CORPORATE GIFTS, EVENTS & INCENTIVES All Carrot, No Stick – Inspirational incentives

Gone are the days when Christmas bonus meant patting mate on the back and handing over tin of biscuits. Companies wanting employees to perform their best, and come up with creative solutions to exceed goals need to treat them well. These days, corporate incentives are exciting, flamboyant and usually loud.
Incentives are growing market used for multitude of reasons – prizes for competition or premiums for promotion, rewards for an incentive programme, gifts for recognition programme, or acknowledgment for long-serving employees. Organisations will always need to thank clients and encourage sales. Corporate incentives are also used to attract good people to join company and as part of retention strategies.
Corporate incentives cover three main areas: hosting, events and gifts. There’s wealth of options out there but some of the best incentives take time to organise so now is good time to get started for the busy end-of-year season. To kick off, here’s some inspiration for the different seasons.

Christmas holiday season
Reliable and traditional gifts still focus on bottles of wine and gourmet food hampers. Companies worth checking out include the Kilted Kiwi Food Company based in Nelson with its savoury and sweet temptations. The Gift Barn also has wide range of corporate goodies for foodies.
Today’s gifts can also be ‘unforgettable’ experiences. Two companies stand out with thrilling or sublime experiences on offer. Anyone with sense of adventure will relish the opportunity to go on day’s 4×4-drive along Paradise Valley near Rotorua. gift voucher from RedBalloon Days provides an adrenalin surging but safe 7.5-hour self-drive in its Land Rover Discovery. Conquer fear down the leap of faith, negotiate jungle trail, attempt the water hole, and drive up devil’s staircase pitching your driving skills against challenging terrain. The guide keeps drivers informed on two-way vehicle radios, explains little history and offers driving tips.
Total Experience offers range of more than 500 activities nationwide and will tailor programmes to suit corporate clients. The company now has offices in the United States and Australia and offers experiences in countries around the world.
Every voucher comes in branded silver packaging with everything the recipient needs to know – from ‘how to get there’ to ‘what to wear’. The company works behind the scenes, from purchase through to booking to ensure employees, customers or clients are looked after right up until the day of their adventure. It has recently launched range of gift boxes at 23 Whitcoulls stores across New Zealand themed under headings such as ‘air’, ‘water’, ‘drive’, ‘adventure’, ‘indulge’ and ‘inspire’. Every box includes Total Experience voucher and an information booklet with instructions for the trip. Pick from tandem paraglide to make-up session, with all kinds of fun in between.
Marlborough Travel’s cruise and mystery picnic on the Pelorus Sounds is popular choice for corporate hosting. Groups can fly in on the Pionair Convair, luxurious 44-seat charter aircraft, then step aboard the launch Odyssea and into the Sounds for the day with gourmet picnic on remote beach. The company also offers two-day wine tour of the Marlborough Sounds for groups of six people.
The main factor to consider with corporate events is whether organisers have the experience and facilities to deal with large events. One event worthy of mention has to be the IBM Asia-Pacific recognition event with over 2700 qualifiers held in Christchurch in April 2005. The Christchurch and Canterbury Convention Bureau spent 18 months organising the largest-ever single company event in Christchurch. House of Travel (HOT) Events became the hub for managing the event. Some of the activities to show off the region’s attractions are sure to encourage other corporate events to be held here. Select from high country experience, golf tours to the championship greens of Clearwater Resort, trip on the Tranz Alpine train, horse riding or jet boating on the Waimakariri River.

Clients are back at work but are often more relaxed than they were at the busy end of the calendar year and ready to spend time socialising. Treat clients and staff with an opportunity to white water raft at Rangitaiki, or an introduction to caving at Waipu with voucher from Gifts to Remember Summer is also great time to learn to sail with five practical three-hour lessons at The Penny Whiting Sailing School in Auckland. For more relaxing option, take clients to watch the cricket.
Whether companies are planning breakfast for 20 or three-day event for 2000, Events Direct has the know-how to make it happen. Summer is good time for product launches, themed events, road shows and exhibitions. The company’s philosophy is simple: “Each event should not only reflect company’s culture but also help communicate and reinforce key messages – good event is not one that is merely attended but one that generates result.”
Although staff at Corporate Host were too busy looking after staggering 48,000 people to talk to me, this has to be the company to mention for hosting. It organised the largest corporate hospitality project ever to be held in New Zealand, the DHL NZ Lions Series. Corporate Host can meet hosting needs around all kinds of sporting events to concerts and cultural hosting.

Shift clients’ winter blues with trip to the rugby, or league, or themed party. Options for gifts include lessons on snowboarding in Canterbury, thrilling trip on winter wilderness snowmobile tour in Otago, or for the macho at heart terminator paintball experience for up to 10 people – all organised by Total Experience.
Want hot spot to chill out with clients? Whisk them off on sailing trip in the South Pacific with Sail Connections The company charters boats and masterminds exotic holidays around New Zealand, Tahiti, Tonga, Fiji, New Caledonia, The Whitsundays and Vanuatu. Take either bareboat charter, or skippered or luxury crewed yacht for the ultimate in corporate hosting.
For winter corporate events NZ Venues will help meet needs for accommodation, style and activities and its B2B Event Management Service takes the hassle out of organising events and venues.
Next winter try out one of the most attractive and newest entries to Auckland’s premium events facility at the Villa Maria Estate Winery & Vineyard This architectural award-winning winery and events centre is set in beautiful 40-hectare park only minutes from Auckland Airport. For more intimate event, try The Cove hotel in Taupo with 18 rooms and stylish meeting facilities.
Start planning corporate incentives now. Keep staff on side, clients happy and customers coming back.

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