A monthly member communication of the Incentive Marketing Association.
In this Issue:
I Know Somebody In The Business!
A few things happened in the last month that helped me to more deeply appreciate being a member of the IMA. At the invitation of AMPRO (the Meeting Planner/Ad Specialty/Incentive Association of Brazil) I spoke about the latest trends in the incentive marketplace. I did this last year as well and at both meetings found the professionals attending the conference to be very insightful, and receptive to my message, even though it was being delivered United Nations-style via a simultaneous Portuguese interpretation heard through headphones. I also noticed a higher level of general audience awareness and interest in the incentive marketplace, and in considering membership in IMA.
Cristiano Miano, a very dedicated member of the IMA Board of Directors who lives in Sao Paulo and is also on the board of AMPRO had reached out to IMA for a speaker, and it turned out that I was available. I was accompanied by my son David, who is certified to teach the Principles of Result Based Incentive Programs course. This was the first time the course was presented outside of the U.S., and to a Portuguese audience. I am pleased to announce that upon completion of the examination, IMA now has 17 new certified Incentive Professionals!
All of this happened as the result of our IMA community working together to promote the message of the efficacy and sound business results that arise from well-designed incentive programs. Brian Dunne, president of the European Chapter of IMA, provided a brilliant presentation that meant a great deal to this group of Brazilians. His remarks spoke to IMA’s scope and vision, including entire markets outside of the US. Generous suggestions and guidance from people like Michelle Smith, and hours of translation services by Cristiano Miano, elevated our participation in the AMPRO meeting from satisfactory to a great success. I also thank the investment of the IMA and the SIGs for the studies produced by our good friends at the Incentive Research Foundation, and the benchmark incentive market study commissioned by the Incentive Federation, of which IMA is a principal member.
Another exciting moment for me happened earlier this month. The IMA Board of Directors held its quarterly board meeting in Chicago. Most of our meetings last one day, but once a year we schedule a day-and-a-half meeting to review the budget and other time-consuming tasks. This year Hurricane Matthew was moving across Haiti, and heading for the East coast as the meeting convened. Amidst cancelled flights, and a genuine maelstrom of weather, most of our group got to Chicago. Many who couldn’t get to us in Chicago called in for the meeting, including IMA Treasurer Ted Moravec. Ted conducted the financial review and budget planning session over the phone after boarding up his house in preparation for the storm. This diverse crowd did something else as well as I’ve ever seen it done. They all worked together. Aware that some members needed to get back to their homes, and that others might be without electricity or phone service for the second day of the meeting, our group zeroed in on what needed to be accomplished. With no neglect to any topic on the agenda, we finished the two-day agenda by the end of day one. All agreed to stay after adjournment was scheduled to accomplish this minor miracle. I am proud of these women and men that made this possible, and the terrific support of our Executive Director, Karen Wesloh, who had everything lined up in a manner that made this feat possible.
Rolled up together all of these moments speak to the level of commitment and the comprehensive knowledge base the combined IMA membership offers. I encourage IMA members to take full advantage of this wealth of industry expertise and solutions choices by joining additional SIGs. You’ll not only expand your knowledge, you’ll discover new networks and new friendships too!
When I lived in New York City years ago, I had a friend named Frank who lived in my building. Frank’s answer to almost any need was, “I know a guy”. The kicker was, he did. From the person who was good at fixing window air conditioners, to the lady who could book a pianist, Frank could either take care of the problem, or put me together with someone who could. In the incentive industry, complex and sprawling as it is, you have the opportunity to do what Frank did so well─ reach out to your IMA community. By getting to know the members of your IMA community better and understanding their expertise it will help you more quickly take advantage of opportunities or solve problems. Take the first step to getting to know your IMA community. Make time to volunteer. Contact the IMA office to let the staff know you’re available to work on a committee or task force. It’s not just that you can make a significant contribution, which you undoubtedly can. You can enhance your industry knowledge and ability to produce positive, lucrative business performance by expanding your network of contacts and resources beyond your current constraints.
I look forward to “seeing” you on a committee call!
Charity Campaign: Ronald McDonald House Charities
We are down to the last few months of 2016 and our 2016 charity campaign supporting Ronald McDonald House Charities! We are becoming closer to our goal of raising $50,000 and are counting on you to help make that happen!
Our efforts and contributions have been recognized by Trade Show News Network in an article, Corporate Social Responsibility, Community Service and Trade Shows. The piece covers how each SIG of IMA has taken charge of raising funds.
IMRA's recent conference featured a speech from the executive director of the local New Orleans Ronald McDonald House. After their speech, an audience member came up to him and handed her a check for $1,000, which was in addition to the money raised through the silent auction!
IMA New Members
Please welcome our new IMA members:
New Primary Member
Affiliate Member (Company Change)
New IMA Membership Brochure is Helpful Marketing Tool
The Membership Recruitment and Engagement Task Force have created a new IMA Membership Brochure.
IMRA Marketing Conference Recap
Another successful year for IMRA's annual marketing conference. Some highlights included:
Save the Date for the 2017 IMRA Marketing Conference:
If you read the President’s Letter above you are aware that our membership is a tremendous source if wisdom and data. The IMA is preparing an introductory training for promotional product professionals and would appreciate you sharing any “translations” of terms, phraseology or business relationships between the two industries. The goal is to produce an overview that will support a new solution provider coming into the incentive marketplace from the promotional product world to better understand the terminology they need to know to converse with IMA members, as well as procedural differences in how orders are placed and delivered to their end clients.
The branded notebooks and logo-bearing pens of yesterday's events are on the decline-today's corporate gifting culture is all about personalizing the experience.