Travel budgets across most corporations have taken a beating but the Chicago-based Society of Incentive & Travel Executives (SITE) had some exceptional incentive programs to choose from for its annual Crystal Awards. Although client budgets and venue sizes were taken into heavier consideration, design, promotion and delivery were still used as criteria for judging the best incentive, motivation and promotion campaigns using travel as a key component. Below, PROMO recaps the first-place winners honored last September at the 2002 Motivation Show in Chicago.
Company: Saab Cars USA, Norcross, GA
Agent: USMotivation, Atlanta
Faced with a tough economic client, Saab Cars USA knew it needed a special kick for its ongoing Genuine Advantage program to motivate dealers. USMotivation set up The Genuine Advantage Plus 3: Go For 3, Cruise with 5% plan, which challenged dealers to surpass sales quotas.
Using the American Express Persona Select debit cards, winners redeemed awards within a range of businesses selected by Saab. Dealers who exceeded their baseline quota by 3 percent earned debit cards; 5 percent scored travel aboard a Royal Caribbean cruise ship. Frequent direct mail, strong branding and performance tracking kept the program top of mind. At program’s end, Saab increased the number of winners by 4 percent from the third to fourth quarter, while increasing customer satisfaction ratings and strengthening dealer relationships.
Company: Diebold, North Canton, OH
Motivating performance for a repeat destination takes a little extra work. Diebold, an electronic security and automated banking system company, worked with USMotivation to develop and implement the 2001 Master’s Circle program, which motivates its top echelon performers with a Master’s Circle incentive trip. This year, USMotivation used a theme called the Land of the Conquistadores to build on its Windows to the World umbrella program, kicking it off with an interactive CD with an antique map that encouraged employees to chart their course to the Master’s Circle and trip to Puerto Rico. The conquistador theme was carried through to onsite and post-event communications, including a photo kiosk to email photographs back home. Post-trip, all attendees received photo CDs and three custom videos that highlighted the award ceremony. Attendance surpassed all previous programs and generated 41 percent more winners than the pervious years. Diebold’s market capitalization grew by 24 percent.
Company: Compaq Asia Pacific, Singapore
Agent: The Extra Mile Co., Auckland, New Zealand
Looking to create a regional incentive program to unify its South East Asian resellers, Compaq Asia turned to The Extra Mile Co. to build a program that would consolidate communications across multiple cultures, spanning 12 languages and eight time zones. Realizing that a soft economy and market speculation regarding the Compaq/HP merger could soften sales, a Compaq community Gold Rush sales incentive program was launched to reward sales people who met their targets in a number of categories. Because of its cachet in Asia, gold was used as the motivator. Participants registered online, where their performance and reward potential was tracked; they then received personalized motivational messages. A launch brochure in Korean, English and Thai included a Solid Gold Hits CD. Compaq reported achieving all of if its established goals and inspiring high levels of participation across the region.
Company: Verizon, New York City
Agent: MotivAction, Minneapolis
In order to best serve its growing base of Hispanic customers, Verizon called on MotivAction to develop a relationship-marketing program built around the group’s primary interests: education, job enrichment, standard of living, personal safety and security. The two companies teamed to produce La Voz magazine, distributed quarterly to Hispanic customers. The magazine’s content explored education and career development with cultural insights. Seventy-five percent of customers cited it as an important factor in their loyalty to Verizon. La Voz has become the second largest Spanish specialty magazine in the U.S. with a distribution growing from 80,000 to 450,000 with the spring 2002 issue. Plus, 75 percent of customers plan on remaining with Verizon for long distance service.
Company: SSL Healthcare, Bologna, Italy
Agent: Condor Travel, Lima, Peru
When Condor Travel was asked to create a trip for SSL Healthcare that would stay in the memories of participants for a long time to come, they decided to go with a program that encompassed jungles, mountains and beaches. For the pharmaceutical company’s Italian resellers, Condor set up a trip to Peru that included pristine nature, unique archaeology, local history and traditions. Some 280 registered for the Selva Sierra Litoral trip. The number was higher than anticipated, and Condor, which wanted to ensure that each guest’s experience was unique, divided the travelers into groups of 40; this allowed each participant to enjoy a more intimate experience of Peruvian culture. The trip brought guests through five destinations — from highest to lowest altitude and from the most basic to the most luxurious accommodations — over the course of 14 days. SSL reported that their end result was a “loyal family” of clients who now share more than a profession.
Company: Viacom Television Stations Group
Agent: Incentive Travel, LLC, San Diego
It’s one thing to get TV network advertisers to spend more money, it’s another to find an incentive program that will impress the well-traveled group. Viacom Television Stations Group recruited Incentive Travel, LLC, to motivate CBS and UPN TV stations’ top advertisers to increase their budgets and expenditures. The strategy: dangle a themed trip to Gleneagles, Scotland that broadcast competitors could not match. Approximately 400 guests were transported to a world-class resort where they could enjoy all of the amenities reserved for Scottish gentry including golf, falconry and hunting. A Scottish bagpiper played in the halls to announce dinner where a Braveheart-themed meal was served by men in traditional kilts and women in Scottish sashes. The trip generated an 18 percent increase in advertising revenue.
Company: Citrix Systems, Inc., Ft. Lauderdale, FL
Agent: Sunbelt Motivation & Travel, Inc., Dallas
Each year, Citrix Systems organizes an incentive trip for its top salespeople that lets the winners make their own choice of restaurants at which to dine with their guests. However, attendees voiced complaints that the awards program at the dinner was too long and that there was little interaction with co-workers from outside their own region.
So, for the President’s Club 2001 program, Sunbelt Motivation & Travel, Inc., worked with 35 food and beverage staffers from the Hilton Waikoloa in Hawaii to stage cook-offs for the participants. Guests were randomly broken into 20-person teams to work with hotel chefs and judges to compete for the highest scores in food preparation, presentation, team spirit and enthusiasm. Regional executives recognized the special achievements of MVPs in a more personalized environment than a big awards dinner. Citrix said that the event was a success and combined networking and teamwork.