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Meetings & Travel (November 2010)

News Briefs

MPI Debuts Sustainable Event Measurement Tool

At the World Education Congress (WEC) in Vancouver in July, Meeting Professionals International (MPI) officially launched a sustainability measurement tool for the meeting and event industry. With companies increasing their focus on CSR compliance in procurement policies and growing adoption of global standards, meeting professionals now have a tool based on global standards to measure and report on the environment and sustainability impacts (ESI). The tool is free to MPI members and the beta version is accessible at www.mpiweb.org. The tool was developed in collaboration with the Green Meeting Industry Council with a founding investment by MPI, and guided by MPI's CSR advisory council with members from Oracle, the United Nations, InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) and Microsoft. MPI will continue to provide forward thinking content on CSR including case studies, articles, books and videos both online through the newly launched online CSR Content Portal. During MPI live events the focus will be on the implementation of a certificate in Sustainable Meetings and Business Events. For more information, go to: @@http://www.mpiweb.org/

Circus Circus Las Vegas

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Global Recovery in Travel is Underway

The European Travel Commission (ETC) has just published its second quarterly report on European Tourism in 2010. Data confirm a global recovery in travel is underway. While the travel recovery in Europe has been generally broad, gains have favored Western Europe, while Northern Europe continues to lag behind last year. Russia and Japan have provided heady growth thus far, with the U.S. showing signs of recovery in recent months. The anticipated return of UK travelers to European destinations also appears to be budding in recent months. Recovery in hotel prices, which typically lags in recovery, is now underway, as occupancy rates continued to make gains through August. While the corporate sector is flush with cash and represents an upside risk to the forecast, a timid response in hiring and investment lends to the possibility of a sub-par recovery. Uncertainty in the financial sector, led by problems with European banks and stalling of asset prices, provides additional downside risks. The full report can be downloaded from ETC's corporate website at @@http://www.etc-corporate.org/market-intelligence/reports-and-studies.html

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Call for Participants for the 2010 Award Type Study

The Incentive Research Foundation would like to invite industry professionals to participate in a very important survey regarding the use of tangible incentives in organizations. Participation will help IRF better understand current practices in the industry, as well as make recommendations for improvement. All information provided will be kept in strict confidence by the research team, consisting of Dr. Scott Jeffrey of Monmouth University and Dr. Alyce Dickinson of Western Michigan University. No identifying information will ever be disclosed about participants or their responses. Any data disseminated will be at an aggregate level only. The study will initially consist of two surveys.  If you would like to participate in this study, please go to @@http://irf.monmouth.edu/panel.html and enter your information. The entry of your information there will not commit you to participate in either survey, nor will this information be used for anything other than the two studies we will be performing. If you would like to learn more about the project and the research team before deciding, please visit @@http://irf.monmouth.edu/.

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Site Index Evaluates Priorities in Motivational Program Design

Site International Foundation recently released its Site Index: Annual Survey results. This annual analysis and forecast for the motivational events industry provides a broader data set of trends and reveals priorities placed on significant topics, such as the strength of motivational tools (travel experiences, cash, merchandise, gift cards), ROI, buyer decisions, cruise products, green incentives and more. The study reinforces the concept that motivational travel incentives as extrinsic motivators continue to be more desirable than other forms of rewards directly linked to measurable business results. Some highlights: A majority of respondents (62%) expect an increase in motivational travel use in the next six to 12 months, with 84% predicting improvement in a one- to three-year timeframe. These findings continue to demonstrate a high expectation that the requirement for measurement will increase in both the short and long term. Complete survey results are available at siteglobal.com

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Greg Kurdian Passes

eTurboNews (eTN) reports that Gregory Kurdian, founder of Sunbound, passed away in the early morning of October 27, 2010. Sunbound is Florida and The Bahamas' oldest and largest destination management company specializing in meetings, incentives, and conferences. Greg has battled diabetes for many years, this past year being especially difficult. He did enjoy his 68th birthday on September 2 surrounded by his friends. Gregory was a very strong and dynamic presence, and his passing will be deeply felt.

There will be a service for Gregory at The Sunshine Cathedral in Fort Lauderdale, Flordia, at a later date to be announced for those that would like to attend. Donations should be made in lieu of floral tributes to the American Diabetes Association as per Gregory's request.

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2011 IRF Invitational to 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 on the 18th Annual Incentive Invitational, 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.

Advertise here!

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Insights From ESM Meetings & Incentive Travel e-News

MPI Publishes FutureWatch 2010 Study

Meeting Professionals International (MPI), in partnership with American Express, recently released a summary of its annual FutureWatch survey, revealing trends that will affect the meeting and events industry in 2010. Respondents agreed that industry conditions will begin to improve in the second half of the year or in 2011, with 41% of suppliers and 28% of planners predicting gradual industry growth in 2010. Meeting and event planners anticipate a 2.8% increase in meetings held and a 4.5% increase in attendance over the next year. Spend per meeting and overall budgets will be the slowest to rebound. Other key trends include:

The full FutureWatch 2010 report is available at @@http://www.mpiweb.org/Education/Research/FutureWatch.aspx

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In the Next Issue of Engagement Strategies Magazine

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

Is Engagement Your Silver Bullet?

William Schiemann, CEO of Metrus Group, notes that many firms exhibit some decline in employee engagement – and it costs them dearly. Research demonstrates that when engagement plummets, customer service, quality and productivity also drop, while costs and employee turnover rise. A recent cross-industry study conducted by Metrus Group found performance differences of nearly 10% between organizations where employee engagement was high and those with low-engagement operations. Many employers thought that with unemployment hovering at 10%, people would be delighted just to have a paycheck. And they were correct – up to a point. Many employees are delighted to have a paycheck, but it doesn't mean they're satisfied, committed or even engaged with the organization. To make sure you get your copy of Engagement Strategies Magazine, go to @@http://www.enterpriseengagement.org/account/login/ and update your subscription today!

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Can CSR Clear Up the Industry's Image Problem?

Caught up in the backlash against the major corporations whose questionable business practices helped precipitate the current economic crisis, the image of meetings and incentive trips in the general media has largely been one of excess and irresponsibility – right up there with exorbitant bonuses, private jets and company limos on the list of things people think of when they hear the words "corporate greed." So how does the industry fight that perception? Many ideas have been proposed, but one seems to offer more promise than the others – find ways to "humanize" meetings and incentives, make them less about money and excess and more about people and service. The recent rise of Corporate Social Responsibility offers that opportunity...

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GAP Focuses Resources on Employees with High Potential

For GAP Inc. and its stores, engagement is part of the definition of a high-performing employee. "We think of a high-performing employee as one who is very engaged," notes Marko Satarain, the company's Director of Talent Management. "If they're engaged they'll produce more and stay longer. So there's a business imperative as to why we would want to hire and retain a high-performing or highly engaged employee. If an employee is engaged, we know their productivity levels will be higher than the norm, they'll stay with us longer and it will actually influence and inspire their contemporaries or counterparts to perform better as well." Read more in the current issue of Engagement Strategies Magazine.

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News From Selling Communications Inc.

Engagement Links Directly to Higher Sales

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/

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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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CA Short

EGR International Inc.

Marriott Bloomington-Normal

McBassi

Canon