by Jonathan Vatner | December 01, 2006

Venice-bound groups will applaud the opening of the 380-room Hilton Molino Stucky Venice. The neo-Gothic luxury hotel, being created out of the remnants of a 19th-century flour mill, will debut in mid-2007 with a 6,400-square-foot spa and more than 20,000 square feet of meeting space, including a 10,000-square-foot ballroom.

The Forum for people performance management and measurement at Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill., unveiled a study of an incentive program at a Midwestern financial services company that showed sales increased by $180,000 during the incentive period, versus a cost of $164,000 for the program. The real benefit of the incentive, the study found, was in the sustained sales uptick after the program had concluded, rather than during the program.

The Society of incentive and travel executives has unveiled an online request-for-proposal service at The search engine narrows down the 2,000 incentive professionals in the database to a manageable number before the RFP is sent out.