Should you include plus-ones (or more) on the incentive trip?

Should you include plus-ones (or more) on the incentive trip?

In order for any incentive trip, retreat or getaway to be effective at building your business, the reward must be irresistible. People have to want to go! Since many employees have significant others and families, allowing plus-ones to join in on the fun can greatly increase any program's efficacy and results.

That said, some settings are naturally geared toward plus-ones, while in others, it's best to skip. How can you tell if additional guests will help or hinder your goals?

In today's post, get examples of trips that work great for couples and larger groups, plus expert-proven best practices to make the most of a plus-one-friendly event.

When to allow guests, spouses and plus-ones


Virtually all unique experiences are best shared.

Not only does having more people attend increase the perceived value of the trip - it's just more fun! Even the greatest destination, show or sporting event loses some impact when people find out they'll be the only one attending.

However, many incentive trips and retreats are already done in a group setting. Do we really need to add plus-ones?

Here are a few important factors to consider when deciding.

Goal of the trip

This is the most important factor, and your ultimate choice boils down to: What do you want out of the experience?

Will having additional guests enhance the trip and solidify lasting memories? Many times, the answer is yes. Almost all desirable destinations and experiences are social settings.

Is the goal to focus on team-building and networking within the company? If the incentive is a girls' or guys' getaway, for example, you might want to leave the spouses at home. If it's a leadership retreat with plenty to do and learn all day, it may not be worth it to invite guests.

Is the focus to build client relationships? In this case, bringing along a significant other to bond as a couple can often be more effective than going solo.

Dinner party sm.jpg

Family Demographics

Although some employees may appreciate time away from hectic family life - others will find having to leave spouses and children behind a source of undue stress. Do top performers and big clients have young children? Are they empty nesters? Attendees' family demographics can greatly influence the decision to allow guests, and if so, how many.

Destination or Setting

Many top destination spots - think tropics, an African safari, Alaskan cruises and more - have exciting activity and educational components for children, and are thus sure to entice entire families.

Safari family sm.jpg

Music concerts, trips to Paris, winery tours and other romantic date settings are perfect for inviting one guest.

While some sporting events may not interest significant others, certain events—like the Super Bowl—are on virtually everyone's bucket-list. Whether you love the sport or just want to witness history, these are exclusive events that invitees simply don't turn down.


Finally, it makes sense that allowing plus-ones can increase the cost of the incentive. However, there are always different adjustments you can make to an incentive to make it work for your budget.

For example, you might cover the cost of employees themselves, but they would be responsible for additional guests. You can add or take out airfare or lodging. You can choose between destinations based on the number of anticipated guests. There are many ways to customize your trip to maximize the experience within the confines of a budget.

Want more information on creating a customized incentive trip or meeting? Winspire Experience Agency can help. By understanding your unique goals and audience, we can craft a unique, irresistible experience that fits your budget and meets your needs. Leave a comment or click below to find out more.

Contact Winspire Experience Agency