Experiential Gift Cards: Unforgettable Incentive Program Rewards

Think back to the last gift card you received from your company.  Was it a gas card that got used up to get you through the week’s rush-hour commute? How about that grocery store card that fell in-between your car seat and center console…how much was left on it again?

However, that gift card you received for your favorite clothing store turned into a shopping spree with all your besties, didn’t it?

Selecting the right cards for your incentive program is key to ensure that recipients remember the award and get an experience out of it. Although gas & grocery cards are popular and fit into people’s everyday needs, they will get used up just as cash would and not generate an experience which creates an impression.

Using unique gift cards to complement your awards gives the recipient something more than just walking-around money. Here are some fantastic examples of experiential gift card packages that can generate buzz & excitement for a program and give participants a memorable experience.

1. Sporting Event

Whether you’re a die-hard fan (Go Habs Go!) or you just happen to catch the highlights on the news every now and then, live sporting events can create some of the most memorable experiences we have.  StubHub and Ticketmaster are flexible gift card options and pair well with a box of Cracker Jacks and an MLB jersey. This package is sure to be a grand slam hit for your springtime incentive plan.

Sports package experiential gift cards

2. Spa or Salon

A spa or salon gives the recipient an afternoon of relaxation, a deep-tissue massage from their favorite masseuse, or a pampering facial.  Pairing up a Spafinder gift card with a scented candle will make for an elegant award presentation and offers some much-needed R&R for the winner.

Spa experiential gift card package

3. Group Activity or class

Who wouldn’t love a reward that could turn into a lifelong hobby? With a cooking class, Yoga session, art class, music class, or something else fun, you are creating an opportunity for the recipient to learn a new skill and possibly meet new friends.  Offering a Groupon gift card with a digital SLR camera would be a significant reward on its own. However, being able to pick a photography class where they can learn to use it to its fullest capabilities and create their own memories rewards them with something more than a simple payout.

Camera groupon experiential gift card package

4. Travel

Travel is a broad category. It can mean sending someone across the country with an airline gift card or offering a hotels.com gift card so they can have a staycation at a high-end property in town. People are always trying to find ways to create an experience – why not give them an excuse to have one? An Airbnb gift card matched up with a set of beach towels and a sturdy tote bag makes for a terrific spot incentive award if you’re in a pinch for time.  It’ll also have a greater positive impact on long-term program engagement than a 7-11 gas card.

Travel experiential gift card package

5. Adventure/Extreme Sports

People often use incentive awards to try something that they would normally not get to do like camping, white water rafting, skiing/snowboarding, zip-lining, and parasailing.  If you need an alternative option for an experience award and have an audience that would rather strap on a parachute than an airplane seatbelt, a REI gift card with a rugged hiking bag would make the perfect award combination to kickstart their next adventure.

Outdoors experiential gift card package

One final thought – Redeeming an experiential gift card may seem off-putting because the recipients will require an additional commitment, scheduled time off work, and a little extra planning.

Giving cash or simple cards may be easier to fulfill, but If you want to create memorable experiences for your participants, then make sure to add experiential gift cards to your repertoire.

Learn how to create your own unforgettable program with Spear One using our 12.5 Steps To a Perfect Incentive Program

Incentive How-To Guide

Pali Chhabra

Author Pali Chhabra

Program Manager | Expertise is developing successful sales incentive programs, marketing, and creative problem solving.

More posts by Pali Chhabra

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