By Prashant Pitti
There has been enormous growth in business travel in recent years and this is the reason, the industry has seen a surge in number and size of corporate meetings and events. So, event planners and hoteliers are getting huge opportunities for planning offsite corporate events.
No corporate house wants its corporate events to be boring anymore. They are constantly looking for methods to re-engage and rejuvenate their employees. This is why corporate offsite tours are becoming popular among corporates so that they can reward employees while keeping the key business on priority. Consequently, we are witnessing the companies demanding to conduct their annual R&R events at exotic destinations. This clearly shows how much they truly value their employees.
With a list of long weekends in 2019, most of the corporate clients of EaseMyTrip have asked to plan for short breaks at quick getaways from their cities. These getaways were not limited to enjoying a holiday but organizing MICE events as well.
Some of the popular trends that we have witnessed for corporate offsite travel are:
Volunteer Tourism Gaining Popularity
Corporates today are looking for experiences that have already been created or want us to craft and tailor a program to reach their specific goals. They ask to create opportunities for their staff to holiday in a significant way that can create meaningful team-building experiences within a safe setting. They look for tour packages that can give the participating staff a greater understanding of diverse culture and universal perspectives. This is why around 30% of group tours planned by us were restricted to voluntourism.
Outbound Training Becoming Important
Now every corporate understands the fact that while sitting in an AC room and addressing through the power-point presentation is not going to bring out the best from the employees. They need to come out of their comfort zone, make their moods away from their office setup and do some tasks where interdependence is required. So, outdoor camp setups are offered to them with an extensive range of customized activities that seem fun but are basically planned to train them with experiences leading to self-realization.
So, they ask travel experts to organize:
- some outdoor management training sessions that have perspective to enhance problem-solving abilities,
- risk management and skill to achieve objectives within given time limits.
These worldwide admired outdoor activities prepare the employees for:
- Motivational leadership
- Planning & implementation and
- Decision making
- Offbeat locations are more popular
Instead of taking their employees to famous destinations, nowadays companies ask for planning their meetings or conferences at not so popular places but offbeat locations. Going to exotic locations for various meetings is in trend in India. Destinations such as Corbett, Udaipur, Pench, Rishikesh, Coorg and others are gaining popularity. At these places, employees feel their morale to be boosted and bond with their colleagues. However, conducting conferences and events are a little difficult at such locations but we are able to conduct such team outings that they can cherish forever.
Corporate Events are Getting Bigger
There has been around 33% growth in the size and scope of corporate events. These offsite occasions are getting bigger. In the year 2019, companies have included more employees to attend these meetings and outings in comparison to last year.
If we talk about bookings received by us for such occasions, it has increased by around 28%. Since the number of attendees has grown, their budget of MICE programs has also become bigger.
For corporate travel solution providers, the challenge and fun are that we can plan these events in such a way that can be engaging and corporate employees get plenty of opportunities to socialize with each other.
(The columnist is Executive Director, EaseMyTrip. Views expressed are personal.)