Bid for the Management of the 2017 Maasai Mara Incentive Travel
The corporate world is now waking up to the return of incentive travel as both a reward and a motivation for employees. Incentive travel mainly refers to arranging for an adventurous trip where employees go to relax, enjoy, and unwind away from the routine work environment (Jost, 2014). In reference to the upcoming incentive travel that your company Milan Enterprises is organizing, Providence Events Consultancy hereby wishes to submit our bid to offer our services as event organizers and consultants along with this proposal. It is our understanding that your firm is looking to send a total of 98 individuals on a travel holiday on a yet to be decided on destination. We also learned that this is part of Milan’s annual practice for rewarding employees to inspire greater commitment through appreciating effort and resourcefulness. At Providence, we recognize that the essence of incentive travel is to make the participants feel a connection with the planned destination. With this understanding, we at this moment submit our formal application to run the upcoming incentive travel for your firm. As we make our bid, there are certain things we need to draw your attention on. It begins with a growing concern about the apparent tendency in which most corporate events planners usually do a remarkable job promoting incentive travels only to fall short on the execution. Some of the biggest challenges are poor planning and untimely follow-up. Once the execution of an event fails, the entire incentive trip loses its essence. Similarly, improper planning usually involves over-scheduling of activities, which usually takes away the element of reward and make employees feel as though they are in their routine tasks or in some sort of working holiday. Such as scenario neither incentivizes nor motivates; instead, it usually has a reverse effect that causes many of such events fail. We understand that your company’s latest trip was cancelled for lack of proper planning, which is why we recommend a slightly different approach this year to help turn things around. Providence has had 6 years’ experience of offering quality services in our events consultancy model. Our mission goes beyond meeting our clients’ needs to exceeding their expectations. Our proposal for your company has been primarily designed to cover a broad range of activities but within budgetary means as is explained in the brief. We focus on maximising positive impacts and reducing potential negative impacts by learning from previous feedback from the clients we have served such as General Motors, Apple Inc., McDonalds, and Berkshire Hathaway within our years in practice. Our particular focus will be to establish a connection with the destination and inspire participation to achieve an enhanced holiday experience as is our forte. Once again, we reaffirm our firm’s commitment to organize an incentive travel that produces the desired outcome, which is rewarding employees who have helped your business achieve individual designated targets and objectives while motivating others to show more resourcefulness so that they may be recognized as such.
Bid for the Management of the 2017 Maasai Mara Incentive Travel
1. Event Conceptualization
The planned trip aims to bring all 98 personnel comprising employees, delegates, agents, tour operators, and guests of honor as part of Milan’s annual retreat. The main theme for the scheduled incentive travel will be the sustainability of the travel and in the participation of the planned activities. Sustainability is all about proper planning, appropriate oversight, and effective execution (Jost, 2014). The goal of Providence therefore will be to formulate viable strategies to actualize the holistic plan.
Given the wide range of planned activities as scheduled and based on the options the firm forwarded to us, Providence recommends the Maasai Mara as the preferred destination for this particular incentive travel. It would be a well-deserved break since most of your former trips have been within the country, and it is advisable to try something different. With this under consideration, we have put together a team of experts to help plan the event. The most important aspect of planning such an event is timing; it is crucial that the timing be right for sustainability purposes. At the Mara, there is a wide range of activities that can be done including safari, boat riding, sun bathing, participating in African festivities, experiencing a wild sense of adventure, and enjoy the thrill of cultural interaction. The tentative schedule will include three days of outdoor experiences and the fourth and final day will entail a final conference to reflect on learning from the experiences. Since the trip the planned travel schedule coincides with the marvelous Wildebeest Migration from Serengeti into the Mara complex, we also feel that watching this natural event could be an experience of a lifetime, especially when done from an aerial perspective on a hot air balloon on Day 3. Any event that could disrupt the schedule has been accounted save for an unprecedented Act of God such as heavy rains or floods, so the plan is underway all things considered.
2. Impacts and Outcomes
As event organizers, Providence recognizes the need to manage the range of event outcomes and the potential impact of such outcomes. Any given travel event has an impact on finances and other resources such as company facilities. Our goal is to manage unnecessary spending and restrict any such spending within budgetary constraints. Likewise, it is important to ensure that the event has a desirable outcome, which is to reward and motivate employees. Most of the time, events are organized in a manner that defeats their very essence. To keep this problem at bay, Providence will work closely with Milan organizers to ensure that there will be no over-scheduling of activities to avoid increasing the pressure on participants and deny them the time for enjoyment.
Since the event is a corporate event, the political implications would be minimal. However, since it involves traveling abroad, there will be cultural implications. Participants will come into contact will local communities, interact with them, and ultimately learn certain aspects of their culture. There is a likelihood of experiencing culture shock, but the overall outcome will be thrilling and adventurous
3. Sector and Target Markets
Going by the model espoused by Getz (2016) on event typology, Milan’s incentive travel falls under ‘tourism and hospitality’ form. Some of the major stakeholders involved here are hotels, travel agencies, environmental agencies, and media outlets. At this time of the year, business booms and profits in the hospitality and tourism industry skyrockets. Major investors at the Mara, which include the Government of Kenya, local communities, and private travel industries will profit from the incentive travel. Businesses in the hospitality industry usually work towards ensuring that they meet the aspirations and needs of every generation of participation in such incentive travels. In our case, participants will be persons aged between 25 and 37 whose immediate needs include learning from experience and enjoying their stay with a range of outdoor activities. Given the generational gap, the most effective means of learning the participants’ needs is through social media platforms.
In virtually every industry with various sectors of the economy, there has been a culture of endorsement through sponsorship. As such, millions of dollars in investment capital circulate the tourism and hospitality industry, for instance, as firms seek to maintain a mutually beneficial arrangement with sponsors on a quid pro quo basis. It means that the sponsor endorses a certain brand in return for publicity through advertising and other perks (Geradinik, 2015). The sponsors of Milan’s incentive travel will, therefore, be from the tourist and hospitality industry as well as the transport and communication sector. These sponsors have vested economic stakes meaning that they will allow their respective brands to be showcased for publicity and projected returns. We will ensure that the sponsors get corporate incentives such as free delegate spaces during the event. Professor Mitchell Kane of Stanford University explains that the presence of respective sponsors is to create the perception that they support such learning experiences to improve their brand image. The money generated through the sponsors’ enhanced brand reputation will, in turn, benefit the event and boost the firm economically.
The proposed destination for the upcoming event is the Maasai Mara in Kenya. It is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world and home to the big five of wildlife: Cape buffalo, lion, elephant, rhino, leopard. Here, millions of people gather every year to witness the Big Migration, which is the most mysterious phenomenon in the world’s ecosystem and is classified as a ‘world wonder.’ The movement of Wildebeest in millions round the Mara ecosystem is a major tourist attraction. Therefore, the government of Kenya has invested heavily in transport and communication infrastructure in the Maasai Mara seeing as the tourist industry is a major income earner for the country. Navigating the way around the Mara has been made easier through better facilities such as superhighways. Likewise, air travel has been boosted through a partnership with sponsors such as Kenya Airways and KLM, which has made the Mara accessible to domestic and foreign tourists. Similarly, the event will be a vital destination marketing tool for the Mara since it sets the stage for future involvement of other companies and attracts investment capital as well as endorsements. Authorities will ensure that they work in close partnership with Milan during the visit to create a unique brand from that of other tourist destinations.
6. Staging the Event
Given that the destination for the incentive travel is already an existing venue, clearance formalities and procedure are already set in place and are accessible through Mara’s website. Over the years, the Mara has accommodated millions of visitors, so it is to presume that our event will be appropriately catered for and that it will be a success. Providence will send a team before the visit to conduct a potential risk assessment and recommend viable ways of averting any such risks. The assessment report will be communicated to Milan within a reasonable time to allow for any necessary adjustments. Since it was already communicated that there are three persons suffering from physical disability, it must be confirmed that there are special needs facilities for such persons. Likewise, the arrangements made for the visit must be environmentally sustainable to ensure that Milan does not undermine the domestic laws of the host country. For instance, the range of activities that participants will engage in must be in line with the laws of Kenya.
7. Segmentation and Targeting
In their discourses on business marketing, Bowdin (2011) identify three key aspects of strategic marketing: segmentation, targeting, and positioning. Every firm needs to follow these key steps so that they can elevate their brand and gain a core competitive edge over their rivals. For segmentation to be fruitful, Getz (2016) explains that each given segment must be measurable, accessible, actionable, and sustainable. The segmentation for the event will be based on the purpose of the trip, its geographical location, the length of stay, learning, and experience. It is important to note that learning and experience are not measurable in quantitative terms but a qualitative analysis can help find a considerable estimate. The event will be marketed on various platforms such as trade press, advertising, website, and social media through a generic marketing strategy.
Subsequently, the event will be targeted to reach out to potential sponsors, the company’s market segments, and employees. Once the trip is successfully planned and executed accordingly, the brand will have boosted its image as well as that of its major endorsers.
8. Urban Tourism and Regeneration
As used in this context, urban regeneration refers to the strategic use of events to revitalize cities and revive tourism (Smith, 2012). The Kenyan government has repeatedly used the Big Migration to revive slowed urbanization in the remote areas within the Mara precincts. With its wildlife, terrain, and ecology, the Mara has compiled the governments of Kenya and neighboring Tanzania to partner with stakeholders, businesses, and other agencies such as UN Habitat to work relentlessly to make it a destination of choice for local and foreign tourists. Considering that the Mara is in the Third World, most investors are foreign who have helped transform the neighbouring towns through a business-oriented tourism regeneration strategy. The goal is to use events such as rallies and marathons bearing the brand name Mara. This attracts various investors and stakeholder in an effort to ignite industrialization in the Mara precincts. Unfortunately, regeneration efforts have attracted an enveloping human settlement around the wildlife reserves leading to illicit activities such as poaching that are known to endanger the animals (Smith, 2012). Human encroachment in the Mara poses a significant threat to the ecosystem. Some species begin to gradually disappear as others become extinct, which disrupt environmental balance and negatively impacts tourism. To combat this trend, nongovernmental agencies have partnered with government agencies to initiate protective measures. The planned incentive travel to the Mara will also serve to sensitize the public and the civil society in Kenya to regenerate the country’s wildlife and revive tourism. Milan Enterprises will play a critical role in the regeneration of tourism and safeguard the natural habitat in the Mara complex.
9. Event Evaluation
While evaluating this event, we keep in mind its role to the visitors, the host, and the vent organizers (Shone & Parry, 2013). The very essence of Milan’s incentive travel is to serve as a reward for exceptional employees who showed great resourcefulness in achieving the company’s objective. Therefore, the evaluation of the event should focus primarily on achieving that outcome. Here, it is important to be cautious not to over engage the employees since the goal is to help them enjoy the holiday. In case they feel over-indulged, the event will have lost its fundamental meaning. Also, it is equally important to evaluate the essence of the event to the brand. Did it help market the brand? Once again, it is important to reaffirm the commitment towards building brand reputation, and any such event should be able to elevate Milan Enterprises and major stakeholders such as brand endorsers. Additionally, the event consultants will have a stake in the incentive travel since it will help us learn through experience in a way that will help improve our services in the future. It is also important to understand whether the activities planned for the event will meet the intended purpose of the trip (Ferdinand & Kitchin, 2012). The initial evaluation will be done through instant feedback from the participants on an audience response platform. Every party will get an opportunity to describe the experience and how meaningful it was to them. The participant will get an opportunity to explain whether the event was fulfilling and whether it matched their expectations. The other evaluation will be done in a post-visit survey that will be sent to the participant through email or telephone conversation after concluding all activities and returning to work.
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