Focus now on employees
Melita Williams, founder of Bespoke Northern Ireland, on what 2014 holds in store
We provide unique experiences for the business, leisure and tourism sectors, and can see many changes in these markets for 2014.
As we come through the recession we are identifying a cautious interest once again in corporate hospitality and events, as confidence builds and companies have a desire to spend money on more social activities.
In leisure terms, 2014 is all about the 'visitor experience'.
Tourism Ireland research shows that in the immediate future the attraction for new visitors will be the ability to immerse themselves in our unique Northern Irish culture, understand our heritage and meet locals – rather than the pull of shiny new attractions.
In the corporate world, we predict a shift in the human resources remit, with more focus being on 'employee engagement'.
For many employers 2014 will be about trying to keep staff motivated, productive and retained with pay rates continuing to be below the rate of inflation.
This year we will see an increase in companies, both large and small adopting a 'motivation and reward' programme for employees, as it is a cheap and effective way to increase productivity and loyalty.
In our experience tangible incentives can increase work performance by an average of 22%.
On average we have seen a 30% rise in bookings for corporate away-days, teambuilding events and employee incentives for this year compared the same period in 2013.