your next incentive trip a huge success and one that’s all your staff can talk about around the watercooler.