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Marc Matthews, President/CEO of Pulse Experiential Travel Suggests Ways to Handle Incentive Travel Disruption

The meetings and group travel industry has taken a hit as a result of the Covid-19 outbreak: out of an “abundance of caution,” many organizations are cancelling or postponing events or moving to virtual formats until they can better assess the actual risks. For organizations cancelling or postponing incentive travel, Marc Matthews, President/CEO of Pulse Experiential Travel, believes organizations can benefit from surprise and delight strategies that can turn a negative into a positive and offers one his company’s individual experiential travel packages as one of those solutions. 
It makes sense for organizations to postpone non-essential meetings and events if people are concerned about the risk of getting caught up in a quarantine or being exposed to a new disease, but how to handle the unique case of incentive travel?
With over 40 years of experience in the experiential travel and events business, Marc Matthews, the founder and President of Pulse Experiential Travel, has seen it all. “When it comes to taking customers, employees or other important stakeholders on incentive trips, nothing is more important than the safety and happiness of participants,” says Matthews. “Even the perception of risk is inconsistent with an organization’s responsibility for the welfare of their people.”
Cancellations of incentive travel, as opposed to meetings, involve a different decision-making process, he says, “because in most cases people don’t feel the same level of disappointment, if any at all, if a meeting is postponed. In the case of incentive travel, there often is a high level of disappointment because the program participants earned the trip by achieving their incentive goals and also incentive travel often involves significant others.”
An effective strategy for companies and their incentive and meeting planning partners, he says, “is to surprise and delight participants with a compelling alternative to the cancelled group incentive.  Our JustRewards™ brand of individual experiential travel packages offer exciting travel solutions that are highly flexible in that they allow the individual program participant to choose what they want to do, and where and when they want do it anytime over the next 36 months all at a flat fixed cost to the corporation.” 
For those companies that can postpone the program without problem, “it still doesn’t hurt to do something special to demonstrate that you care. That can take the form of a carefully chosen gift that demonstrates that you know who they are and how this postponement may have felt. Typically, the people headed off on incentive trip are your top performances, so whatever you can do to show you care has an especially high impact during times like these.” 
Marc H. Matthews  President / CE0
Corporate Sport Incentives DBA
Pulse Experiential Travel
9119 Church Street
Manassas, Virginia   20110
800-700-1357  -  Office
202-345-2474  -  Mobile
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