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Meetings & Travel (February 2011)

News Briefs

MICE Industry Experts Predict Top Trends

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

Grand Sierra

Loyalty and Engagement Hot in the Food & Beverage Industry

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:

  1. Trust and integrity: how well managers and owners communicate and 'walk the talk' with their staff.
  2. The nature of the job: is it mentally stimulating day-to-day? Many jobs could be made more interesting with some creative thinking.
  3. A clear connection between employee performance and company results: employees understand how their work contributes to the company's success.
  4. Opportunities for Career Growth: are there future opportunities for growth? This can be a tough one for small venues, but there's still plenty you can do...
  5. Pride about the company: how much self-esteem does the employee feel by being associated with the company?
  6. Positive relationships with other team members: their attitude can significantly influence the level of engagement. Hopefully a good number of staff are also friends away from work.
  7. Employee development: is the company making an effort to develop the employee's skills, be they practical or management? .
  8. Relationship with the manager: Does the employee value the relationship with their manager? Is there anyone in management who should be looking for another job in the new year?"

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

MPI FutureWatch Study Reports Fundamental Shift

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

Kissimmee

Maritz Partners With i-Meet on 'Skills Marketplace'

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

2011 IRF Invitational Will be Held in Vegas

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. 

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Insights From ESM Meetings & Incentive Travel 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

Marriott Tampa Airport

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In the Current Issue of Engagement Strategies Magazine

The March/April issue of Engagement Strategies Magazine will be out soon! Here's a look at what you'll find inside:

Authenticity, Tree-Pruning and the 'Wisdom of Crowds'

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!

Gift Card Landscape Has Shifted, Bringing New Vistas, Values

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.

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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

Advertise here!

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.

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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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