by Lisa Grimaldi | November 01, 2008

Concerns about the economy led firms to revise their incentive programs even before the recent Wall Street meltdown, according to a survey conducted by the New York City-based Incentive Research Foundation. The online poll of 80 incentive professionals took place in late summer.

Eighty-one percent of respondents said the economy had a negative impact on their ability to plan travel programs, while slightly less than half (48 percent) said it negatively affected merchandise programs.

When asked about specific cuts, 56 percent said the total number of qualifiers had been reduced; the same number cited cuts in their awards budgets. Forty-eight percent reported cutbacks in on-site gifts during programs, while 38 percent said their communications budgets had been trimmed.