Educaation Blast Header
A monthly member communication of the Incentive Marketing Association.

May 2015

In this Issue

President's Message

We want to know why you joined IMA

Member Spotlight

2015 IMA Summit

IMEX America

Incentive Buyers Conference

HR Employees Benefits Summit

Special Marketing Opportunity for IGCC Members

Event/Trade Show Calender

IMA Welcomes New Members

Your 2015 Summit Sponsors

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 Sponsors


Emerald Sponsors
O.C. Tanner

Sapphire Sponsors
Above Target
Top Brands

Education Sponsor
Rymax, Inc.

IMA Welcomes New Members

Join IMA in welcoming your newest association colleagues.

(New Member Company)
Andy Byham

(New Member Company)
Thomas Ochoa

Dave Peer


Jennifer Porras

(New Member Company)
David Alwan

(New Member Company)
Rob Keith

Jill Whalen

Todd Tomlin

Joe Reinberg

(New Member Company)
Marilyn Cavanaugh

Cassie Moore

(New Member Company)
Terry Manion

Thank You to our 2015 Executive Summit Sponsors




















Letter From the IMA President, Rick Low

One of our major focuses this year is membership. The Membership Task Force is re-evaluating our value beginning with a short survey about how you feel about being an IMA member.  Please take a few minutes and help the team with your input. This will go a long way toward insuring IMA is delivering value to you and future members.

Just Do It.     
Got Milk?      
Where’s the Beef?    
Happy Employee - Happy Customer

Iconic taglines that each of us immediately recognizes - the message as well as the brand. 

In addition to the internal member focus, IMA is continuing the re-branding process so we are well positioned to be identified as the recognized source for incentives. IMA is quickly becoming the incentive marketplace - a source for research and rewards from gift cards to travel to merchandise. Rewards and recognition, when properly presented in a structured program, result in improved performance.

There are numerous articles that state the obvious: more engaged employees are more productive and contribute to the bottom line. We have all had the negative customer service experience at the hands of a disgruntled or unappreciated employee.  And then we recall the positive experiences, and it would not surprise us to learn those employees are rewarded and recognized in a variety of ways.  It is not brain surgery. Are you doing all that you can to create a positive environment?

Are you practicing what you preach? Do you reward your employees?  I would like to know what companies in our space are doing for their own employee. We should be setting the example for our customers to follow. I look forward to highlighting some of these real world examples in future Fast Takes.

I hope your summer has started well. Our best wishes to those in the Midwest struggling with the unpredictability of Mother Nature. Stay Safe.

See you in Nashville.

Rick Low
Citizen Watch Company of America, Inc.

We want to know why YOU joined IMA!

The benefits of being an IMA member are many, but we know that each member joins for their own specific reasons, so we want to know why you joined IMA! What made you join? What keeps you renewing year after year? What benefits do you find most valuable? What benefits can IMA offer that it currently isn’t?

IMA is constantly re-evaluating our value proposition to our members to ensure we are staying relevant in the industry and providing our members with benefits they value. Please take a moment to provide your feedback or testimonial on your IMA membership experience. Your input is of utmost importance and is the basis of what will drive our value proposition moving forward.

Tell us Why You Joined IMA!

IMA Member Spotlight

Meet Robert Ward, CPIM
Director of Sales, Ovation Rewards for FRHI


Robert Ward has been in the hotel industry for 30 years and the incentive industry for over 20 years. Having worked for FRHI Hotels & Resorts the past 15 years, Rob has also worked at Ritz-Carlton, Hyatt and Starwood.  He currently is the Director of Sales, Ovation Rewards for FRHI which is their individual incentive stay program as well as being responsible for all corporate transactions for the Fairmont, Swissôtel and Raffles gift card programs.

Robert has been attending the IMA Summit for over 10 years.  As the IP and CPIM programs were first introduced by IMA, he was one of the first to attain the IP status. Next step was the CPIM Certification.

“Having been in the industry so long, I was surprised by how much I learned during the certification program.” Ward said. “I was also surprised by how timely the course was in terms of both new information and reviewing information I had learned long ago and tucked away.”

Robert has found the CPIM is great for business. It has led many clients to ask specifically what the initials stand for when they receive correspondence and allows him the opportunity to explain all of the steps needed to achieve the certification, separating him from the crowd in terms of professional development.

Robert has long been a leader in the industry, and in IMA. In addition to serving as a past Director on the IMA Board, Rob has also served in the follow capacities:

  • Incentive Travel Council, Board of Directors, Founding Member
  • Association Management Review Task Force Member
  • IMA Summit Committee (twice)
  • IMA Summit Panelist
  • Incentive Gift Card Council
  • Canadian Travel Council (past)

2015 IMA Summit | July 26-28 | Nashville, TN

Summit Logo

Registration is open.

Early Bird Registration ends June 5,
so don’t hesitate!

Register now!

Can you believe it? Less than 60 days until the IMA Event of the year begins!

As things begin to shape up around this year’s IMA Executive Summit, the excitement continues to build. From our opening reception, hosted by Target, to our highly acclaimed keynote speaker, Max Weinberg, to our totally revamped educational sessions, to our blockbuster Monday night networking dinner and entertainment event hosted by the IGCC and Cracker Barrel - this is one IMA Summit you do not want to miss!

The IMA Summit dances into Nashville starting July 26th. We will be at the Hilton Nashville Downtown, an all-suite hotel which is located in the heart of the Nashville action. It is a AAA 4-Diamond property with 4 restaurants and bars, 10 minutes from the airport and a short walk to some of Nashville’s best attractions: The Country Music Hall of Fame, The Bridgestone Area, the historic Ryman Auditorium, the Johnny Cash Museum and around the corner from Broadway, famous for the best country music bars in town.

Save–the-Date for an Incentive Industry Shindig!

Industry event

Actually, this is much more than a simple “save-the-date.” This is a CANNOT miss, MUST attend, industry event of the year “save-the-date.”

IGCC is hosting an Incentive Industry Shindig at this year’s IMA Executive Summit on Monday, July 27, 6:00-10:00 pm, in Music City, USA – Nashville!

Imagine incentive industry leaders reveling at the city’s #1 venue - the Wildhorse Saloon. We have booked the entire venue and will be occupying 2 floors for this private event. The event will include award-winning barbecue and a live music concert by top country artists. We are confident all Summit attendees will reflect on this memorable event for years to come!

Get Your Incentive Professional (IP) on at the Summit!

If you have been thinking about getting your Incentive Professional (IP) designation, the Summit is the place to do it. The Principles of Results-Based Incentive Program Design will be offered in a classroom style session at the Summit on Sunday July 26, from noon – 3pm, followed by a proctored exam session from 3:30 – 5pm. Upon successful completion of each of these session, you will walk away with your IP designation. Register for the course and test session online when you register for the Summit.

Summit Sponsorships Still Available

This year’s event promises to be one that is remembered for several years to come, so let your company be remembered with it by sponsoring one of the great opportunities still available. Click here for a list of available sponsorship opportunities.

See you in Nashville!  

Exhibit at IMEX in the IMA Brand Pavilion


When: October 13-15
Where: Sands Expo Center, Las Vegas, NV

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 pre-scheduled 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 in face-to-face meetings with hosted buyers. 

IMEX has extended the same exhibitor rates to IMA for 2015, so there will be no increase to members who chose to exhibit in the IMA booth. The price per partner will be $7,000 (all inclusive).

Booth space is limited to 11 partners and are going fast. To secure your spot early, please email Donna Chrobak.

Incentive Buyers Conference


Once again, IMA will be partnering with the Incentive Buyers Conference to present education to conference attendees. Brought to you by INCENTIVE magazine, the Incentive Buyers Conference will take place August 16-18, 2015 at Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas, NV. IBC is a conference designed to connect key incentive suppliers with highly-active, qualified industry buyers.

Join other industry buyers from throughout the U.S. for education sessions led by the IRF and the IMA, networking activities, and face-to-face business appointments with representatives from the industry’s top suppliers to find the perfect options for your upcoming incentive programs.

IBC 2015 Features Include:

  • Education sessions, presented by IMA and the Incentive Research Foundation, that will be tailored to meet the needs of professionals managing incentive programs
  • Pre-scheduled, face-to-face appointments with suppliers of your choice
  • Networking opportunities with industry peers and supplier representatives

Click here for more information on attending or exhibiting.

HR Employee Benefits Summit

Forum Events is offering a special rate to IMA members who exhibit at the 2015 or 2016 HR Employee Benefits Summit.


Forum Events' most recent HR Summit event, held in Los Angeles, was a great success with nothing but positive feedback. This is a two-day, hosted buyer event focused on bringing buyer and vendor together. The delegates are invited but they have to meet our criteria which includes confirmation of their role in the organization, spend, services and products of interest as well projects for 2015/16. They will be primarily VP’s and Directors although C-Level delegates are also invited. Ultimately, they have to be a decision maker and in control of their budget, they will be of the highest caliber with a genuine interest in your services. They are from large corporate organizations, brand name companies and government bodies with budgets to match! All you need to do is arrive, host your pre-qualified meetings and network, it really is that simple!


September 14th – 15th at the Ritz-Carlton, New Orleans, LA
(Informal Ice Breaker Drink Reception 13th)


March 14th – 15th Philadelphia, PA 
(Informal Ice Breaker Drink Reception 13th)

What is included as a vendor:

  • Personal Appointment Schedule
  • Pre-Event (Ice Breaker) Drink Reception
  • 2 x Meet & Greet Breakfast
  • 2 x Networking Lunches including Refreshments throughout the event
  • Pre-dinner Drinks Reception
  • Gala Dinner followed by Casino Night
  • Access to 70+ Key Decision Makers (Exclusive to each event only)
  • Detailed information on each delegate attending
  • Editorial Vendor Feature in the Monthly Newsletter including case study
  • Hyperlink with your company logo from the event web-page (Value: $1,500)
  • Featured in all marketing activity including Social Media Sponsorship (Value: $1,500)

As an IMA member, you will receive a 10% discount. Click here for more information or to register for to attend. To receive your IMA member discount, reference discount code: IMA-DISC-HREBSUMMIT

Join the HR & Employee Benefits Summit Linkedin Group as well as follow the event on Twitter.

Special Marketing Opportunities for IGCC Members

PIP The May/June issue of Premium Incentive Products magazine is their Annual IGCC Gift Card Trends and Directory issue. The major feature article promotes the use of gift cards for incentives, rewards and recognition and the Directory lists all the IGCC members. It is mailed to 40,000 BPA audited subscribers, primarily end users. To view the digital issue, click PIP May/June 2015.

Sales & Marketing Management’s annual IGCC Supplement and Directory is our unique opportunity to reach senior corporate sales and marketing decision makers throughout North America, throughout the year. Every current IGCC member will be listed with complete contact information in the directory which will run in SMM’s July/August issue. IGCC is working directly with SMM to create relevant content that will be included in the supplement that will help promote gift card use to SMM’s 25,000 print and 46,000+ online subscribers. For more details, contact your Sales & Marketing Management rep or Mike at 952.401.1283. Click here for a look at our current directory.

Event/Trade Show Calendar

Click here for more dates.

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