Buyer Q&A: Clients Want Time Together, Unforgettable Experiences

Next up in our ongoing “Buyer Q&A” series is Tina Husemoller, vice president meetings and incentives, at Fox World Travel. She spoke about the increased demand for both meetings and incentive trips, with a desire among clients to spend more time together as a group and for unique experiences during their travels. Here’s our conversation:

What are some trends in the meeting and incentive industry that you have seen in recent months? Do you think these trends will last? How are you adjusting to those trends? 

We are seeing an increase in demand for both meetings and incentive travel trips. Regarding meetings, organizations are excited to be bringing associates back together for in-person meetings. There has been an increase in short-notice requests that need quick turnarounds; for these, we work with valued industry partners to support the deliverables our clients need for their meetings. In incentive travel, there has been an increased interest in international destinations—Europe, in particular. In addition, customers want two things: The ability to spend more time together as a group and an unforgettable experience. 

How are you structuring your meeting strategy moving forward in terms of virtual events vs. in-person events? Are hybrid events here to stay? 

I believe hybrid events are here to stay. We aren’t structuring our meeting strategy any differently than we have in the past. Now more than ever, we take on the role of consultants with the meeting planners with work with to understand what is important to them and use our expertise to guide them to a meeting offering that meets their expectations.

As the global hospitality industry bounces back, there are lasting impacts including hiring challenges, closures within destinations and service-level changes. Are these challenges still affecting your sourcing needs? If so, how are you handling this with your teams? 

We are experiencing challenges from destination service-level changes. To address this, our team follows up with venues more than ever. We are diligent about making sure our suppliers and vendors are good partners. In addition, our team members serve simultaneously as project managers, program managers and consultants and because of their expertise, we have been successful in overcoming these challenges.

Do you foresee your event budget increasing or decreasing moving forward?  

Our customers’ meeting budgets and incentive budgets are increasing. The meeting budgets are increasing due to higher post-pandemic virtual workforce numbers. The incentive travel budgets are also increasing, and our clients are willing to pay the additional cost to provide an “unforgettable” trip.  

What are the top three most important elements you look for when securing a supplier or venue? 

  1. Ensuring that the venue captures the customer’s vision for their event and the vendors align with that vision.
  2. Ensuring that the supplier and venue exceed both Fox’s expectations and our customer’s expectations. 
  3. We look for ways to benefit from preferred and/or past partners, when possible.


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