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Meetings & Travel (August 2011)

News Briefs

Good News! Incentive Travel Spending on the Rebound

After a two-year long pullback, many companies plan to renew incentive travel benefits and rewards for employees, channel partners and customers, having rediscovered that travel incentives are directly linked to employee performance and customer loyalty. According to a new white paper, "Incentive Travel Recovering from Belly-flop," published by the Incentive Travel Council (ITC) of the Incentive Marketing Association, more than 80% of companies surveyed said they plan to incorporate motivational travel in the next one to three years, and many of the same companies report a current, real-time return to travel incentives. The report examines how two companies – DriveSavers of Novata, CA, and SFN Group of Ft. Lauderdale , FL, – retained their incentive travel programs in difficult economic times, managed their programs creatively and realized effective and measurable results. To read the full report, visit the Featured Resources section of the Incentive Marketing Association homepage at www.incentivemarketing.org

Q Center

Smartbox Partners with Zagat on 'Table For Two' Dining

Smartbox, a leader in the experiential gifting category, recently announced a new array of restaurant offerings for the second edition of the Zagat Smartbox "Table For Two" dining experience, expected to be available in October. More than 200 highly rated Zagat Smartbox "Table For Two" restaurants in New York City, Washington DC, Chicago, Los Angeles and San Francisco will be offered as part of this premiere dining experience to reward clients, as well as recognizing and motivatingemployees. For limited-time B2B offers on the Zagat Smartbox "Table For Two" program, go to www.zagatsmartbox.com or stop by the Smartbox Experience Booth (#4926) at the 2011 Motivation Show in Chicago to learn more about the Zagat Smartbox "Table For Two" dining experience and other unique experiential gift ideas.

'Mobile Attendee' Offers Unique Communications Tool for Events

StarCite Inc., the leading provider of Web-based solutions to strategically manage corporate meetings and events, has announced the launch of Mobile Attendee, a new attendee management and communications tool for smartphones. Mobile Attendee delivers essential and fully-updated information directly to meeting attendees' mobile phones and devices – including agendas, logistics, maps and news alerts. It will do away with the need for reams of paper, offering easy access to up-to-the-minute presentation materials, bios, location information and breaking news, also offering networking tools that let attendees search for and send messages to other meeting attendees. Mobile Attendee is compatible with a host of devices, including iPhone, Blackberry and Android phones, and will be available in Fall 2011. For more information, go to www.starcite.com

Research Details Economic Significance of Meetings

A new study reports that the U.S. meetings industry directly supports 1.7 million jobs, a $106 billion contribution to GDP, $263 billion in spending, $60 billion in labor revenue, $14.3 billion in federal tax revenue and $11.3 billion in state and local tax revenue. The Convention Industry Council study, The Economic Significance of Meetings to the U.S. Economy, spanned more than a year in research and analysis and is the first ever study of the size and scope of its kind. The research quantifies the economic contributions made by the 1.8 million meetings, trade shows, conventions, congresses, incentive events and other meetings that take place across the country. Check out the complete study at www.MeetingsMeanBusiness.com  

Insights from ESM e-News

The Changing Face of Today's Travel Consumers

How is technology shaping the modern travel consumer? Well, 75% of leisure travelers look to the Internet for travel information – but do they find too much information or not enough to make an informed decision? A recent Travelport study, The Well Connected Traveller, reveals rapid changes in consumer behavior. Want to find out what 62% of travelers are doing now that they probably weren't doing at all five years ago? Travelport engaged The Futures Company to conduct global research into the end-to-end travel process consumers undertake, from inspiration to shopping to booking to post-trip evaluation. Some highlights:

For more information, go to www.travelport.com/customer_community.aspx

Advertise here!

In The Current Issue of Engagement Strategies Magazine

The June/July issue of Engagement Strategies Magazine is out! Here's a look at what you'll find inside:

The Art (and Science) of Engagement

Author and engagement guru Richard Axelrod talks about the collaborative effort that's essential in creating an enduring engagement culture. To make sure you get your copy of Engagement Strategies Magazine, go to www.enterpriseengagement.org/account/login/ and update your subscription today!

Rewards Distributors Embrace Continuous Improvement

Amazon may be gone, but its legacy is still around in the form of higher expectations and increased automation. Here's how the industry is filling the gap. Read more in the current issue of Engagement Strategies Magazine.

A '3-D' Solution to a Common People Problem

Here's how Mountain States Health Alliance transformed itself into an organization that not only provides quality patient care, but is also considered a great place to work.

News From Selling Communications Inc.

White Paper Links Social Media and Performance

A new White Paper, How Social Media is Changing Corporate Performance, discusses how lessons learned from Social Media are helping corporate employee-engagement experts capitalize on the momentum in self-motivated, peer-driven participation. Corporate recognition, rewards and incentive programs for employees are actually the unsung pioneers of the kind of 'social points' activity like we see in Social Media games like Farmville and others. By leveraging the power of online systems, corporations can provide a familiar social environment similar to those in which people have already chosen to engage during their own time. You can bring the power of Social Behaviors to your employees by offering intrinsic/extrinsic motivation rewards and recognition programs. Peer-to-Peer awards let people recognize each other. Team-based activities allow for relationship-building and trust. Wellness programs show that you care about employees' health challenges and that you want to help through education and online tools. Open 'suggestion programs' accelerate innovation by creating a meritocracy. To view the full report, go to www.dittmanincentives.com

Connect Your Marketing to Transactions

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. 

About Selling Communications Inc.

Selling Communications, Inc. is a fully integrated, target marketing, media and technology agency that improves results for clients by focusing on the people who matter most. We can help your business grow and save you money by targeting key prospects, getting their permission and strategically integrating your marketing and sales communications with the specific audiences most likely to affect your business performance.

Take advantage of these SCI services to improve your business development:

For more information on Selling Communications, its products and services, contact Jim Kilmetis at 914-591-7600, ext. 229 or send an e-mail to jkilmetis@sellingcommunications.com.

Tapping new customers, and keeping those you already have, costs less than you'd imagine...

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