Meetings & Conventions: Incentive News
PLANNERS CANCEL PROGRAMS OR SEEK ALTERNATIVES
Is Travel Still an Incentive?
n the new post-Sept. 11 world, the incentive
industry, like most other areas in the meetings and travel realm,
is reeling. Most programs scheduled through the end of September
were canceled, and future programs, including those with contests
still in progress, are being carefully evaluated.
In the weeks following the attacks, “Many planners were looking
into chartering planes and designing programs to destinations that
winners could get to by motor coach or train,” said a spokesperson
for the Society of Incentive & Travel Executives, based in New
Debbie Rohlman, corporate vice president, group services, for
Fenton, Mo.-based Maritz Inc., reported many clients have been
inquiring about contracts, cancellation fees and the possibility of
postponing trips. “Now they are communicating with their incentive
winners as to what they want to do; it’s a personal decision, and
there is still so much uncertainty,” she said.
“This is not the same as the Gulf War, where our clients were
flooding Hawaii and the Caribbean instead of going overseas,”
Rohlman added. Domestic sites are faring as poorly as overseas
areas, she said.
Patti Roscoe, chair of San Diego-based PRA Destination
Management, said that many companies scheduled to hold meetings and
events this year were postponing or rebooking them for 2002. Some
clients, she said, are interested in bus and train options for
A planner for a New England-based bank, who asked not to be
identified, had her incentive house come up with a domestic
destination, accessible by luxury motor coach, as a “just in case”
alternative to the program that had been scheduled for France for
next summer. The incentive house designed an upscale program in
Palm Beach, Fla., and the planner was calling qualifiers at press
time to ask which reward they would prefer.
• Edited by Lisa Grimaldi
Back to Incentive
NewslineM&C Home PageCurrent Issue
| Meetings Market ReportEditorial Libraries
| Reader Survey
| Contact M&C