Prevue May-June 2017 - 18
Trends in Automotive Incentives
See how auto manufacturers are changing up their programs
he automotive segment has always
relied on incentive travel to build brand
loyalty and cement relationships.
With ample budgets and easing of some of
the regulatory restrictions faced by financial
and pharma, this sector can also get more
creative. In addition, the US automotive
industry is in its seventh consecutive year
of growth and last year was a record year,
according to Tina Gaccetta, VP, sales and
marketing, Aimia US - Events, Aimia Inc.
"This is an industry that understands
that there's a little bit of magic that happens
when you bring top performers together,"
We took a look at the automotive
incentive industry to see what's new.
Goodyear attendees build a playground
Goodyear added a CSR component to its
annual incentive trip for US, Canada and
Mexico dealers for the first time ever last year.
The automotive aftermarket dealer program
took place in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, and
ended up winning a Crystal Award from the
Society for Incentive Travel Excellence.
The company had recently combined
its Latin America and North American
regions into one-the Americas-and was
looking for a way to connect team members
from both, while celebrating the company
and giving back to the destination. The
choice was to build a playground for a local
school that only had a single soccer field to
provide recreation for 1,000 children.
The playground was built using
recycled tires and participants chose tasks
for which they were best suited (from the
actual installation to assisting with lunch).
The day's success was reinforced when
the winners got to meet a playground full of
Longer Lead Times
The seller's market has forced automotive
incentive planners to book further out than
the typical 12 months to secure the luxury
properties their winners have come to
18 | prevuemeetings.com
expect. "It's a case of supply and demand,"
says Gaccetta. "It's the only way they can
get space at the resorts they want to use
on the dates they are looking for." Though
incentive budgets in this sector are still
strong, "they might not be escalating at the
same rate as the rates at luxury hotels,"
Gaccetta adds. She has seen companies
whose budgets have not grown being
forced to make changes to afford the same
level of experience, whether that means
reducing the number of days or choosing
Disruption & Attendee
New research from the Incentive Research
Foundation and the University of South
Carolina estimates that 60 percent of planners
have experienced some form of negative
disruption around their events; almost a
quarter have been affected in some way.
Attendee safety concerns have even affected
automotive dealer incentives, despite the
winners being well-traveled and used to
visiting exotic locales, and some companies
are choosing destinations closer to home
because of terrorism and Zika scares.
Car dealerships are often family businesses,
and over time the pool of qualifiers has
shifted from primarily middle-aged males
to their children. The new owners seek
active, immersive experiences that play off
the destination rather than the traditional
18 holes of golf. It's also important that the
agenda and the venue reinforce the brand.
For one automaker, this meant choosing a
sleekly designed, high-tech winery instead
of a high-end castle for an evening event.
Individual time is also important, so planners
added a day where attendees got to explore
the countryside in classic cars before
meeting up with everyone in the evening.-
"This is an industry that understands that there's a
little bit of magic that happens when you bring top