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May 27, 2014
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New Incentive Trends and Stats from Site International




The IMEX Group has been working very closely with the Site International Foundation, delivering research into purchasing trends within the incentive and motivational events sector. At IMEX Frankfurt, IMR's James Latham spoke with Jane Schuldt, the immediate past president and chair of the Site International Foundation Research Committee, and Kurt Paben, the committee's current president. Latham asked for an overview of the research that has come out of this trend report. 

“This is a follow-up study to one that we did a year ago," Paben said, "so in addition to getting information, we wanted to see how they compared year-after-year." One of the significant ongoing trends, he noted, was price being a key factor for winning or losing business.

But beyond price, service was even more of a determining factor for venue and supplier selection, Schuldt said, calling the finding a "welcome output" of the study. "It’s one of those few things over which we have control," she explained, "and in our world today, there is so much that we have no control over. To find that be a reason why we can affect a positive change in our business outcomes--I was really thrilled." 

The only definite negative in the study was a sluggish recovery, Schuldt said, adding that most companies that have reduced spending programming or budgets listed the cutbacks as temporary.  

"One of the things we saw was that all the C-level decision-makers continue to be the primary decision-makers," Paben added, "but within organizations, more and more are having more than one decision-maker." This requires a much broader approach to calling on organizations and decision-makers to get the final decision made, he noted, rather than relying on just one person.

Motivation & Incentives

Worldwide, large corporations are working to motivate and improve worker performance. Paul Miller and Kevin Hinton of Site International hold the tools that could support corporations in terms of staff retention and motivation. Latham spoke with them to expand on this theme. 

"We’re going to see a demand for top performers grow as companies look to grow," Hinton said. "They have a lot on their balance sheets, assets are high, and they’re going to look to get the best possible people and retain those folks. We believe that what Site is doing connects companies with their top performers and allows them to keep them engaged, to keep them loyal and, ultimately, to keep them performing."

"People need to be really engaged with what they’re doing in terms of their employment," Miller continued, "and employers have to make sure that they retain their staff, because people are looking for the best performers, and there’s choice out there now." To that end, employers have to engage their teams with a good program in place--"like a Site motivational program," Miller added--to be able to retain them and motivate them to either stay or move on.

A good incentive trip, Hinton continued, offers workers a chance to share an experience in a new destination with a significant other. "That needs to be a seamless experience that not only provides a reward for you for having done great work, but also feeling like you’re amongst other people that are top performers--having access to the CEO, for example, and being able to rub elbows with the c-suite executives in your company – that’s all part of it," he said. 

As an example of the efficiency of incentives, Dubai’s Department of Commerce and Tourism Marketing (DTCM), for example, recently hosted a group from Nu Skin Enterprises in China - the largest incentive group in UAE history - that generated an economic impact estimated at $80 million for the emirate. "It’s proven that motivation works," Miller said of the visit.


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About the Author: Jena Tesse Fox

Jena Tesse Fox

About the Author: James Latham

James Latham


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