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 People Move Business. Incentives Move People.
October 2011

                                                          Issue #4 


The Incentive Research Foundation (IRF) funds and promotes research to advance the science, enhance the awareness, and improve the appropriate application of motivation and incentives in business globally. We had the privilege of spending the day with the IRF and learned some interesting facts from their recent studies. 


When it is highly desirable to provide a unique experience, build loyalty to the brand and establish an emotional connection, travel was identified as the choice of recognition.

 IRF Chart 2
As shown below, the majority of respondents do not have what they consider good measures to determine the optimal award value on which to base their incentive programs. Sutton & Associates provides a Return on Investment (ROI) report to help you accurately project your ROI versus relying on intuition and past experiences.


IRF Chart 3

Sutton & Associates is dedicated to keeping you informed. Let us know if you have any particular questions we may help to answer.


Liz Sutton

President, Sutton & Associates


MeetingsMeetings Part of Incentive Travel 

Should meetings be a part of the travel mix? Some might say no, because the travel reward for an incentive travel program is purely a reward and participants may not be inspired if they know business will be done during the incentive trip. Others might argue that by incorporating a small meeting component benefits are gained. Based on a study by the Incentive Research Foundation, meeting elements will be a part of incentive travel rewards over the next three (3) years. Here are some of the benefits that might be gained:

  • Communicate Future Business Objectives - by having top performers all in one place, the organization is easily able to provide insight into future business direction which can inform, excite and motivate.
  • Tax Laws - individuals on incentive travel programs may be issued a 1099 or have to report the fair market value as income. Incorporating a small meeting element may reduce or eliminate this tax burden on participants.
  • Brand Risk - some organizations are concerned about their reputation and may want to minimize potential risk by adding more business related content.
  • Networking Opportunities with leaders and managers in the company, where best practices and market trends can be discussed and individual development achieved.

Sutton & Associates is ready to guide you on thoughtful and careful approaches to maintain a balance, so perceived value by participants in the design of the incentive travel reward is not jeopardized.

SavedateShowcase Huge Success!
Back by Popular Demand - Sept. 10, 2012

Over 40 people enjoyed an informative showcase and one-on-one appointments at Bottega Restaurant & Cafe in Birmingham where North American resorts and hotels, as well as major cruise lines and corporate gift companies, showcased their properties and products. Those attending also enjoyed experiencing Maui Jim's custom sunglass display and receiving their very own pair of custom-fitted sunglasses! The University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) Department of Theater, the Cabaret Tour, provided entertainment, and a delicious farm-to-table lunch was enjoyed by all. Flowers from the event were donated on behalf of the attendees to Perenity, a local non-profit organization who provides weekly flower arrangements to Hospice patients. Due to the success of this year's showcase, we will be bringing it back on Sept. 10, 2012 with new ideas and experiences!


Wynn Showcase



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In This Issue...


Why Your Incentive Program Will Outlast a Challenging Economy



 Motivating Channel Partners



The Benefits of Tangible, Non-Monetary Incentives



Community Involvement a Core Value 


60 percent of executives believe that sources of merchandise and travel are more helpful in creating an incentive program than are sources of cash, and 57 percent of executives believe that bonus payments are often regarded by employees as something they are due, according to the most recent "Survey of Motivation and Incentive Applications" by the Incentive Federation.



Incentive programs can increase performance by 44% in teams and 25% in individuals according to a study by the International Society of Performance Improvement.



Training Magazine's recent social survey found that 75% of 905 respondents never use Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter to deliver training.

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