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A monthly member communication of the Incentive Marketing Association.

January 2015

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

Thank You to our 2015 Education Foundation Sponsors

Platinum Sponsors

Diamond Sponsor

Emerald Sponsors
O.C. Tanner

Sapphire Sponsors
Top Brands

Education Sponsor
Rymax, Inc.

IMA Welcomes New Members

Join IMA in welcoming your newest association colleagues.

(New Member Individual)
Terri Jones

(New Member Company)

(New Member Individual)
Brett Cutler

(New Member Company)
Stefanie Franke

(New Member Individual)
Mark Rue

(New Member Company)
Jonathan Krieger


Letter From the IMA President, Rick Low


As in Billions. Fairly recent studies have valued the incentive channel between $76 to $115 BILLION dollars. That is larger than some pretty well-known companies, like eBay, LinkedIn, Carmax, Best Buy and Target. WE are not an insignificant channel of trade as Marc Matthews from the ITC reminds us this month. Marc’s column offers insight into another one of the IMA special interest groups.

The ITC represents an important piece of the reward and recognition puzzle. Incentive travel is rebounding and growing. Marc reminds us that many travel experiences include the use of merchandise and gift cards in their programs to reinforce the impact of the programs. An opportunity for SIGs and members to collaborate in the use of incentives.

As you read and learn more about one of the IMA's smaller SIGs by membership, realize the enormous impact they can have. Can you name an ITC member? Are you hopefully supporting fellow IMA member companies? (The February IMA Board Meeting will be held at an ITC member property.)

I hope you have a great start to the New Year and that 2015 is remarkable for all of us.

Rick Low
Citizen Watch Company of America, Inc.

Incentive Travel Council

Incentive Travel Council

By Marc Matthews, Incentive Travel Council President

Thank you Rick Low and the IMA Board for allowing me the opportunity to introduce the Incentive Travel Council SIG to the IMA Membership and explain a little about what we do. The Incentive Travel Council is made up of organizations that specialize in providing all facets of travel and experiential rewards to the Incentive Industry. ITC member companies include hotel chains, vacation timeshare and Bed & Breakfast booking engines, car rental companies, and companies responsible for providing golf and other experiential travel packages. Incentive travel – whether in the form of group travel, individual travel, or a special motivational event – is unlike other reward and recognition programs in that incentive travel often creates experiences that individuals would be unable to duplicate on their own. These positive experiences create lasting memories that reinforce the behavior or effort initially expended to earn the reward.

This past summer at the IMA Executive Summit in Philadelphia I was lucky enough to host a panel discussion titled “Increase Revenue by Creating a Secondary Market Vertical.”  The theme of the session was how IMA members might increase corporate revenue and profits by collaborating with other members and diversifying by adding a mix of merchandise, gift cards and travel incentives to their current service or product offerings. In preparing the presentation I learned several interesting facts that I would like to share with you:

  1. 74% of U.S. businesses use a mixture of non-cash rewards to recognize and reward key audiences in the form of incentive travel, merchandise, or gift cards, spending a total of $77 billion annually.
  2. 98% of businesses running non-cash programs spend $54.4 billion each year solely on merchandise or gift cards
  3. 46% of businesses running non-cash programs spend $22.5 billion annually on incentive travel awards
  4. The use of incentive travel, merchandise and gift card differs across program types but all program types use all three types of non-cash rewards.

The bottom line of the research was that procurement departments are now being pressed to create deeper, more innovative partnerships and to use current resources and relationships to create ever increasing and on-going cost-savings and value. The trend is toward an incentive vendor’s complete value proposition by offering a mix of product and services. On a personal note I must mention that my company, Corporate Sport Incentives, constantly uses a blend of gift cards and merchandise to round out our experiential travel programs. I would urge the entire IMA membership to develop and strengthen as many strategic partner relationships as possible with members of other SIG’s as a way of 1) creating greater value for their individual clients and 2) creating a possible new market vertical into which they may sell their product or service.

It is in this spirit of collaboration that I would like to invite any and all IMA members to consider membership in the Incentive Travel Council.  I would urge you to take a look at our membership as a resource for creating and fostering the invaluable strategic relationships necessary to diversify or as a possible outlet for your current product or service offerings.

Kindest regards-

Marc Matthews

Marc Matthews
Corporate Sport Incentives, President
2014 - 2015 ITC President

Congratulations to the 2015 ITC Board of Directors

  • President, Marc Matthews, Corporate Sport Incentives
  • Executive Vice President, Robert Ward, Fairmont-Raffles-Swissôtel Hotels & Resorts
  • Vice President, Michael Upp, Mitch-Stuart, Inc.
  • Secretary, Lauren Hackett, Hyatt Hotel Corporation
  • Don Killingback, Member-at-Large, Endless Vacation Rentals
  • Nancy Alderman, Member-at-Large, TSYS Loyalty & Prepaid
  • Michael Hart, Member-at-Large, Breakaway Loyalty, Inc.

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

Call for Presenters
2015 IMA Summit | July 26-28 | Nashville, TN

2015 Summit Logo

Can you or a colleague offer expertise on topics relevant to other IMA members? If yes, please take this opportunity to submit a proposal for the 2015 IMA Summit in July. We are looking for topics that are either directly relevant to our industry as a whole or to a specific product, service or SIG, or general business topics that our members would find relevant and useful. Click here to make a submission.

IMA-Europe - February Meeting in Dublin

The General Post Office, O'Connell Street, Dublin, Ireland
26 Feb 2015, 2pm - 7pm

We are delighted to announce our next meeting will take place at the General Post Office in Dublin as guests of One4All. The GPO building is the headquarters of the Irish Post Office, An Post, and one of Dublin's most iconic and famous landmarks as it featured during the Easter Rising of 1916 as the headquarters of the uprising's leaders. The meeting will include leading Irish performance improvement businesses talking about their market as well as updates from other industry leaders from the rest of Europe. At 5pm there will be an informal drinks reception in an interesting setting.

Click here to book your place.

Trade Show Calendar

Click here for more dates.

Incentive Marketing Association
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