As it celebrates its 60th anniversary, destination management firm Hosts Global is rolling out a new loyalty program, Loyalty Your Way, that aims to reward its best clients in the way they want to be rewarded.
An alliance of more than 300 destination management companies around the world, Hosts Global wanted to create a loyalty rewards program that was not like the traditional airline or hotel points-based offerings, with a set list of rewards, said Marty MacKay, DMCP, the firm's president of global alliance and one of M&C's Top Women in the Meetings Industry for 2018. The program was officially launched on Tuesday, Oct. 16 at the IMEX America show for the meetings, incentives, conventions and events industry, taking place this week at the Sands Expo in Las Vegas.
"One of the things that we have discovered in talking about how we can best recognize and reward our clients is that every single client is different," MacKay said. "We very quickly learned that they value rewards and recognition very differently. So instead of trying to create a loyalty program which was a one-size-fits-all approach, we're going to be working with qualified customers on creating a rewards and recognition program that speaks to their business and their business needs, their clients, their employees, whatever it is that makes the most sense for their organization."
This can be as simple as a discount for signing a multiyear contract or as detailed as creating an education program for the client's staff, she said, noting that what's important to corporate direct clients isn't always the same as what's important to association clients, and that is different than what is important to large incentive houses and to smaller boutique firms.
"Some of the smaller houses are more interested in rewarding their own employees," MacKay said, noting that many of these firms give their accumulated airline and hotel points to staff so they can take their own vacations. "We can then enhance that opportunity for them by adding in DMC services where they go, because those employees don't necessarily always get the perks," that their clients do, she said.
During the program's soft rollout, charitable giving was another area that many Hosts Global clients expressed interest in.
The Hosts Global rewards program launches officially on Jan. 1, 2019, so the firm will be working closely with clients over the next couple of months to dive deeper into how those clients want to use their rewards, MacKay said.