Monthly Archives: March 2013

How Social Media and Incentive Travel Work Together

The human impulse to share is powerful. That has been made pretty clear by the rise of Facebook, Twitter, and so many other social media platforms.

So when your company is hosting an incentive travel program, give your employees every opportunity to share their amazing experiences with one another and the rest of the world.

How to get the most out of Facebook:

When you log onto Facebook, what are the most common pictures you see?

Here’s a guess: Pictures of cool travel destinations and pictures of delicious food.

So how can your company’s incentive travel program make it to the top of your employee’s friends’ newsfeeds?

Take them to cool travel destinations, and serve them delicious food. They will take photos of them and post it to Facebook. You won’t even have to ask them to (In fact, don’t ask them to. It will take the fun out of it!).

That’s really all there is to it.

How to get the most out of Twitter:

Your employees are more likely to use Twitter to share things they’ve learned, funny observations, or how lucky they are to work for a company that takes them on such awesome trips.

Unlike Facebook, Twitter is a constant stream of real-time updates. It can be difficult for employees to tap into the ongoing conversations among their fellow employees/travel companions unless they’re using a common hashtag.

Employees can use a hashtag (a word or phrase beginning with a # symbol) to make their tweets easily discoverable. The trick is to give your employees a hashtag to use, because unless everyone is using the same one, their communication will get lost in the sea of Twitter.

Here’s a trick: Put a hashtag on your syllabus, emails, and any other materials that are distributed to the travel group. Don’t tell them to use it—they’ll figure it out.

For now, hashtags only work for Twitter when sorting out posts. But there’s speculation that Facebook is working on incorporating hashtags too, so this advice could soon be doubly important.

How to create a great hashtag:

Keep it simple and short. Try to make it unique to your trip, too. If you’re going to Puerto Rico, #PuertoRico2013 is simple and relatively short, but it’s likely being used by lots of other people and will therefore lead to all employee tweets getting lost.

An easy way to create a specific hashtag is by incorporating your company name, the destination, and the year.



Don’t let it get too long, though. Twitter only allows 140 characters per tweet, so a hashtag eats up space. For example, #BakerMcKenziePuertoRico2013 is way too long. It could be shortened to #BMPuerto13.

The great thing about social media is it allows your employees to sing your company’s praises to the world. All you have to do is give them a common hashtag to use and some experiences worth sharing. That’s it.

If you’d like to learn more about how to produce an incentive travel program anywhere in the world that is worthy of social sharing, call us at (312) 332-1919 or email us at!

China’s Emerging Destination Cities

It’s well-known that China’s economy will soon eclipse that of the United States. By no coincidence, it’s also the world’s fastest-growing travel market. As more businesspeople around the globe visit China, it’s likely that the nation’s cities without the name recognition of Shanghai or Beijing will become increasingly relevant.

Buying Business Travel recently looked into which Chinese cities will experience a boost in travel demand as a result. Here are the cities they targeted:

  • Guangzhou
  • Chongqing
  • Chengdu
  • Wuhan
  • Hangzhou
  • Shenzhen
  • Tianjin
  • Zhengzhou
  • Dalian
  • Harbin
  • Suzhou
  • Nanjing
  • Xiamen
  • Shenyang and Qingdao

In recognition of the importance of this fast emerging market for travel and event planning, GMS recently joined forces with Choose Chicago (Chicago’s convention bureau) to market Chicago (and the US) as a great destination for Chinese corporate and business travelers. GMS president, Hanson Ansary, was the only DMC on this important inaugural mission. “We hope,” he said in an interview later, “we can showcase our services to the Chinese corporate travel market as the leading international DMC in the US.”

Read the full report at Buying Business Travel.

Tips for stress-free travel

Whether for business or pleasure, travel should not be stressful.

Of course, there are always elements out of your control: the weather, a stomach bug, a screaming baby on your flight. But if you are partnering with GMS, we make sure that you don’t have to worry about things like getting to your hotel from the airport, finding a hidden gem of a restaurant, or setting up for a big presentation.

However, there are still plenty of steps you can take to make sure you have a fun and—if necessary—productive trip.

Business Traveller magazine has published 50 ways to make your travel happier. A few of our favorites are:

#7 Invest in good underwear

#9 Use a mobile wallet

#20 Document your memories

#35 Eat sensibly

#42 Smile

#44 Send a postcard

#46 Talk to strangers

Read the full list of 50 ways to make your travel happier.