◗ Contracting further out. There is great
demand for dates, and our clients are now
booking further out so they can obtain the
dates, space, hotel and experience that
they want to provide for their top perform-ers. We are also seeing more companies
signing multiyear contracts to secure the
destinations and hotels they want.
◗ Divisional or regional breakdown.
Programs are becoming larger, and with
that, have outgrown the room blocks that
many luxury resorts can provide. As a
result, we see groups operating multiple
waves and more buyouts of our resorts
for larger programs, which also provides
companies with the opportunity to
“own” and brand a resort.
◗ Bucket-list and off-the-radar experiences. There is a demand for offering
attendees experiences they have not
done on their own.
Patricia Silvio, global marketing manager,
◗ More experiential incentives to meet
different demographic demands.
Programs need to be dynamic and have
interactive elements and activities that
invite guests to discover and experience
◗ Hunger for authenticity. An incentive
today should represent a chance to
connect with the culture, specifically
with the local communities. Guests want
to discover the destination through the
experiences and stories of individuals
or spa retreats, meditation, yoga
in high demand, as well as wellness-focused menus
that feature ancient medicinal recipes.
◗ Resort locations off the beaten track. In
Asia, we have seen luxury hotel brands
build their resorts in or near famous
sightseeing locations on the outskirts of
cities. The resorts preserve the traditional architecture, or the properties are
rebuilt using the original bricks, timber
and ornaments for decoration.
John Iannini, vice president, business travel
meetings and events Americas, Melia Hotels
International, president, SITE Foundation
◗ Experience over commodity. The look
and feel of the property needs to tie into
and biophil-ic design.
and other experiences of
the natural world into the modern built
environment. Customers are expecting
this wherever they go.
◗ Showcasing local. Everyone is looking
for locally sourced food and drink to
obtain the local experience while at the
◗ Adults only. This year, there seems to be
more requests for adults-only resorts.
◗ Entertainment. Companies are spending more of their budget on big-name
◗ Branding. More visible branding where
Stephanie Tanpure, vice president of
sales, Sands Resorts Macao
◗ Nontraditional experiences. Meeting
planners and attendees always want to
get a real flavor for a place, escaping the
run-of-the-mill experiences they could
traditionally get from any other destination. Consequently, we offer noteworthy experiences, including unique
teambuilding, cultural excursions,
health-centered activities and distinctive
◗ “Local culture” experiences. Some of
the most popular experiential offerings in Macao revolve around cultural
connections, especially since guests can
visit over 20 UNESCO World Heritage
sites. Macao’s cultural uniqueness
is largely drawn from its East-meets-West heritage, a unique coexistence of
two contrasting cultures: Chinese and
Portuguese. In fact, many of our meeting
planners and attendees from the U.S. are
less familiar with our cultural heritage,
particularly that Macao was a Portuguese settlement up until 1999.
◗ Healthy on-site activities. To meet the
demand for healthy on-site activities,
Sands Resorts Macao facilitates sunrise
yoga or traditional Chinese tai chi within
our hotel gardens with a traditional
◗ Noteworthy dining experiences. Top
food experiences are in high demand,
and we offer Michelin star street food
experiences in downtown Macao, as
well as an award-winning array of great
dining options. Named a UNESCO
Creative City of Gastronomy in late 2017,
guests can sample an authentic French
afternoon tea at The Parisian Macao’s
Brasserie, the famous seafood platter
at The Venetian Macao’s Portofino, old
Beijing noodles at
North and spiced
delights at Miche-lin-starred Indian
◗ Locavore team-building. In addition to the demand
for local cultural
are requesting cooking classes to learn
how to make popular local dishes. As a
result, we offer Portuguese cooking classes that incorporate
a visit to the local Macao market.
Kevin Edmunds, vice president of group
sales, AIC Hotel Group
◗ Act globally but think locally.
Participants coming from all over the world
are being charged with thinking outside
the box and using local items, whether
it be material for their event, gifts or of
◗ Budgets versus experiences. We are
seeing budget per person has been
growing in the past couple years, but
that also means incentive levels have
increased. Clients require an authentic
experience before anything else.
◗ Destination resorts, but not every
minute. Everyone loves to see that the
property offers it all—from food outlets,
activities, expansive spas, but at the
same time, they just want to know it’s
there and accessible.
◗ Meeting views. The typical meeting
room is still prevalent, however, smaller
groups are taking advantage of other areas such as penthouses and indoor-outdoor living. Ballrooms with views and
natural light is now a must.