Budgets these days are tight.  But as my mother likes to say (repeatedly), “There’s always a way”.  I guess mom must have rubbed off on me, because I know that’s true. You can’t always get what you want.  But if you try sometimes, you might find you get what you need.  My mom didn’t say that (it was the Rolling Stones), but it’s an instructive thought to guide you in making decisions which serve the budget. So, you can’t book the massive conference hall for your group.  So what?  So, you can’t pay for that brass band at your New Orleans soiree?  So what? There are other ways to skin the incentive trip cat.  Let’s look at how to get around the budget, creatively.

Scenario 1:  No budget for the recognition dinner.

Recognition is a very effective incentive trip tool.  While you’re rewarding your employees with a travel incentive, you’re also celebrating them in front of a group of their colleagues and peers. But your budget has been worn down to a nub.  What with flights, accommodations and meals, you’re hard pressed to find the coin to do up the recognition dinner right. Keep this in mind - there are so many creative ways around a short budget, that the mind fairly boggles. You can’t always get what you want, but there’s always a way (mom, meet Mick Jagger). Depending on your destination, there are about a million opportunities to stretch the budget by creating fun, participatory events.  Instead of a huge, sit down dinner, with boring speeches and plaques, why not do something a little funky? Create an intimate evening.  Maybe it’s on the beachfront by your hotel.  Maybe it’s in a picnic area, or lakeside.  Rent bicycles to cycle to the site of your event.  Decorate them with celebratory balloons.  Once you’re there, your catered picnic awaits.  Or maybe you order pizza ahead of time and while you’re sitting outdoors enjoying the fun, enter the pizza! Not having the budget to create a traditional, old school recognition dinner needn’t hold you back when you have the imagination to dream up something much more fun (and affordable).

Scenario 2:  Switch up the bells and whistles.

If your bells and whistles involve that Grammy-award winning NOLA brass band, fear not.  There are other ways to celebrate the fact you’re in New Orleans without busting the budget. Head to the corner of Bourbon and Canal most nights and see one of New Orleans’ most legendary brass bands.  For the price of some generous tipping and a “to go” daiquiri, you’re in the heat of the action, stepping to the famed sounds of the Crescent City. And you’re still within budget.  Chances are your people will relish the adventure so much they won’t even notice that the Rebirth Brass Band hasn’t stormed their sit-down awards dinner, with all horns blazing. Better yet, let Incentive Travel Group work out the details.  We’ve been doing it for 20 years.

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