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A monthly member communication of the Incentive Marketing Association.

December 2014

In this Issue

Industry Resources

Distributor Resources

Global Incentive Programs

Incentive/Recognition Case Studies

Incentive/Recognition Program Basics

Industry Suppliers/Products Search

Legal Considerations

Marketing Intelligence

Media Training

People Performance & Recognition


Return on Performance Magazine

Strategic Industry Groups of IMA

Global Incentive Council (GIC)

IMA Canada Council

IMA Europe Council

Incentive Manufacturers and Representatives Alliance (IMRA)

Incentive Gift Card Council (IGCC)

Incentive Travel Council (ITC)

Performance Improvement Council (PIC)

Recognition Council

A Final Thank You to our 2014 Education Fund Sponsors

Research Sponsor

Platinum Sponsors

Recognition Sponsor

Diamond Sponsor

Emerald Sponsors
O.C. Tanner

Sapphire Sponsors
Above Target
Pioneer Balloon Company
Top Brands

Education Sponsor
Rymax, Inc.

IMA Welcomes New Members

Join IMA in welcoming your newest association colleagues.

Kristina Paczkowski

New Company Member
Colin Hodgson

New Company Member
Richard Geldard

New Company Member
Martha Weaver

Tim Shelton



Letter From the IMA President, Rick Low

On behalf of the IMA, best wishes for a holiday season filled with warmth from family and friends. We are all putting the final touches on a year filled with both joys and tears. We continue to gain strength from the memories of Karen and others that served as mentors and confidants, both personally and professionally. 

I continue to hear anecdotal data about the direction of our business: “we have never been busier” – “business is later this year than ever before” – ‘what a great way to end the year”.  Nearly everyone agrees that things are headed in a very positive direction.

The season is filled with optimism as we look forward to the New Year. The IMA continues to position itself as the leading incentive resource for businesses. The IMA, IMRA and IGCC will all introduce studies in 2015 that will help companies better utilize their dollars earmarked for incentives.  We must continue to make a fact based case for investing in incentive and loyalty programs.

The IMA study will be produced by our partner, the Incentive Research Foundation. Our goal is to have it underwritten by IMA member companies.  It is ground breaking study that is targeted at understanding award program participant preferences.  How do demographics affect award preference? This Signature study will provide considerable guidance to our audience – program owners and end users.

Limited sponsorships remain available for the study. Contact the IMA if your company is interested. The initial launch at the 2015 Summit in Nashville will be the beginning of a year of releasing more and more of the study to drive traffic to our website.
The IMA site is being redesigned with the end user in mind. White Papers from our SIGs will be highlighted as we enhance the content on the website and help drive traffic from the IMA site to the individual SIG websites. These are among just a few of the IMA initiatives for 2015.

Thank you to all that contributed to the Wounded Warrior Holiday Gift Drive.  A tremendous response by our membership.

Travel Safe. Happy Holidays. Best wishes for a Healthy and Happy New Year.

Rick Low
Citizen Watch Company of America, Inc.

White Paper – 7 Employee Retention Mythbusters

Performance Improvement Council

  • Ferreting out reality from myth is focus of Performance Improvement Council new whitepaper
  • Costs of recruiting, advertising and training, estimated to be as high as 50-to-60 percent of an employee’s annual salary
  • Total cost of turnover is estimated at 90-to-200 percent of an employee’s annual salary

The cost of turnover isn’t that high.” Oh, really? That’s Myth Number One. When you factor in all of the negative elements of losing an employee, replacing them can run as high as 200 percent of their annual salary. “That’s one big number,” explains the Incentive Marketing Association’s (IMA) Performance Improvement Council (PIC) President Beau Ballin.

The PIC whitepaper, “7 Misconceptions about Employee Retention,” explains that employee retention is key to a company’s employee engagement strategy, talent acquisition efforts and long-term planning. With today’s greater focus on improving the customer experience, retaining the critical human element in that equation is vital to a company’s success.
“When ‘A’ players leave, companies are left with their ‘B’ and ‘C’ players – employees who are less skilled, less effective, and less engaged – and the company’s service levels and financial performance suffer,” says Ballin, who authored the paper and is also Vice President of marketing for MotivAction.

The research behind the paper shows that many companies are effectively ignoring the root causes of employee turnover and instead ascribing it to one – or more – of the 7 Myths. That can lead to serious issues going forward in an increasingly competitive global economy.

The paper addresses myths such as:

  • “We can’t compete with other companies’ compensation and benefits”
  • “Retaining talent will not be a problem since Baby Boomers can’t afford to retire”
  • “We know why our people leave, based on employee feedback”
  • “Our new recognition program will solve our retention issues”

For the complete whitepaper and the rationale behind the responses to the misconceptions that underlie the Myths, visit

Support the IMA Education Foundation – Become a Sponsor for 2015!

Your sponsorship helps support the IMA mission and education at our Annual Summit.  IMA’s Education Foundation Partnerships offer you a cost-effective opportunity to position your organization as an industry leader and an industry advocate while you are helping IMA fund ground breaking industry research, education, and industry awareness initiatives, all designed to increase the use of incentive, ultimately increasing your sales.
In addition to supporting IMA, Education Foundation Partners realize valuable marketing benefits. All Education Foundation Partners will be identified in IMA’s 2015 membership directory, the Incentive Source, the industry’s best networking tool, and in IMA’s online directory available at In addition, each Partner will receive a special logo to display on their Website recognizing their contribution.
Your logo will also be displayed on the rotating banner on the home page of and in marketing collateral communicating new research findings.
For a full list of benefits click here. Please let Julie Weldon if you would like to join our list of sponsors.

You are Invited to Advertise in The Incentive Source

Performance Improvement Council

The Incentive Marketing Association’s
2015 Print Directory

A Cost-Effective Marketing Tool!

The 2015 Incentive Source, IMA’s Annual Membership Directory, will be published in late June and made available at the 2015 IMA Executive Summit. This dynamic networking tool will be mailed to 500+ IMA members. These sales and marketing professionals represent every segment of the incentive industry and they may be potential marketing partners looking for the services and/or products you offer.

The Incentive Source will also be distributed at a variety of trade shows including the 2015 IMEX show and the 2016 PPAI Expo, reaching hundreds of potential customers.

ATTN: 2015 Education Sponsors
We have reserved a complimentary ad space for you. You must have a paid 2015 Education Sponsorship and your ad must be submitted by March 15 to be included in the Directory.

  • Research Partner - We have reserved a complimentary B/W full-page ad space for you.
  • Platinum, Diamond, or Emerald Sponsors - We have reserved a complimentary ½ page ad space for you. Upgrade to a full-page ad for $400.
  • Sapphire Sponsors - We have reserved a complimentary “Business Card” ad space for you. Upgrade to a ½ page ad for $400.
  • Banner Ads: As a bonus for being an 2015 Education Sponsor (any level) you have the option to submit a full-color banner ad - linked to the url of your choice - at no additional charge for the IMA website as part of a rotating banner ad that will run from July 1, 2015 - June 30, 2016.

Click here for advertising specs and to a reserve your ad space - or contact Sue Peterson at

Wounded Warrior Project Holiday Gift Drive

The Wounded Warrior Project and IMA would like to thank all of the companies for their generous donations.  This year the total amount of donations in gift cards and merchandise is $62,893.  There will be a lot of very happy families this Holiday Season. 

A VERY BIG THANK YOU to the following companies!

Diamond Level ($2,500+)
Great Lakes Scrip Center
Luxury Lines by MMSC
National Gift Card
Restaurant . com
Royal Performance Group
U Konserve

Platinum ($1,000-$2,499)
All Star Incentive Marketing
Buca di Beppo
Continental Premium Corp.
Hyatt Hotels
Jura Inc.
L.L. Bean
Omaha Steaks
Weber-Stephen Products LLC

Gold ($500-$999)
1 To 1 Card
Apex Tool Group
Award Marketing Services
Delsey Luggage
Dittman Incentive Marketing
Elizabeth Arden Red Door Spa
Hallmark Business Connections
Manna Group Scrip Company, The
Patriot Marketing Group/Foot Locker Gift Card Sales
Regal Entertainment Group
Special Markets Associates
TJX Incentive Sales, Inc.
Waterloo Industries

Silver ($100-$499)
AMC Special Markets
American Recreation Products
Arroweye Solutions
Augeo Marketing
Bass Pro Shops
Bath & Body Works
Boscov's Department Store
Brinker International
Brinkmann Corporation, The
Browne & Company
Buffalo Wild Wings
California Pizza Kitchen
Canon USA, Inc.
CPS Cards
DineEquity, Inc.
Game Stop, Inc.
GiftCard Partners
Hudson's Bay Company
Huffy Bicycle Company
InteliSpend Prepaid Solutions
Keystone Incentives LLC
Lands' End
Performance Plus Marketing
Premium Incentive Products
Reaf Marketing
Red Robin
Rymax Marketing Services
Sharp Incentives
Spafinder Wellness Inc.
Taco Bell
Brinkmann Corporation, The
Triumph Sports USA
Value Pay Services (aka Subway)
Vera Bradley
Vornado Air
Yankee Candle Co., The

Bronze ($50-$99)
Eagle Claw
LGK Sales

Save the Date
2015 IMA Summit | July 26-28 | Nashville, TN

2015 Summit Logo

Interested in 2015 IMEX Show? Let us know now!

The 2014 IMEX show was a huge success for IMA booth partners. Collectively we had 217 pre-scheduled appointments, a 30% increase over the 2013 show.  The show itself set new records in attendance with 10,354 participants, coming from over 150 countries. The number of prescheduled appointments for all exhibitors had a 6% increase over last year. Each of IMA’s booth partners was able to schedule their own appointments and connect with face-to-face meetings with hosted buyers.  The new IMA booth design was also bigger and better than last year.  The good news is IMEX is keeping their fees the same for 2015, so IMA will not have to increase its rate to partners either.  We are trying to get an idea of the number of companies interested so that we can assess the size of the booth space we will need.  If you would like to commit early to secure your spot please email Julie Weldon at We would also encourage our IGCC members to consider attending this show. If we can get enough interest we could have a gift card booth and a merchandise booth. The price per partner will be $7,000 (all inclusive), a deposit of $1,000 by April 1, 2015 will secure your spot for next October. The balance will be due by September 1, 2015. The dates for next year are October 13-15, in Las Vegas.

Trade Shows Calendar

  • CES- Consumer Electronics Show
    January 6-9, 2015, Convention Center and World Trade Center, Las Vegas, NV

  • ASI Show Orlando- Advertising Specialty Institute
    January 4-6, 2015, Orange County Convention Center, Orlando, FL

  • PPAI
    January 13-15, 2015, Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas

    January 20-23, 2015, Sands Expo Center, Las Vegas, NV

  • PGA Merchandise Show- Professional Golfers Association Merchandise Show
    January 21-23, 2015, Orange County Convention Center, Orlando, FL

Click here for more dates.

Incentive Marketing Association
9700 W Bryn Mawr Avenue, Suite 210 | Rosemont, IL 60018 | P: 847.447.1082