Everyone likes to feel valued – and get treated now and again. For employers looking to reward staff, this usually means finding and spending extra budget. Yet, as more and more firms are starting to realise, motivating the workforce and recognising achievement needn’t always be about expensive bonus payments.

After a day spent engrossed in a new business pitch or drumming up trade over the phone, hard-working individuals will doubtless welcome the opportunity to escape into a futuristic world, or step back in time with a period drama.

All of which makes cinema vouchers a welcome reward or motivational tool, especially for enterprise-sized businesses.

Movie magic: Rewards, incentives and promotions

For these larger companies, where it can be difficult for management to connect with the workforce on a regular basis, cinema voucher schemes could be a simple way to make a connection. The importance of this should not be underestimated: Currently, around half (51%) of UK workers say they want to feel more cared for by their employer, while over a third (36%) rate the way their employer treats them as ‘uninterested’, according to a poll of 2,000 workers by Friends Life.

In sales teams – where good client relationships can make all the difference – these types of rewards also make for an unexpected treat. Moreover, they could be a strategic value-added incentive for an imaginative LinkedIn, Twitter or email competitions – generating valuable leads and interactions to industry-related call outs on hot topics.

For firms looking to boost intranet readership or engage staff via email, cinema vouchers could be a prize for fun online competitions. The scope is endless and can be especially appealing when it’s linked to current events – e.g. how many tries will England score this 2015 Rugby World Cup, or what will the name of the next royal prince or princess be?

Affordable promotions

As well as being used as a reward or incentive, cinema vouchers are also a good way to say thank you to loyal customers or long-serving staff. Buying in bulk reduces the standard cost considerably, allowing the business to be generous about handing out tickets for hitting targets or as birthday gifts. From a cost perspective, the fact that companies and organisations can save up to 38 percent off the face value of a cinema ticket makes these vouchers an affordable and valuable corporate gift or employee benefit.

Everyone likes a deal. In public sector organisations where budgets and pay increases have been notoriously low in recent years, cinema vouchers are often resold to staff at a reduced price, passing on the bulk discount and saving employees and their families significant sums at the box office. Meanwhile, in the corporate events space, other businesses are taking the cinema experience to another level, hosting private events for employees and clients complete with trailers, popcorn and the latest must-see film.

2015 – A great year for cinema

With a string of blockbusters and big-name franchises about to hit the big screen, 2015 is tipped to be one of the biggest years of recent decades for film.

A new poll by ODEON has showed cinema goers most eagerly anticipated movies are Star Wars Episode VIII – set thirty years after Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi – and Avengers: The Age of Ultron. For the uninitiated, the Avengers movie features comic book heroes such as Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, The Incredible Hulk, Black Widow and Hawkeye.

Other big hits that look set to take the box office by storm include:

  • Far From The Madding Crowd. Based on the classic Thomas Hardy novel, this timeless story explores the nature of relationships and love.
  • Jurassic World. The dinosaurs are back – Twenty-two years after the events of Jurassic Park, Jurassic World is now a fully functioning theme park.
  • The Minions Movie. A must see for kids (and grown-ups) the minions look for a new evil master to serve.
  • Terminator: Genisys. Resistance leader John Connor continues the war against the machines.
  • Spectre. All-new Bond. In this latest adventure, a cryptic message from his past sends the secret agent on a trail to uncover a sinister organisation.

Digital downloads – more good deals for business

Having seen a huge demand in corporate and public sector organisations for discounted cinema vouchers, promotional agencies are looking to find other affordable rewards and incentives. In the near future, this could mean tie-ups with digital providers giving substantially discounted subscriptions to music or film streaming services and downloads. Whether its movie magic or the hottest new band, clients and employees are sure to welcome the gesture.