Launching an incentive program with a purpose is EXCITING for both stakeholders and audiences. So, be sure to give it the buzz-worthy campaign kickoff it truly deserves.

Whether you’re out to boost retention, collaboration, or productivity, treating your initiative like it’s a big deal can propel you to the finish line with flying colors. Here are some tips to make it happen:

1. Make a live announcement at an important gathering, like a National Sales Meeting.

Incentive programs tied directly to your company culture are far too important for just an email announcement. There is a time email can be effective, but it should be considered as a follow-up for those who are unable to attend the meeting. The most ideal time to unveil your program is when everyone is gathered, live and in person.

During your announcement, make sure the message is personalized to your audience. If you’re addressing employees, cover all the details including program goals, behaviors to be rewarded, the kinds of rewards they can earn, and more. Also, be sure to inform your group where they can find more details after the kickoff (like a campaign website).

What’s more, live events are a great opportunity to build excitement and momentum, and get people inspired. It’s best to take full advantage of the in-person energy of live gatherings to launch important initiatives.

2. Grab attention using a video or sizzle reel.

A mix of messaging, music, and motion graphics is a compelling way to captivate your audience and cut through the clutter. Video can be used in a variety of ways, leading up to and during your rollout event.

In the case of pre-launch activities for a major automotive client, Creative Group incorporated video in a communication blitz for their Agents of Excellence program. It worked alongside print, web, and mailings to build intrigue and anticipation for the big dealership sales managers’ event.

To create a memorable spectacle during your kickoff event, a quick-hitting sizzle reel can also do the trick. Use it to introduce upcoming opportunities, showcase exciting sales incentives, reveal a bold new company vision, or inspire action – the possibilities are endless!

3. Interview past earners to drive excitement.

People get inspired by the stories of others. What better way to get an audience amped up about earning incentives than to have a previous winner talk about their journey? From the challenges they faced to their strategy, to the reward they received – providing a real-life account is not only inspirational, it lets everyone know the goal is attainable. If it’s not possible to have past earners appear live, you can record the interviews to showcase on a big screen during your event.

Either way, involving past reward recipients will connect with your audience and leave a lasting impact.

4. Include messages from executives showing commitment to the initiative.

When launching an incentive program, first impressions affect participation. A few words from leadership will go a long way in building credibility and momentum as the initiative gets underway.

You could plan an inspiring in-person speech that rallies everyone around a shared vision. Or, Creative Group can help you create a video mailer featuring a personalized message from your CEO like we did for a major PGA tournament sponsor.

Whichever delivery method you choose, demonstrating a company-wide commitment starting at the top will maximize the motivational impact and boost engagement.

5. Create a “destination reveal” experience that gives participants a taste of what they could earn.

You’ve spent a lot of time planning the perfect incentive, including the very best destination (or choice of destinations if rewarding with individual travel). Now it’s time to unveil plans to your crew. Here’s your chance to add surprise and delight so your message stands out. One idea is to create a destination-inspired event featuring the sights, sounds, and cuisine of your travel destination. Or send participants a dimensional mailer connected to the location’s culture, as we did for a global leader in the commercial laundry equipment category. Their reward destination was Machu Picchu, so the trip “reveal” contained a custom Hiram Bingham luxury train announcement. And, each participant received a bottle of the Peruvian national spirit, Pisco brandy, along with drinking glasses in a specially designed gift box.

In short, providing an immersive experience that connects participants to the end goal creates anticipation and stimulates performance.

Our team of engagement experts loves helping clients make a splash from the start. We can collaborate to arrange a launch for your incentives initiative that suits your audience and budget. From initial ideas to putting a final polish on your plans, our team will set you up for success every step of the way.

Let’s work together to launch your program right!