Maritz Holdings, Inc. has bought American Express Company's minority interest in American Express Incentive Services (AEIS.) As a result, AEIS is now entirely owned by Maritz Holdings and its affiliates, and Maritz executive Mike Donnelly has been named Chief Operating Officer of AEIS. Terms of the agreement were disclosed at press time. Following this transaction, AEIS will continue to operate as an independent entity but will change its corporate name and re-brand itself before the end of 2010. For the past 13 years, AEIS has been operated as a joint venture between Maritz Holdings and a subsidiary of American Express.
"We are very optimistic about the road ahead," says Darryl Hutson, AEIS CEO. "AEIS is now better positioned than ever to deliver innovative, value-added products that will help businesses enhance engagement for their employees. Today it's paramount to ensure that your motivation investment is bringing an optimal return, and our unique DirectSpend process is a key to helping clients do just that. By guiding spend to select merchant groupings, you can ensure that rewards are not only meaningful and motivating, but also driving the behavior that helps meet business goals." For more information, go to www.maritz.com
A recent Pulse survey by the Incentive Research Foundation reveals several indications of (slightly) rosier times ahead. While the industry is not quite ready to breathe a sigh of relief, these results indicate a brightening outlook as practitioners plan programs for 2010. "Cautiously optimistic is the term I would use to describe the overall message in the data from the survey," says Mark Peterman, Chairman of the IRF Research Committee. "Our sense is that companies may have been sitting on budgets for the past 10 months or so waiting to see how things were going to play out and whether there was going to be more pushback from the media and community regarding incentives." Some highlights from the Incentive Industry Trends 2010 study:
For more information about the IRF's Incentive Industry Trends 2010 study, go to: www.theirf.org
Rymax Marketing Services, Inc. recently announced an exclusive partnership with eZeebike USA, Inc., the exclusive distributor of eZee electric bikes in the United States, and is now offering their products within the incentive industry on an exclusive basis. The company's lineup consists of several electric models, including beach cruisers, performance bikes, tricycles, and a compact foldable model that can easily fit in the trunk of a car. Go to www.rymax.com for more information.
Attention suppliers and program providers! The Enterprise Engagement Alliance will hold its first annual EEA Networking Expo at the Doral Arrowwood Hotel Conference Center in Rye Brook, NY, June 3-5, 2010. The event is designed to help organizations profit from engaging their key audiences and engineer new ways to use rewards and recognition to drive performance. A slate of interactive education sessions will enable attendees to share the latest and most effective policies, procedures, strategies and tactics in the field of engagement, offering unique, actionable ideas and information they can use to boost performance and profitability, and build relationships with all key audiences. Exhibitors representing the top products, programs and performance-improvement companies will be available during eight hours of dedicated exhibit time, as well as at other networking events and activities during the EEA Networking Expo, to share their extensive expertise with attendees. The Doral Arrowwood is convenient to all major metropolitan areas in the Boston/NYC/Philadelphia/Washington, DC corridor, located only 10 minutes from Westchester Country Airport and 40 minutes from New York's LaGuardia airport. For more information about the Enterprise Engagement Alliance Networking Expo, go to www.eeaexpo.org.
Talk about incentives…Maui Jim recently announced that anyone who requests its 2010 Corporate Gift Catalog will be entered to win an "experience for two" in Maui. The package includes roundtrip airfare; 6 days/5 nights for two in a deluxe oceanfront suite at the Sheraton Maui Resort and Spa Kaanapali; a spa visit at the new Sheraton Maui Spa at Black Rock; rental car; custom sunglasses fitting at Maui Jim World Headquarters in Lahaina; and complimentary cruise aboard the Maui Jim boat. Request your catalog and you'll be automatically entered for a chance to win. Or call Maui Jim about your next event at 800-614-6790. For more information, go to www.mauijim.com/inspiration/.
The Incentive Research Foundation (IRF) is pleased to announce that Melissa Van Dyke will succeed Frank Katusak as President of the organization, who is leaving the IRF effective in March. Prior to being named President of the IRF, Van Dyke was Managing Consultant, Employee Engagement Practice, at Maritz, where she helped clients build strategic recognition and incentive solutions that engage, align and motivate employees to higher levels of performance. Before joining Maritz in 2002, Van Dyke worked as a senior consultant at Ernst & Young, LLC. "I'm very excited to be stepping in to this position, because I believe the IRF is doing important work at an important time in an important industry," says Ms. Van Dyke. "Those of us who have been buyers of, providers of, or participants in incentive programs know what a powerful motivational tool they can be. With the challenges of the last year, I believe the IRF is well positioned to do crucial work in advancing the science of incentives and educating buyers, providers and business in general on their importance."
In keeping with new developments and trends in social media, TUMI has developed a strategy for the brand that communicates with fans and consumers via both Facebook and Twitter. The initiative currently includes new product info, press highlights and the general topic of travel – all with the goal of driving traffic to retail and www.tumi.com. TUMI's social media strategy has allowed the company to engage the consumer and receive immediate feedback and insight. With an online presence in the form of Twitter and blogs, both positive and negative comments have been brought to TUMI's attention – just the kind of feedback the company is seeking from this strategy.
The Motivation Show announced this month that it is accepting program proposals for the 4th Annual Conference: Connecting Engagement and Financial Results, October 12-14, at Chicago's McCormick Place. Learning tracks for 2010 include Employee Recognition, Sales Motivation, Customer Loyalty and Meeting & Event Management. Program proposals are being accepted until March 15, 2010. To submit a program proposal online, contact Hansi Kess , Project Manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (630) 434-7779
The Enterprise Engagement Alliance Networking Expo, to be held June 3-5, 2010, at the Doral Arrowwod in Rye Brook, NY, is a first-of-its-kind learning and planning experience. A group of carefully selected hosted executives and managers in different aspects of engagement will be invited to participate with other attendees in the development of the first ever implementation manual for Enterprise Engagement. This initiative offers a unique opportunity for business executives and managers to learn from both experts and their peers in facilitated discussion groups. The result of the two-day event will be a manual entitled Enterprise Engagement: A Practical Guide to Maximizing Financial Performance Through People that will be distributed free of charge to all attendees. All participating individuals and their organizations will receive a credit in the manual for their participation. For more information on the EEA Networking Expo, go to www.eeaexpo.org
The March/April issue of Engagement Strategies Magazine will be mailing soon. To make sure you get your copy, go to www.enterpriseengagement.org/account/login/. Here's a preview of what you'll find inside:
Karey Stanley, who holds the unique title of Senior Manager, Employee Spirit and Recognition at TD Bank Financial Group, says the company's Wow Moments program is a unique tool – not only for informal recognition, but for talent spotting and creating a unique customer-oriented business culture. Read more about this unique recognition/communication strategy in the March/April issue of Engagement Strategies Magazine or click here.
Things have gotten so bad in the Gift Card industry that reviewing a company's financials is a necessary step in shopping for a birthday gift or adding new merchants to an incentive program, says Stacey McAllister, VP at RK Incentives and Director of Media Relations at the Incentive Gift Card Council. Recently, McAllister sat down with Nick Balestino, Manager of Award Partnerships at Hallmark Insights; Dana Slockbower, Marketing Director at Rymax Marketing Services; and Joan Travelstead, VP of Business
Development at National Gift Card Group to discuss the evolution of this adaptable and accessible motivational mainstay. Don't miss this important article! To make sure your subscription is up to date, go to www.enterpriseengagement.org/account/login/. You can also read the full article here.
Leaders have to drive engagement, says Judy McLeish, Founder and President of McDaniel Partners. Yet, according to Development Dimensions International, only 25% of senior leaders and 17% of frontline leaders are highly engaged. No wonder companies are having a difficult time making progress with broad-based engagement initiatives. To reap the full benefits of engagement, companies must first engage those who lead the effort. Find out how to get leaders more involved in the next issue of Engagement Strategies Magazine.
One of the greatest opportunities to increase corporate profits – and subsequently boost the economy – lies in motivating workforces to improve performance, drive greater customer engagement and ultimately increase revenue, according to a new report from the Enterprise Engagement Alliance (EEA) and the Human Capital Institute (HCI). The Enterprise Engagement Alliance is a coalition of companies and associations dedicated to promoting the importance of engagement, founded last year by the Human Capital Institute, Peppers & Rogers Group, 1to1® Media and Selling Communications, Inc. Entitled The Economics of Engagement, the report provides a comprehensive analysis of research in the field of Enterprise Engagement and offers how-to information on benchmarking tools that can quantitatively measure the benefits of employee and customer engagement. These measurement tools are critical to demonstrate the bottom-line impact of enterprise engagement, both to corporations and to the economy as a whole, using financial language that senior executives, investors and economists are accustomed to. "One of the most encouraging findings of this report is the revelation that vast reserves of overall performance potential are essentially hiding in plain sight," says Bruce Bolger of the Enterprise Engagement Alliance. "Engaging the people that companies deal with on a day-to-day basis – both internally and externally – in a comprehensive, compelling and connected way will create a result that is more than just the sum of its parts. Naturally, as with any such investment, the return needs to be demonstrated to decision makers, and there's a growing body of evidence in the engagement arena that does just that." Get your copy of the report >
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