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The Icing on the Cake – Our Favourite Quirky Ideas for your next incentive event

Posted by Sarah Threlfall

Looking to introduce an element of gamification to new initiative you’re rolling out, for maximum team buyin? Or, how about a memorable invite for your highly competitive sales team who have smashed their targets?

With VIP incentive programmes, money cant buy experiences never lose their allure and are unique in driving sales, change or positive behaviours. Especially for high earners, its our job to deliver aspirational and emotive incentive rewards to motivate and inspire.

There are many innovative ways to add that extra x factor when designing your events. Even better, some of them need minimal investment to deliver maximum impact.

Heres just a few ideas to supercharge the V in VIP!

Clever Communications

A compelling comms plan is a vital multi-purpose tool, before, during and after your incentive trip, for:

  • Reflecting your core messages and brand
  • Heightening customer / staff engagement

So, why not step away from ‘death by email’ and get creative? The following items have caught our eye recently for sending to guests and teasing the experience:

  • Branded logopops or miniature bespoke company cocktails Great fun!
  • Seeded paper invitations Guests can not only plant and cultivate them. In addition, you can start a thread on your intranet or event app, where they can send photos of their seedlingsprogress before and after the event. 

Bespoke Gifts

Personal gifts and extra touches during the trip enhance the specialness for the people attending incentive groups. Plus, they’re also secret weapons for making the experience as brand relevant as possible. But there’s more to customisation than personalised pens and tote bags, (as nice as it is to have them).

So, put some extra time and effort in to sourcing meaningful gifts that compliment your company brand and contribute to your narrative. For example, for a client arranging a Scottish conference, we proposed a bespoke tartan using 88 threads, to represent each of their 88 Members all working together to be stronger and better.

To boost sustainability efforts, this is a great opportunity for supporting local companies and producers. Ask hotels and venues for their recommendations then approach them to create something beautiful together.

Magical Food & Drinks

If you have a budget for Michelin star dining, it can be literally breath-taking. Whats more, equally remarkable plant-based options are now available, ensuring none of your so-called VIPs are made to feel like economy class.

But, imagine introducing a more theatrical and experiential element. We highly recommend taking a look at the following suppliers who have bowled us over recently:

  • Lick Me I’m Delicious are masters of uniquely quirky multi-sensory experiences, such as edible bubbles your guests can bite from the air and savour. They come in fabulously freaky flavours, from kooky caramel and black pepper to beer in a bubble!
  • Horseradish Catering, the team behind classic venues like Chester Racecourse, Liverpool Cathedral and Tatton Park, have earned quite the reputation for their theatrical grazing tables and immersive dining, culminating in guests being invited to create their own ice cream from a liquid state. Their plant based beetroot wellington at the recent Micebook Ventures was incredible!!
  • Dragon Breath Popcorn its not just the sight of the dry ice popcorn machine thats impressive here, but the smell is wonderfully evocative; filling your drinks reception with a quirky carnival vibe!
  • Colour changing gin fountain create a talking point as well as an extra service station with this Alice in Wonderland style Drink Me fountain. Arrives with staff, all the accoutrements to take the drink to the next level and provides an awesome social media engagement opportunity

Final Word

At the end of the day, the sheer variety and volume of amazing choices are as broad as theyre wide. Never underestimate your audience; in a crowded market with every brand attempting to woo consumers, customers and staff with experiential events its the tiny touches that make a massive difference.


At Brightspace Events, we offer expert help with all elements of your VIP incentive programmes, from venue and supplier sourcing, through setting objectives and a full communications strategy, to ultimate ROI measurement and reporting.

Get in touch for a chat. Theres plenty more where these nuggets came from, we can assure you.

Sarah Threlfall

Sarah's worked in the corporate event industry across hotels, global event agencies and now at Brightspace for over 25 years and has been lucky enough to deliver some jaw dropping delivered events from Antigua to Zambia. She now leads the agency and is heavily involved with all the projects and is wildly enthusiastic about every client and every event; relishing the challenge to get under their skin and deliver real value in their event strategy. Health and well being are central to her life so she prioritises all sorts of activity with running as her first love and most recently, joining a ladies cricket team. She's also very likely to be found on the touchline of junior football / rugby and cricket matches as well as indulging her love of live theatre. (p.s. as 2 separate hobbies; her kids would disown her if she were bursting into song / bringing out the jazz hands on the sidelines!)