Gifts & Premiums,New Ideas,Recognition

Incentive Travel and Merchandise 2009

I just read a very informative article in the magazine that arrived. 


“The Incentive Research Foundation, an industry group that promotes the effectiveness of incentives in business, surveyed corporate business buyers and suppliers last October and 78% of the respondents said they expect incentive program budgets to decrease in 2009”.  Remember, this survey was done in October.  I would venture to guess that closer to 100% would expect a decrease now.

With the sudden breakdown in the economy, employees are happy just to keep their jobs.  In many cases, people are offering to work less hours so their co-workers can keep their jobs as well.  Believe it or not, the shrinkage in the economy is bringing people together.

While many people are cutting budgets, we are recommending that clients simply reallocate and draw in a larger audience.  Here is one example.

Your company currently has 200 people that qualify for a week long trip.  With a significant other, we are talking 400 people.  With the average cost being $2500 per person, you are looking at a $5000 per qualifier or an overall budget of $1 million dollars.  What if we were to change that mix and upgrade the top 35 people slightly; either by offering upgrades in lodging or by adding merchandise.  Perhaps a $1000 upgrade per person.  Then, we take the remaining qualifiers and offer them the option of the trip or merchandise.  But before I go further…

Do we ever take into consideration the costs and challenges that the end user has to deal with?  In many cases a couple will spend between $800 and $2200 on everything from drinks, meals, gambling and gifts to home care for children, pets or an elderly parent.  This doesn’t include the challenges of having kids in school.  Have we also taken into consideration that each family carries their own weight when it comes to the economy and paying bills?  Now where were we…

By giving the remaining people the option of travel over merchandise, you have now empowered your workers to know that they will not have these added financial issues should they qualify.  They can count on having extra funds available to either share with loved ones or perhaps use their gift choices for themselves.

Still not a believer?  Gift recipients will also be happy with a lower credit than the $5000 you are spending on the trip.  In fact, by using a points system instead of dollars, employees can order 10, $350 items, 1 $3500 item or any mix in between, and still feel handsomely rewarded.  At least 60% of your remaining qualifiers will opt for merchandise.  This leaves you with approximately 100 people that will opt for a $1500 decrease in your overall expense. 

That’s 15%…. $150,000!!!

Still need another nudge???  Do you calculate in your overall cost, how much revenue you will lose by 200 people being out of the office for a week?  Not only did those 100 people save you $150K, they are not going to miss a day of work.

From this point you can easily just bank the savings.  But what if we would be able to boost the moral and production of the other non qualifiers so that they were motivated by the program instead of listening to the same old song and dance, knowing that they will never qualify.  This is where you can nurture your next batch of superstars.

Motivation programs are still one of the most effective ways to grow your business.  The important part is that you consistently tweak your program so it becomes exciting for everyone.

Our unique combination of Travel, Merchandise and Mar-com services allow you to place your trust in one provider that will just make it all happen.  For additional information contact Ken or Joe @

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