With the last quarter of the year approaching when brands host end of the year stakeholder events, retreats and reward employees, companies are still grappling with the various directives from the government. The rapidly changing guidelines and restrictions on Covid 19 mitigation measures have also left brand managers running out of options but there are a few ways still on the table for you to explore with examples. You can still plan them for employee engagement, digital activation and corporate social investment and here are some examples to inspire your Q4 calendar.

The current directive banned gatherings so big launches, and company wide events might not be safe and compliant. The Ministry of Tourism in Kenya followed the last Friday’s briefing by Cabinet Secretary of Health with an update that hotels can host meetings of up to 30 pax. While consumers and companies organize and book directly, the travel trade is effective booking experiences for larger numbers and building alliances with tour operators and agencies, and influencers can help you find an effective route to market, employee engagement and reach your target consumers.

Here is how a partnership with travel trade can be done and deliver results.

1. Staggered Departures

If you want to take your staff for team building, you can do it by department and with the latest directive – public service vehicles include tourist vehicles can carry full capacity just like airlines and the train – Madaraka Express which means lesser cost per head for transfers.  If you’re flying in to Kenya, you of course need a negative PCR test for safety and compliance but the same can be done for local teams before travelling to ensure the health and wellbeing of your staff during the team building exercise. Turnup in Motion recently partnered with Bucketlist Adventures for the Mudathon and Trail Run and we took participants in separate buses, had staggered start times for the run and obstacle challenges which could be branded by a sponsor, meals were served from different points and the warm up exercises were contactless. Above all, there was an ambulance on site to test blood sugar and blood pressure before the activities. Sporting activities and adventure based outdoor experiences are one of the ways to engage your team especially now that mental health challenges are on the rise.

2. Content Led, Influencer Driven campaign

You can still travel with a smaller team of key personalities and staff members for an offline to online activation around a set itinerary that is immersive for participants, easy to follow online and creates tons of value for the brand, product placement and visibility and who better to work with than tour operators who have the logistical prowess and professional knowledge to assemble a canvas where this co creation between brands and content creators happens around set destinations and with full compliance of the current 30 pax limit on meetings.

Jambojet, a low-cost airline has successfully partnered with content creators and travel trade – hotels, tour operators and county governments for their #NowTravelReady campaign. The key takeaway if you need some inspiration is you can still pull off great offline-online campaigns, look at Betika around WRC Safari Rally and their current Betika Na Community.

3. End of year CSR events

Companies do arrange CSR events at the end of the year to give back to the company. While you may not be able to take the whole team and put them in contact with the vulnerable in the society like the old people, kids in children’s home due to community spread you can do an outdoor event like tree planting, feeding the homeless like Mama To The Rescue has been doing since April 2020, a cleanup, or organize a virtual concept that requires participation offline like a virtual run like how Safaricom did a virtual Lewa Marathon this year. If you’re to do a physical event with a smaller crowd, you can still have a bigger impact online be it for fundraising or advocacy to spark conversations.

Turnup for Good uses new media tools for conservation education, climate action advocacy, and amplifies impactful market-driven initiatives that reduce inequality through film, impact-themed tours with changemakers, and social media to reinforce new mindsets and ethical consumer behaviour.  Through Turnup for Good, Turnup.Travel partners with nonprofits to execute programs around SDG 12 and 13, corporate foundations to rethink CSR and amplify social good initiatives in the community with partners. You can also partner with changemakers and run the content on your platforms to inspire your stakeholders with projects around communities and thus giving them visibility to unlock more resources to support their work and be involved in the activities showcased which reduces contact.

Here is something Turnup.Travel did with Miti Alliance through Turnup for Good pillar for climate action that you can also do with your preferred tour operator.

4. Social Media Giveaways

Why not partner with hotels, airlines, travel agencies and tour operators to go giveaways by activating a competition on your social media channels to drive user generated content, reward customers and give people a chance to travel and experience Magical Kenya?

Kisumu’s Urban Radio developed #Epic48 to promote the Western Kenya circuit featuring attractions and activities around Lake Victoria by running a competition on radio with online entries then picked two winners after voting ended for an epic 48-hour experience in partnership with Ciala Resort, Safari Link, Carnivore Restaurant and floating restaurant on Lake Victoria, Villa De Sol.

As we head to the festive season, you can still develop partnerships with travel trade and delight your customers.

5. Destination Events

Award-winning group Sauti Sol signed an ambassadorial deal with Infinix which was unveiled at a press conference at the Social House. After unveiling the boy band as ambassadors, Infinix took Sauti Sol to South Coast for a product launch in Diani at the iconic Ali Barbour Cave Restaurant. You can do your immersive and experiential events in great locations.

If you don’t want to travel far, you can still do great events, livestream them and organize a staycation for your guests making it very memorable by working with event planners. Instead of doing a showroom launch with media personalities and influencers for your 4 by 4, you can organize a drive and stream your event from Chalbi Desert or other scenic locations using your model placed in amazing places and it’ll be sticky for consumers to follow the journey.

6. Use Gift Cards

If you don’t want to host everyone together, you can partner with unconventional hotels like The Social House in Lavington to issue vouchers for dining and accommodation to your employees, influencers and other stakeholders that can redeem at their convenience and share photos with you on social media or internally.

It’s a dope way to treat employees, do giveaways and curate experiences for influencers to create offline and share moments online. Add some goodie bags and merchandise and you have some surprises and tons of brand love.