by Lisa A. Grimaldi | May 04, 2011

According to the preliminary results of a joint Incentive Research Foundation/Incentive Federation study of noncash award use in the United States, two-thirds of the total respondents who sponsor incentive travel programs (170 end users of incentives) include some business meeting/element in their programs. The IRF released the partial results and its latest white paper, Critical Findings for Recognition Travel Programs, , during its annual invitational event, held last week at the Aria Resort & Casino in Las Vegas. The study of a recognition travel program for nonsales employees resulted in six critical findings in the areas of employee alignment, nominations, executive support, evaluations and measurement. "One of the most interesting discoveries was the power of the nomination process itself," said Jeff Broudy, chairman of the IRF board of trustees. "Even though the program was designed to reward only 2 to 3 percent of the employees, nearly half of the potential winners indicated that they were motivated by it." More than 350 incentive industry professionals attended the invitational, which featured educational sessions, with an opening keynote by Jim Feldman, CEO of Incentive Travelers Cheque, on the future of incentive programs. The full IRF/IF survey will be released later this month; the web-based poll was conducted in March and April..