In a recent survey conducted by IMEX America, a number of incentive and meetings industry CEOs and association leaders were asked to predict what 2011 holds. Participants included IMEX Group Chairman Ray Bloom; John Graham, President and CEO of the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE); Bruce MacMillan, President and CEO of Meeting Professionals International (MPI); Chris White, Chairman and CEO of Global Events Partners; and Christine Duffy, then President and CEO of Maritz Travel. Here are some of the trends they see emerging this year:
• More info at www.imexamerica.com
Writing on the Hotel News Resource website recently, Profitable Hospitality's Ken Burgin notes that "Loyalty and engagement are great buzz words, but how do we make them happen? As you build a loyal, engaged team, you'll become a magnet for the positive, energetic people everyone is after. We all want motivated staff, but they usually have a job – and if they make a change, they usually choose their new workplace rather than it choosing them. The talent shortage is still a big issue, but you can be well ahead of your competitors by making these key words of motivation, loyalty and engagement a priority. There are said to be eight key elements needed for a loyal, engaged workforce:
Obviously, these points aren't just applicable to the hospitality industry, but it's interesting to see how engagement is finding its way into different businesses and organizations – and how these universal ideas are being adapted and applied.
• For more info, go to www.profitablehospitality.com
The recently-released FutureWatch 2011 study by Meeting Professional International (MPI) shows that the tides of the meeting industry have shifted, and there will be no return to yesterday's events. Instead, meeting professionals will find that in presenting the value of their events to company leaders, board trustees and stockholders, they'd better understand their own roles within organizations and better prepare for the future. The global financial crisis forced many industry practitioners to accept what a handful of their peers already had – that meetings must meet the strategic imperatives of their organizations and provide detailed proof of ROI. And as budgets became more and more tight, many meetings moved to cyber space – a trend that will continue through 2011. Despite the fact that technology has finally gone mainstream, meeting professionals maintain that face-to-face meetings are far better equipped to forming lasting relationships, business partnerships and revolutionary ideas, although they acknowledge the sufficiency of online meetings, especially in some sectors such as education. MPI surveyed 459 industry practitioners, asking about their meetings for the coming year and about upcoming challenges.
• More results from the 2011 FutureWatch study can be found at www.mpiweb.org
Maritz Travel Company has announced a strategic partnership with i-Meet.com to introduce i-Meet's "Skills Marketplace," a new, turn-key, project-based labor solution that delivers highly-credentialed independent meeting planners on an "as-needed" basis for worldwide clients, helping companies better manage their meetings and events through access to a supplemental pool of highly skilled project management talent. Project-based labor, while not a new idea, has experienced more demand and support given recent economic conditions and the need to control costs. Clients like the idea of gaining access to highly experienced independent planners who can meet their needs while keeping costs limited to specific projects. Planners from i-Meet's worldwide community are qualified, screened and presented to corporations and service companies for assignment, with i-Meet providing a process for independent planners to help them market and secure these opportunities.
• For more information, go to http://www.i-meet.info/news/2011-02-11-Maritz.html
The Incentive Research Foundation (IRF) has announced that its 18th Annual Incentive Invitational will be held April 27 through May 1, 2011, at ARIA Resort & Casino in Las Vegas. The IRF Invitational brings together top incentive buyers and corporate decision makers, along with incentive professionals from leading travel organizations around the world, for a host of business networking events and educational seminars. In addition to ARIA Resort and Casino, co-hosts in 2011 include The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, Wynn/Encore, The Venetian Palazzo Resort Hotel Casinos, Las Vegas Convention & Visitors Authority, AWG Inc. (Alan Waxler Group), Destinations by Design, USA Hosts, MGM Resorts Events, JW Marriott Las Vegas, Maverick Aviation, Richard Petty Driving Experience, and other destination hosts and sponsors in Las Vegas.
• For more information, go to http://invitational.theirf.org/ or contact the Opus Group at 305-234-1077 for information on participating as a sponsor or hosted buyer attendee.
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
The March/April issue of Engagement Strategies Magazine will be out soon! Here's a look at what you'll find inside:
In a revealing Q&A with ESM's editors, author and motivation guru Derek Irvine talks about how building a culture of recognition offers the most direct path to engagement. To make sure you get your copy of Engagement Strategies Magazine, go to www.enterpriseengagement.org/account/login/ and update your subscription today!
Four industry experts discuss how recent changes in the marketplace are affecting the use of gift cards as a motivational tool. Read more in the next issue of Engagement Strategies Magazine.
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
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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