Adding Health & Wellness to Your Hawaii Incentive Program!

As a DMC in Hawaii, we are fortunate to live and work in “paradise.” When we are not hard at work event planning, creating exciting activities, and managing arrivals & departure manifests, we too are enjoying the health benefits of Hawaii. Not only does Hawaii offer an exotic destination within the US, it also offers unique and diverse health and wellness opportunities.

For many high achievers, being part of an incentive program that includes a winner’s trip to Hawaii means working hard to reach corporate targets. Some may miss meals, family time, daylight, and exercise - all in pursuit of the amazing incentive trip! But missing these things takes a toll on one’s health. Why not use your incentive trip to help your guests re-connect with a healthy lifestyle?

The key to enjoying one’s health is partially based on customizing experiences to the individual. Make it a fun and experiential part of their lives, and they will embrace it!

Island Events Recommends These Health & Wellness HINTs: 

Time: offer your attendees a commitment of time and facilities on the incentive trip to be healthier and active right here in Hawaii! 

Diversity: Offer all types of exercise and offer some ways for guests to rejuvenate such as yoga or meditation classes - maybe on the beach at sunrise. 

Create a daily FUN and FREE exercise option. Offer this for all attendees and make them fun! Vary the exercise level and intensity so everyone can find an appropriate, enjoyable option. Offer exclusive group activities such as Kayaking and individual activities such as personal trainers & fitness evaluations with certified trainers.  

Check in with the Resort: your host resort may already have some wonderful on property options for you - if not, let us know and we can create some! 

ATV in the breathtaking island valleys

ATV in the breathtaking island valleys

Kayak through rich blue waters

Kayak through rich blue waters

Bike down volcanoes!

Bike down volcanoes!

Waterfall repel down island jungle

Waterfall repel down island jungle

Returning to Hawaii with an Annual Incentive Program?

There’s no need for “Been there, done that!”

For so many reasons, Hawaii is consistently rated as one of the top destinations for incentive programs in the world. It could be the weather, the tropical locations, or the people and the spirit of aloha. Most likely, it is all of the above , but what do you do, as a planner, when you must bringing your top performers back to Hawaii year after year? 

How do you continue to provide new and exciting elements while staying in budget and not duplicating previous programs?

As one of the most sought after destination management companies (DMC) in the state, Island Events operates a high number of repeat programs every year with great success. Here are some of the keys to our success:

Embrace Mother Nature

We have learned to capitalize on the many ways that Mother Nature continues to bless our islands. Each island has so many fantastic outdoor activities that can be safely done by diverse groups. There’s no reason to repeat anything!
As a certified DMCP, we tirelessly vet all activities and have learned the details that will make a difference - so we can pass them onto you. A few examples include:

  • Knowing where the best deep sea fishing spots are
  • When the peak of whale season is and where best to see them
  • When not to go waterfall rappelling
  • How to dress for sunrise at Haleakala Volcano
  • When a full moon will add the best lighting and how to design it into your evening events

Offer Interpretations of “Iconic Hawaii”

Every group wants to have some iconic elements of Hawaii included as part of their program. But as a planner, you don’t want to duplicate the experience for what could potentially be the same guests each year. As it relates to evening event design, we refer to this practice as offering “Luau #7 with a side order of fire dance” – or offering the same performance to everyone all the time. As great as that luau may be, this duplication will fast become a less memorable experience for your guests.

Instead we offer a customized “Polynesian Experience” that can change story line - perhaps incorporate aerialists or acrobatics or female fire dancers – all with a Polynesian flair. We guarantee you a new, fresh, and exciting interpretation on the iconic Hawaiian experience.

Keep Good Records

It sounds simple, but as a DMC, we keep great records for our clients. We track what our group guests do, what they liked, disliked or loved doing on their incentive program in Hawaii.
From direct guest feedback, to behaviors such as sending emails during the grand finale set, we notice these details which is very important to the returning client. Our record-keeping allows us to create a personalized program for your group, incorporating the best parts of last year’s trip combined with new and exciting, and relevant elements. This practice also allows us to be knowledgeable when working with new clients, to be able to speak with experience about the pros and cons of every element of a program.


When you least expect it … expect it!

As a luxury focused DMC we recognize that life is a collection of experiences. We are in the business of creating experiences. Taking the day-to-day trappings of life and adding a bit of a spin to them is what keeps things fresh. Part of building any experience is playing on the element of surprise. 

One of our favorite recurring expressions from guests is “Wow, I did not see that coming!”

How do we do this you ask? By incorporating some unexpected elements that evoke a sense of awe and what we call “goose-bump moments” into our clients programs. Some of our more memorable surprises have been:

  • A snow storm at an evening event to announce next year’s venue!
  • Champagne after a private horseback ride (a favorite)
  • Elvis singing Blue Hawaii while arriving by outrigger canoe to your gourmet dinner on one of Hawaii’s only “private” beaches!

If we can help make your first or your returning Incentive program in Hawaii a huge success, please let us know! A free consultation is just a phone call away. 

Contact us to schedule a time to talk about your upcoming!

Board of Directors Feel the Aloha

Exclusive Helicoptor tour through the island with Blue Hawaiian Helicoptors

Photo courtesy of Aliʻi Nui

We recently supported a very high level 50-person Board of Directors meeting with DMC services for 5 days at the Four Seasons Maui. We managed all their group and individual transfers, customized activities, and off-site dinners. Activities included creating some fantastic memories such as a private catamaran cocktail sail on the luxurious Aliʻi Nui, a wonderful private upcountry farm tour with tea service and private dinners at 2 of our favorite locations, both in Wailea. 

Client Feedback:

Thank you for a great program for my group. Your service was excellent as was all of the attention to the details that your team provided throughout the week. The personal “touch” that you offer a group of our size was impressive and probably has the most, best impact with a group such as ours. You also know your product and have good, creative ideas that can enhance any program. I hope to be able to work with you again.

Here at Island Events we often work with high level and well-respected travel teams who are contracted by large corporations in planning some or all of their VIP trips. Many of these trips are for CEO’s and Boards who want to work and play here in Hawaii.

Since we only operate one program at a time – these VIP guests are given all of our attention, making each experience not just customized but personalized too – in the true meaning of that word. Handling high level executives in ways so they don’t feel “managed” is an art form for which we take great pride.

Being that we are the most remote land mass in the world (!) there really is no substitute for having an on-island partner who speaks luxury, knows the islands, and can deliver on the “attention to detail” that these luxury-minded and busy working groups demand and deserve.

Top 10 Things to Remember When Doing a Site Inspection in Hawaii

Dinner at Sarento's on the Beach

Having just finished a 7 day Hawaii site inspection covering 2 islands with a wonderful client from Australia, I left the experience with a newfound appreciation for Hawaii and all it has to offer! As well, I thought it best to share a few helpful hints on how to get the most of your site inspection on Hawaii. I hope you find them helpful!

1. Have a Plan

When it comes to site inspections, planning is paramount! Knowing your goals and having an agenda to meet them is key. The days can get away from you, so it’s best to start each day with a run through of the plan with all stakeholders. At the end of each day, spend time (together or alone) recapping the day and checking things off the agenda and adjusting the plan as needed.

2. Be Flexible

“Adjusting the plan as needed” — being flexible and open to seeing and experiencing new things that you had not thought of in your original plan is HUGE! This will allow you to truly experience the destination and maybe add something to your program you had no idea existed and would fit perfectly with your group!

3. Loosen up

Don’t expect the daily time line to stay on track, even though you are trying hard to maintain it. Be OK when traffic is bad or a road gets rained out or one venue on a site takes a bit longer to see because you LOVE it and want to learn all you can about it. It’s Hawaii — most of our industry suppliers understand the amazing beauty of our home and build in time for you to absorb it — even if that means you are a little late! We are all used to this on a Hawaii site inspection.

4. Dress in layers

Hawaii features many different climates that can be experienced during one day of a site inspection. For example, you could start your day at the top of Haleakala (10,000 ft elevation) at 5am — where the temperature can be as low as 30 degrees, and end your day in Wailea for sunset and a smooth 80 degrees. Dressing in layers and having a cover up or something to keep you warm in case it gets “cold” is always recommended.

5. Experience Hawaii

Build in time to experience the peaceful rejuvenation of being in Hawaii — take a few hours (each day if you can) and go to the beach or the pool or the spa! Take a morning yoga class on the beach or go for a walk along the ocean. The restorative powers of Hawaii make it an amazing and obvious place to bring an incentive program — be sure you experience them as much as you do venues and activities.

6. Take photos

Be sure to photograph everything and keep a log of photos so you know what they are for later when you get home. Ask your DMC (destination management company) to indicate the correct spelling of those hard-to-pronounce Hawaiian place names.

7. Take notes

Start everyday with a journal page and keep good notes about what you liked and did not like. We simplify this task by giving our clients a form we created to log each activity and venue so they have a structured place to keep all their findings. Email us if you would like a copy and we will be happy to send it to you!

8. Eat Breakfast

You will need a lot of energy to conduct a thorough site or planning visit and breakfast is the best way to get it! After a morning walk or work out, take the time to sit and eat. This gives you an opportunity to test the F&B (food and beverage) at your resort and this is also a great time to multitask and review with your DMC the day ahead, walking through any fabulous additions or plan changes they might suggest!

9. Bring an umbrella & a smile

We are all familiar with the challenges of rain on our events — keep in mind Hawaii is a tropical paradise and in most cases the need for water to aid in the “tropical” portion of that description is inherent. There are wet and dry sides to every island. Ask your DMC to explain, though even in those dry areas it can randomly sprinkle for a brief shower or misting! Remember it is probably only going to last a few minutes and with it come the most amazing rainbows! So bring an umbrella and enjoy the colors.

10. Timing is everything

Hawaii has seasons that typically affect the temperature, the amount of rain, and where the surf is more prevalent. Winter (December – February) tends to bring a 5 to 10 degree drop in temperature and with it more rain. The surf swell is higher on the north side of the islands. The summer months tend to bring drier weather and surf is higher on the south sides of the islands. So as you plan your group incentive program in Hawaii, remember that your summer site visit may be a bit different from the winter program.

11. Bonus: Say Mahalo

The industry partners that your DMC recommends are taking time out of their busy days to spend time with you, to educate you, and help you make the most informed decisions for your group possible. In some cases, they are offering discounted rates or complimentary accommodations. Most are happy to do this and appreciate your business. If someone goes above and beyond the typical call of service, we recommend taking time for a “Thank you” or “mahalo.” They will be sure to offer the same level of expertise to your guests!

Are you ready to start planning? Contact us to schedule a complimentary discussion. We would be delighted to help you select the best fit when choosing a Hawaii destination management company!