The Golden Rules of Engaged Meetings

Many meetings fall short in their ability to fully engage their attendees. Some meeting planners get so wrapped up in taking care of the logistics of the meeting that they lose sight of the bigger picture: i.e., making sure the participants are—and remain—actively engaged throughout the meeting process. This is partially due to the fact that meeting organizers do not think of attendee engagement as a key success factor.  Speakers are often preoccupied with the delivery of their content to the point that providing an outlet for the attendees to interact seems to take the back seat—or is entirely neglected.  Here are the golden rules of success in enhancing meeting attendee engagement:

Rule 1: Make time for interaction

Whether it is an academic speech or an exciting presentation, attendee engagement adds considerably to the success of the meeting—with the side benefit of making the event more lively and rewarding for all. To accomplish this, meeting planners must help speakers and meeting leaders define how participants can get involved and interact—with the speakers and with one another. Today, with all our mobile gadgets, it is very easy to create an interactive “community” of a meeting participants. Whether it is using the contemporary technologies or the old fashion methods, the success of a meeting rests with how lasting its impact is on participants. Keeping your attendees engages is a sure way to succeed in accomplishing that goal. In addition to routine Q&A component within the meeting, regular breaks to allow for interaction among attendees and with meeting principals will considerably enhance the value of a meeting.

Rule 2: Define engagement

Keeping attendees engaged means a different thing to different people. Is a simple Q&A session sufficient for attendee engagements? Should an event have a formal segment for attendee interaction? Should interaction be with the meeting leader(s) only or should participants be allowed/encouraged to interact with one another? To achieve the optimum engagement, help meeting leaders define various roles for everyone by visualizing the meeting in advance and thinking through the roles everyone can play. Using mobile devices, meeting principals can benefit from significant value-adds in real-time.

Rule 3: Take a break

No matter how interesting or important the topic, attendees need a break to interact with one another. This is just as critical to the success of the meeting as is the subject matter. Allow ample time for attendee interaction with one another and with meeting leaders in a less formal setting than the meeting room. Making use of all available social media platforms, these breaks can become important part of creating an enlightening meeting sphere.  In fact, the value of such interaction can multiply if the purpose-made social media for the event are publicized to the participants—which will allow for increased engagement even before the event takes place. Make every effort to transform the traditional coffee breaks to forums for lively interaction sessions—which will greatly contribute to the success of your meeting. 

Rule 4: Pride of authorship

There is a little self-aggrandization in all of us. It is a human nature to want to be recognized. As meeting planners, it is incumbent on us to “coach” the speakers and meeting leaders in acknowledging contributions—especially in rather scientific settings. The success of high-stakes meetings rests not only on the topic involved, but also in the engagement of stakeholders in the form of peer reviews. Much like the role social media play in propagating current social subjects, formal acknowledgement of attendee contributions enhances the long-term value of the meeting to the community to which it is directed. Make sure the contributors to any thought process or meeting content are widely recognized and their contributions duly acknowledged. 

Rule 5: Sharing is caring 

To create an engaged “community” out of your meeting, it is paramount that everyone’s contributions be formally and widely acknowledged. In scientific circles peer reviews are an important tool to attain recognition and to advance the field in question.  As meeting planners, we can institute simple measures to ensure that everyone’s contributions are carved in the proverbial stone. For example, recording of meeting proceedings and distributing them to attendees and other stakeholders ensure that important contributions are not lost.  Even in rather stolid corporate settings such as the budgeting process, important contributions should be recorded—even if they are not being incorporated into the final document. This becomes even more important in strategy development or product innovation.  Incremental steps often lead to important discoveries or breakthroughs.

Let the professionals at GMS Meetings help you to transform your next meeting into a dynamically-engaged event.  

What Happened to Green Meetings?

Was “Green Meetings” a hype or a phenomenon with lasting impact? For a while, it seemed everyone was pushing hard to jump on the proverbial bandwagon.  Now, there is little progress report on the beneficial impact of going green with our meetings. We may have to start by revisiting the concept. 

A green meeting is defined as a “meeting that incorporates environmental considerations throughout all stages of the meeting in order to minimize the negative impact on the environment.” According to the Sustainable Events Guidepublished by the United Nations Environment Programme in 2012, a sustainable or “green” meeting must meet specific criteria: These include an accessible and inclusive setting, a safe and secure atmosphere, having minimal negative impact on the environment, promoting responsible sources, and encouraging more sustainable behavior. 

Staging a green meeting is clearly a commendable effort, one loaded with financial benefits and beneficial corporate image. To “green” their meetings, event planners have to make deliberate effort to ensure that every aspect of the planning process takes into account the impact of the meeting and/or event on the environment—i.e., reducing the adverse effect on the environment. This “state of mind” begins with site inspection all the way to the conclusion of the event. Every effort must be made at each step to minimize waste through recycling, composting, avoiding disposable items, and making a positive contribution to the community (CSR).  

Many organizations changed their modus operandi to embrace the green concept in their daily lives—beyond meetings and event. Others just paid lip service. The green revolution placed meeting planners at the front and center of this wave. Some became the champions of the cause, while others took the back seat. As a result, the green meeting has been growing at varying speed—not only among countries, but also among companies. 

While Canada, the US and Western Europe lead the way in emphasizing and enforcing green meetings, the rest of the world, for the most part, lags behind. The case for green meetings appears not have been made convincingly enough for many Asian countries. Hong Kong, Singapore and to some extent, Thailand are the leaders in embracing green meetings in that continent. Regrettably, China with its immense heft lags behind. 

It appears that the case for green meetings has to be made all over again.  When we think of being “green” or environmentally responsible, recycling is usually the first thing that comes to mind. A green meeting or event goes beyond recycling.  Greening an event encompasses all aspects of the planning process. By making choices at every stage of planning, from site selection to serving condiments like ketchup and sugar from bulk containers, the environmental impact of the event can be significantly reduced. It means taking steps to minimize waste through recycling, composting and avoiding disposable items, to decrease energy consumption, and to use products with post-consumer recycled content and food that is organic, local or fair trade. Green meetings also incorporate social aspects such as charitable donations and projects that give back to the community. 

Why is it important to make meetings green? A small meeting may not seem important.  But take a large-scale event. The effect on the environment can be enormous. For example, during a typical five-day conference, 3,000 attendees will use 75,000 plates, over 100,000 napkins, 90,000 plastic cups and glasses and more than 100,000 cans or bottles. Add to these figures, the greenhouse gas emissions resulting from traveling to/from the conference and paper and plastic waste from conference handouts.

In the US alone, last year there were nearly 2 million meetings with over 260 million attendees.  This shows the staggering effect of meetings on the environment if tangible steps are not taken to enforce green concepts. Thankfully, both meeting planners and venue/hotel principals appear to be very committed to following green principles to the extent possible.  

The Roadmap to Greener Meetings

Before choosing an event destination, hotel, venue, transportation, etc., the meeting planner should consider what impact these services provided by suppliers would have on his or her objective to organize a green meeting or event. The event planner must ensure that the selected suppliers considered elements of sustainability, including the recycling of their own products and services throughout the year. As it relates to the environment, using recycled materials, reusing items and reducing materials can significantly lessen the potential impact of events.

When it comes to being "green," it is as much about what you don't use as is about what you do use. To be truly environmentally friendly, it's not just about the products you buy or the appearance of being green. If your corporate client strives to reap the eco-friendly reputation benefits from their green event, you might suggest including some educational material that explains to guests the ways in which the event is sustainable and how they too can make small changes for a greener lifestyle at work or at home. And don't hesitate to promote the eco-friendly value of your event!

What’s In it for Me?

Benefits of planning green events are well documented. The primary benefit of planning a green event is the positive impact on the environment. While this should always be the principal driver for green events, event planners must recognize that it's a business as well. It can be strategic to "go green" both in terms of financial savings as well as reputation.  While sometimes, the eco-friendly option can be more expensive, certain aspects of green meetings and events can actually save money. For instance, collecting name badge holders for reuse at the 3,000-attendee meeting example can save approximately $2,250 for the event organizer the next time around. Not only does this practice save resources, but it limits the investment that must be made in the initial purchase. Of course, there are also the intangible benefits that many companies seek from holding green events and meeting. Reaping the reputation benefit of a positive and trendy buzzword is generally part of a company's motivation—particularly when the "green" option is the more expensive or difficult option.

To help you accomplish your green meeting goals, let GMSMEETINGS plan your next environmentally-responsible event.

To Hotel or Not to Hotel

When an important meeting or event is in its inception, there are countless points to consider: The proximity to airports and public transportation, lodging and food places, the meetings spaces, A/V and other technical capabilities, and other essential features and offerings of the venue. There are also all those other more creative elements that make up the look and feel of a particular event/meeting. The choice of venue plays a key role in the overall success of the meeting.  The main viable meeting venues that come to mind are hotels, conference centers and other event settings.  For large-scale meetings, hotels have usually competed with conference/convention centers. Yet, independent event venues potentially offer “out-of-the-box” opportunities to improve the overall impact of the meeting on the participants.  While there have been studies that indicate that hotels have been gradually increasing in popularity over conference centers for many events, there are no statistics regarding the popularity of event venues as compared with hotels or conference centers.  

For over a decade now hotels have been the preferred venues for the most popular congress.  To this day, they maintain that edge.  According to the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) statistics, hotels have over 45% of the market share compared with conference and exhibition centers’ share of just over 23%. However, there are no reliable statistics as to how independent venues stack up in this regard.  Regardless of the market share, it is unclear as to which one provides the best value proposition for the meeting planners?

Hotelsvs.Non-hotels

ICCA attributes the increase in the number of meetings at hotels (vis-à-vis conference centers) to an overall decrease in the number of attendees at events and also a decrease in the overall length of shows. Fueled by advancements in technology, there is a push to create a more intimate experience—albeit for fewer attendees.  Advances in technology also allow a broader market to be served through live streaming and social media.  Combined, these factors have resulted in a strong value-proposition for hotels. 

Hotels are also seen as the convenient solution when looking for spaces—a “one-stop shop.”  The lodging is in the same building and the need for transportation is minimal, meals are inclusive and the events spaces are often newly renovated or built. 

Against this industry trend backdrop, meeting planners are often looking for venues with the best fit for their particular event.  Hotels often—but not always—provide a better traditional fit in many of these cases.  However, this is not universally the case.  Hotels are not always the best choice for all events.  A more careful analysis needs to be done of the nature of the planned event and what criteria could make it a success based on which the “perfect” venue could then be selected.   

While hotels do offer specific advantages for some meetings, their ability to compete with conference centers depends a great deal on the nature and most importantly the size of the meeting.  For the most part, hotels are built to appease a mass audience. Their sole function is not events. And hotels can rarely compete with conference/exhibition centers for larger events. In fact, in the US, over half of the market share is still held by meetings with 500 or more attendees.  For events with fewer than 500 participants, hotels and conference centers compete head-on which poses interesting challenges for meeting planners.  

While hosting events at a hotel offers distinct advantages—that of being “all-in”—many event planners view the option with trepidations.  Notwithstanding the convenience of having all the hotel amenities under the proverbial one roof, the experience can often be less than ideal. Meeting planners strive to make their event an immersive experience for the attendees.  Having to transport participants to the event venue, for example, offers attendees an opportunity to connect with each other along the way—thus making the event a lot more impactful for all.  An offsite event venue allows attendees to be more engaged in the meeting—hence making for a richer experience for the participants that could be reflected in the feedback that usually follows such events.   

It is rarely possible to replicate the “atmosphere” of an offsite venue in a hotel. Proximity of lodging facilities offers an escape for attendees—allowing for constant flow of attendees in and out of the meeting room—thus making them potentially more disruptive.  Under these circumstances, it becomes far more difficult for the meeting planner to achieve the immersive experience they vie for.  Getting the attendees out of the hotel, out on the town and away from their “comfort zone,” is part of the ever-important “wholesome” ambiance that many planners want to create. 

The Strongest Value Proposition

Hotels can rarely meet these intangible value propositions.  However, offsite venues—whether they are conference centers or independent event venues—must deliver on this promise, which would constitute their strongest value proposition. Today, meeting planners will not tolerate outdated facilities or the lack of modern luxuries that can be found in most hotels.  As technology dominates many aspects of meetings and events, any venue that aspires to attract prominent events must be able to deliver the ability to create increasingly more personalized event experiences for the attendees. 

Ultimately, event professionals must ask themselves a question: ‘Which of my options will help me create the best experience for my event stakeholders (sponsors, attendees, etc.).’ The data shows that when faced with this choice, many planners are selecting hotels. Is this because they see it as the better fit, or because the alternative venues that they may be evaluating simply don't/can’t provide the same level of experience?

Putting It All Together

Meeting planners must build their strategy based on how they intend to create the best experience for their attendees. Hotels, conference centers and independent event venues compete successfully with one another.  It is the expectations of the planner that can help tilt the scale in favor of one vs. another.  Venues are no longer abstract spaces.  The decision has to be part and parcel of the event’s broader objectives.   

By the same token, venues (whether they are hotels conference/exhibition centers or event venues) must build their own value propositions based on facts and their—hopefully, unique—attributes.  Trends are constantly changing.  Venues must keep abreast of meeting planners’ ever-changing needs and expectations. Strive to offer unique opportunities for immersive experiences event planners are seeking to achieve at their events.    

For the most suitable venue for your next important meeting or event, let professionals at GMS Meetings do the legwork for you.

Steps to Planning Perfect Product Launch Events

After many years of research and development or product design, a corporation is always—and naturally—excited to hold a once-in-a-lifetime event to showcase its new product, service or gadget.  Building hype and excitement is key to the success of such events—as is having a qualified event planning company on your side.  In this day and age of social media, an important key to success is to create the right buzz about the event.  As an experienced event planning company with many successful product launches to its credit, GMS recommends the following important steps for a perfectly-planned product launch event:  

The Purpose

Like every other event type, a product launch event must also start with a set of objectives.  The purpose of your product launch event is not just to get exposure or have as many guests at the event.  It is for the rightaudience to be introduced to your product or service creating the right vibe about it through social and other media.  Ultimately, the goal is to convert the target audience—and by extension their connected networks—into people willing to pay for your product or your service.  

More specifically, you have to decide on specific goal(s) for your event: Is it product awareness, sales, product distribution, media coverage, or to reach out to key industry influencers?  Articulating your purpose will help in deciding what type of event (for example, trade event, media event or consumer event) you should plan for.   Despite the temptation, the bigger is not always better in this case.  It’s critical that you don’t try to host one event that caters to multiple audiences. Keep your target audience narrow. This will help you to market and sell the event itself.

The Venue

Much like any corporate event, the venue plays an important role in product launches.  Some venues have their own appeal.  Obviously, you want the emphasis to be on the product and not the venue. Nevertheless, a venue with unique attributes will certainly help with your marketing efforts. Needless to say, you would want some positive association between the venue and the product/service being launched. Don’t forget your intended demographics when choosing a venue.   

The Timing

Timing can make or break a product launch.  Pick your timing carefully considering such important factors as time of the year based on the intended audience, the seasonality, if any, of the product in question.  It is equally important to keep in mind that if the product is not ready for market release, it is better to call off the event than have a launch for a product that is not market ready.   

The Theme

Theming plays a critical role to the success of the event.  A technology product calls for a different theme than a pharmaceutical product—likewise for a service.   The theme should be related to the product, or at least to the industry.  Similarly, the amenities at the venue must also be compatible with the product/service being launched.  A technology product may require specific upgrades the venue to be able to demonstrate the product properly.  You may also consider specific themes for a series of information seminars during the course of the product launch event for interested groups (for example, media or specialists).  If any samples are being handed out, the packaging must reflect the theme for added emphasis.     

The Entertainment

While the event is primarily intended to introduce, entice and educate the audience about a product or service, don’t underestimate the value of entertainment for such events.  Entertainment is intended to make the event fun and memorable—a welcome outcome for any product launch.  When it comes to entertainment, the range of possibilities is very wide—anything from a DJ, to a comedian, to a big-name celebrity.  The right entertainment could act as a vital draw for some products or services.  Depending on the subject product or service, entertainment can also incorporate the very product or service being launched—such as a game or activity.  

The Social Media

Regardless of how “private” you may wish to keep your product launch event, in today’s environment, social media play a vital role in creating a buzz—even among those who don’t get invited to the product launch event.  Thus, marketing the product launch event itself becomes an important task.  Your event planning company should help you put together an online marketing strategy in the weeks leading up to the event.  The strategy should incorporate all possible and pertinent platforms—from print to e-mail, to blogs, to social media, etc.  Social media can play a vital tool in creating a buzz for your new product or service or for your product launch event itself.  

The Conclusion

While the hype generated at the product launch event may die down, the interest in the product or service need not.  Make sure to send off the participants with some keepsake items to remind them of the product and/or of the event itself.  A follow-up strategy needs to be crafted to reach out to not only those who attended the event, but also the broader universe that you so carefully cultivated through social media.  This strategy should, in some way, mirror the pre-event marketing campaign. It should include lots of social media activity, continuing use of the event hashtag, and other platforms appropriate for the product or service in question.  

Product launch event planning provides a unique forum to showcase your new product or service.  It should be viewed as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to create a lasting hype about the subject product or service.  Your event planning company should be able to help you strategize to take full advantage of all possibilities to maximize your ROI from such an event.

GMS is your go-to event planning support to roll out your perfect product launch event.

A Checklist for Planning Successful Events

Planning successful events takes know-how, an ability to cope with many moving parts—of which human factor is an important one.  In addition, there are always exogenous factors directly influencing an event’s success—weather, natural disasters, and man-made catastrophes. 

To effectively deal with all such factors, good event planners rely heavily on checklists—as a roadmap to successful execution of any event. 

1.     Purpose

An event—no matter how large or small or how simple or complex—must start with goal setting.  For-profit organizations and non-profits both have to have very clear and specific goals to accomplish in holding an event.  Examples include: attendee numbers, fundraising, exposure, etc. 

2.     Budgeting

Every proposed event must start with a budget—event fundraisers, where the goal is to secure sources of funding for a non-profit.  The more comprehensive a budget, the more likely the event’s success—from venue rental, to catering to event planning company’s fees.   Choose

3.     Venue

Choice of a venue plays a critical role in the success of an event.  Don’t underestimate the subjective value of an event venue that matches the purpose of the event.  Consider all amenities of the venue such as technology, parking, and location. 

4.     Date

Equally important is a suitable date.  Check for possible conflicts with major citywide or national events.  Dates also directly affect the venue cost. 

5.     Exhibition Space

Some events require a tradeshow or an auction space.  Plan accordingly.

6.     Book Speakers

If called for, choose a speaker that is relevant to your event subject and can be a draw. 

7.     Market your event

Develop strategies and steps on how to reach out to potential attendees by marketing your event through all channels including telephone, e-mail, content marketing, and social media. 

8.     Event Logistics

Now is the time to take care of every little logistical details of the event—from lodging, to food to décor, to entertainment, to transportation and every other step—no matter how small or inconsequential it may appear.

9.     Execution

With all the pieces of the puzzle put together, it’s now time to roll.  It’s the event day!  Be sure to call the venue, all vendors and caterers to double check on schedules and test any equipment involved.

10.  Registration

If your event calls for it, it’s time to register the guests. Competent and knowledgeable event registration staff are key to success at this stage. 

11.  Post Event Follow-ups

Evaluate the success of your event against your preset goals.  If you used an event planning company, this is the time to sit down and review your success—and any shortcomings.  Don’t forget your “thank-you” notes to the vendors, the speakers, the participants, etc.  If this was one in a series of events, this is a good time to publicize the “save the date” for the next meeting/event. 

These simple yet critical steps are the backbone of any successful event.  Needless to say, some events require more detailed steps. If you are using the services of an event planning company, insist that they share with you their checklist.  You can then compare their checklist to your own to make sure you’re guaranteed a successful event. 

Global Management Services is an international event planning company that can help you accomplish your goal regardless of the nature or size of your event. 

 

Fall in Love with Chicago in Fall

It happens every year, but the fall color change still makes Chicago irritable.  To see the autumn leaves in all their glory, pack your camera [with a lot of memory] and let’s go on a day-trip to five most photographed spots that are within a short distance from downtown Chicago, but their dramatic displays of color will totally transport you.

CHICAGO BOTANIC GARDEN (30 MINUTES)

You might exhaust your iCloud storage snapping pics across Botanic Garden’s four natural areas and 27 gardens. Our favorite spot happens to be the Waterfall Gardens, but when every square inch of the 385-acres venue is strewn with red, gold and yellow leaves, it’s all good. 

MORTON ARBORETUM (30 MINUTES)

It’s an arboretum: Expect to be wowed by amazing leaves. And Morton Arboretum lives up to the task with 4,100 different species of trees, shrubs and other plants all gilded for the season. Strap on your hiking boots or grab a seat on their tram—either way, you’ll enjoy a feast for the eyes. 

LAKE GENEVA (90 MINUTES)

Plan to be in awe with the beauty of Lake Geneva. Tracing all 20-plus miles of the lake’s edge, the Shore Path offers scenic views of the azure water and golden leaves at every turn. Still not enough? Hit the rolling terrain of Grand Geneva’s Adventure Center. 

STARVED ROCK STATE PARK (90 MINUTES)

There aren’t many places in Illinois where you can catch the fall colors...from a cliff. That’s one good reason to visit Starved Rock. A few others include massive waterfalls, miles of shady oak trees and regular bald eagle sightings. Yeah, Mother Nature is real majestic. 

CASTLE ROCK STATE PARK (TWO HOURS)

Right behind the Mississippi or Chicago, the Rock River is the one river in Illinois worth knowing. It cuts along a sandstone bluff, feeds off ravines and drains the rolling hills of this state park. In short, visit here and you’ll get to see some leaves and a side of the state you’ve never seen before.

GMS Global Management Services, Inc. is a leading destination management and event planning company with offices throughout the US and Canada.  We specialize in custom-tailored programs for meetings, events and incentives throughout North America. Let us showcase our services in planning your next special event in the US or Canada.

 

 

Meetings that Inspire

Meetings are fast evolving from passive top-down settings to audience centered gatherings of people with a desire not only to learn but also to interact.  Putting together an engaging meeting is now more challenging than ever.  To be successful, meetings need to be audience centered with active and engaged participants.  As meeting organizers, how do we go about accomplishing this deceptively-simple task?

Starting with the layout, traditional theater or classroom style are giving way to circular seating denoting that everyone is equal and that everyone is invited to take an active part in the proceedings.  Many of our clients are opting for rounds of 6 to 8 to encourage not only interaction with the speaker but also among the table participants. 

Needless to say, meeting objectives differ from meeting to meeting.  However, here are a few principles we apply in assisting our clients reach their goal with each meeting.  To reach the ideal outcome, as a professional meeting planning company, we apply a three-tier strategy to eradicate boredom: (1) Involve the presenter(s) in the meeting objectives from the beginning.  There should be no presentation that doesn’t fit the context of the meeting.  We also emphasize the need to connect with the audience and keeping them engaged throughout.  (2) To the extent possible, we make every effort to make sure that the meeting has a natural “flow”—i.e., there are ample opportunities for interaction among participants (during breaks or through alternative interactive activities alongside the meeting).  The goal here is to ensure that the attendees feel and remain engaged throughout. (3) As pointed out earlier, we make every effort to avoid the cliché setups such as theater or classroom styles.  Depending on the meeting size, we recommend lounge seating if appropriate to reinforce the “connected” feel for the event.

Other tools that we routinely recommend are enhanced use of social media—well before the meeting date.  Social media are no longer people’s personal repositories of their likes and dislikes.  They are valuable tools in fine tuning a meetings objectives and keeping the interest level in the meeting high throughout the planning period all the way to when it is rolled out—and long after.  Social media are great “listening” tools.  In planning our client’s important meetings, we always suggest creating an event hashtag then use the tools that are widely available to monitor the posts to ensure that the participants’ “voices” are heard throughout.  Every successful meeting is always followed up by a survey to capture the attendees’ sentiments, their likes and dislikes and their suggestions for improvement. 

Organizing a widely-successful meeting is not all about finding a hotel ballroom and making sure coffee breaks are appropriately stocked.  It is not about creating inspiring moments for the attendees so that the company reaps lasting rewards in branding and improved ROI for many months to come—a job that can be best done by a professional meeting management company.   

The Cure for Employee Burnout? Incentive Travel

Have you ever wished you had more vacation days? Most of us probably have, which is why it’s surprising to find that there are many people who not only have trouble using up all their vacation days, but actually refuse to take any days off at all.

Find it hard to believe? Well, many offices have at least one person like this. Research has found that in the U.S., about 15% of employees have not taken vacation in the past year.

There can be several reasons why employees feel the need to skip their vacations: hope of advancing their careers; fear of returning to a backlog of emails and work; the increase in self-esteem that comes from feeling needed at the office; or the perception of “taking one for the team” by letting others go on vacation instead.

But in the long run, many of these people eventually see the negative effects that come from nonstop work. The lack of time away from the office becomes damaging not only to their own health and personal lives, but also to their relationships with others.

Employers are realizing too that nonstop work for their employees is damaging in the long-term to their productivity at work.

It is apparent that some employees are in desperate need to get away for a while. In fact, according tothis Wall Street Journal article, some employers are even offering cash for employees to take their vacations. They realize that when their employees return from their vacation, they come back refreshed and even more productive than before.

Wall Street Journal’s Work & Family Columnist Sue Shellenbarger had the chance to talk to some employees who had not taken time off in years and were finally allowing themselves to take a vacation. Even though it took them a few days relearn how to enjoy their time off, every single one of them saw the benefits. By the end of their vacation, they felt better and got a fresh perspective on things.

Incentive Travel: A Win-Win

In light of these findings, what might be an even better option than cash is to offer incentive travel. Incentive trips can take the stress off the employees who are fearful of taking vacation, because a company-sanctioned trip allows employees to freely relax with their spouses, families, and colleagues. It also helps them forge and build on relationships with their colleagues and leaders, outside of the pressures of the office.

This helps increase the health and wellbeing of employees and improves their personal lives and relationships. And with employees feelings well-rested and renewed after the trip, it’ll sure to help them be even more productive, which in turn is a valuable benefit for everyone.