The 17th Annual IRF Invitational, held May 19-23 at The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs, brought together more than 300 end-users, buyers, suppliers and industry media representatives for three days of networking, sharing ideas and information on key industry issues and enjoying the area's spectacular scenery and recreational activities. The Annual Incentive Invitational represents the Incentive Research Foundation's most important annual fundraising activity for research that advances the science of motivation and incentives. Each year the IRF provides educational roundtable sessions that highlight organizational research and focus on industry insights, trends and the business of incentives. This year's roundtables were the most heavily attended in Invitational history, covering actionable research that makes the business case for properly designed incentives. The host property, The Broadmoor, provided the kind of first-class service, amenities and accommodations that have made it a Forbes/Mobil Travel Guide 5-Star Award winner for a record 50th consecutive year – the only property to ever achieve this status. It is also the longest-running consecutive winner of the AAA Five-Diamond Award. In addition to high-energy networking and the annual Silent Auction that raises money for IRF research initiatives, this year's Invitational was the first to incorporate interactive polling and a corporate social responsibility (CSR) component, the latter of which involved attendees donating hundreds of books and building bookshelves for the Children's Literacy Center in Colorado Springs.
With corporate travel on pace for a rebound in 2010, cost saving lessons from the past two years remain top of mind for individual business travelers. In the latest Orbitz for Business/Business Traveler magazine Quarterly Trend Report, 70% of business travelers said they felt personally obligated to save their company money when booking travel. The spring quarterly report, which examined the most prevalent issues affecting the corporate travel industry, was based on a detailed survey of 846 business travelers. After a decline in corporate travel the last two years, the trend report highlights an ongoing commitment by companies and individual employees to reduce travel costs, even as they fly more:
More information on the Orbitz for Business/Business Traveler magazine Quarterly Trend Report is available at: @@http://www.orbitzforbusiness.com/news/pr/show_release.cfm?id=49
The Motivation Show this year will begin each exhibit day with a General Session that addresses the changing business environment for incentives and recognition, and suggests ways in which organizations can improve their programs to drive bottom line profits. The 2010 Motivation Show will be held this year from October 12-14 at Chicago's McCormick Place West. Both sessions are part of the Show's 4th Annual Conference: Connecting Employee Engagement and Financial Results and will start each day at 8 am, one hour before the exhibit hall opens at 9 am. The General Sessions are: "Social" Isn't Just for Media: How Connecting People Drives Business Value, sponsored by the Forum for People Performance Management & Measurement at Northwestern University and presented by Jennifer Rosenzweig, Research Director for the Forum, and Michelle M. Smith, CPIM, CRP, Vice President, Business Development, O.C. Tanner Company; and Incentives, Recognition & the New Normal: A Look into 2012 and Beyond, sponsored by the Incentive Research Foundation (IRF) and presented by Rodger Stotz, Chief Research Officer, Incentive Research Foundation, and Melissa Van Dyke, President, Incentive Research Foundation. To learn more about the professional education offered at the 2010 Motivation Show and see a Schedule At-A-Glance, visit @@http://www.motivationshow.com/.
JetBlue Airways, in partnership with Carlson Marketing, has launched "Be True," a new campaign focused on driving membership and raising awareness of the benefits and enhancements of TrueBlue, the airline's newly revamped customer loyalty program. The campaign highlights the passions of six real TrueBlue members, selected from nearly 100 inspiring candidates nominated by the airline's crewmembers. Each customer's passionate true story of dedication – providing clean water wells in Tanzania, training medical students to care for people in austere environments, or teaching improvisation – demonstrates the importance of being true to yourself and your passion. Similarly, TrueBlue shares its own passion of being true to its members by redesigning the customer loyalty program based on what customers want: every seat on every flight is available for travel and there are no blackout dates, allowing customers to redeem rewards whenever they want to travel. This transparent and flexible new program is richer and more rewarding for members, who can earn one-way awards flights starting at just 5,000 points. The year-long campaign, created by Carlson Marketing out of its Minneapolis and New York offices, will involve email, in-flight, airport, online and out-of-home advertising. The videos are now airing in-flight on all JetBlue flights, and can also be viewed at @@http://www.jetblue.com/betrue.
A grassroots industry campaign called "FACE TIME. It Matters." promotes the benefits of meeting face-to-face. Nine leading industry trade associations have adopted the campaign theme that was developed under the aegis of the Convention Industry Council (CIC). It is based on the findings of a recent national survey of corporate and association meeting planners, plus in-depth personal interviews with the industry's leading executives, as well as focus groups consisting of corporate and association executives, business travelers and professional meeting planners. According to the research:
"We're very excited about the launch of this grass roots campaign," says Gregg Talley, Chief Strategy Officer for the CIC. "The Convention Industry Council and its members will utilize the message to promote the irreplaceable benefits of human interaction and relationship building that may only be realized only through face-to-face meetings." Roger Dow, President and CEO of the U.S. Travel Association, adds that "The FACE TIME campaign will bring home the critical 'human side' of the meetings value equation. When combined with our 'Meetings Mean Business' effort and Oxford Economics compelling findings on the positive financial return from meetings, it becomes crystal clear how important meetings are to talent growth, business development and the economic vitality of our communities." For more information, click here
The June/July issue of Engagement Strategies Magazine is out! Here's a look at what you'll find inside:
A pair of articles examines this critical building block of engagement from two different perspectives. The first, Internal Collaboration: Why Partnering Works, by Rodd Wagner and Gale Muller, Ph.D., notes that great partnerships don't just happen. Whether your joint mission is to build a great company, coach a team, improve the government, do something spectacular for a charity, or any other worthy goal, all successful partnerships share the same crucial ingredients. The second article, External Collaboration: When You Can't Do It All, looks at some of the companies in the engagement marketplace that have successfully used collaboration to expand their reach through alliances and partnerships. To make sure you get your copy of Engagement Strategies Magazine, go to @@http://www.enterpriseengagement.org/account/login/ and update your subscription today!
Sue Gordon has been with American Airlines for over 20 years. As a result of her vast and varied experience, she not only knows American Airlines and the American Way very well, she also understands very clearly how the company's internal communications and branding efforts work to promote employee engagement and employee retention, while at the same time contributing to a more positive customer experience. In other words, she's seen it all – what works and what doesn't. "From 2001 to today, our industry has essentially been in turmoil," she says. "But we found the most traction by involving employees in the business. This is where we've seen the greatest process improvements and the greatest cost savings. It's where we get our best ideas and the greatest amount of buy-in, by involving our employees from soup to nuts in the process." Read more in the current issue of Engagement Strategies Magazine.
An in-depth review of a 2009 annual meeting of a major healthcare provider reveals that a comprehensive engagement strategy can help increase sales and boost profits. Researchers from the ROI of Engagement Group and the Enterprise Engagement Alliance recently measured the return on investment (ROI) from a gathering of brokers and management personnel that featured a program of training, relationship building and networking opportunities designed to increase sales and profits in specific markets and engage channel partners. The report, The 'ROI in Channel Partner' Conferences – A Case Study, found that the engagement program translated into brokers presenting and quoting the company's products more frequently, which in turn resulted in significantly stronger reported sales from event participants. Specifically, 94% presented the firm's products more often; 98% quoted them repeatedly; and 90% reported greater sales of these products. This is the third major research study released by the Enterprise Engagement Alliance examining the effectiveness of corporate engagement strategies. The company in question (referred to in the report as "Allsante, Inc." at the company's request, due to competitive reasons) wanted to measure the effectiveness of the "Allsante, Inc. Encounter" conference and come up with hard data against which to make decisions about improving future programs. Initial results reveal that the program had a profound impact on the way brokers thought and felt about Allsante, its products and its people. A copy of the study, The 'ROI in Channel Partner' Conferences – A Case Study, can be downloaded at: @@http://www.enterpriseengagement.org/
Does your organization have a transactional website to handle bulk sales of merchandise to qualified buyers or points programs for incentive companies? The incentive industry is one of the few areas of business that doesn't have a true transactional model to support its end-users and incentive companies. The Corporate Rewards Exchange is a cooperative effort of leading brands, incentive fulfillment firms and incentive companies to build a new distribution channel for sale of gifts to corporations, incentive companies and marketing services firms. The CRE enables brands to tap into a large ad hoc market for bulk gifts and rewards in a way they can carefully control, providing a powerful means for incentive companies to more effectively use their products in reward programs via a highly automated billing, redemption, tracking and customer service system. It's designed to support all of the current players in the incentive marketplace by providing a more efficient means of offering rewards to end-users and incentive companies, at a very low cost. For more information, please contact us for a demo.
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