The Incentive Research Foundation (IRF) has announced the creation of a Professional Development Series that will debut at the 2013 Rewards & Recognition Expo in conjunction with the Recognition Professionals International Annual Conference, April 28-30, 2013 at the Hilton New Orleans Riverside, and continue through the spring and summer of 2013. The program, “Building Better Business Results through Incentives and Recognition,” will consist of on-site education in New Orleans, five webinars throughout 2013 and online discussion boards.


Session 1: Sunday April 28 2:30PM – 4:00PM

R&R Means Business: A “How To” on Building the Business Case and Maintaining Program Funding

Climb into the mind of a Business Executive.  This session will teach you how to think and talk like a business executive to deliver a results-driven story that gets your program funded.  You’ll walk away with a simple template and sources for data to build the Business Case argument in favor of your Incentive and Recognition program.

Speakers:  Mike Ryan, VP Marketing and Client Strategy at Madison Performance Group and Rodger Stotz, CRO of the IRF

Learning Objectives

1)    Understand that without a strong argument, you won’t get funding

2)    Learn what elements to include in that argument (or business case)

3)    Use data (external and internal) to strengthen your case

4)    Understand the elements of thinking and talking like a business executive

5)    Identify the ancillary benefactors and key support resources in your organization

What To Expect as an Attendee

  • Gain real time feedback from group report-outs on areas of difficulty or concern and insightful takeaways along with plans for using the approach
  • Share insights on how to customize the provided template for personal business case approach 
  • Work through a check list/guide on applying the session's base principles

Session 2: Sunday April 28 4:00PM – 5:00PM

Expanding Strategic Impact : Using Reward and Recognition to Meet Cross-Organizational Needs

The mandate to do more with less doesn't just apply to incentive and recognition planners. Executive leaders across a wide variety of business disciplines are looking to improve outcomes.  In an economy that is people-driven, this represents a golden opportunity for you to add value across the enterprise. But how do you get started? Who should you approach?  What questions should you ask and what points should you make? This session will explore how incentives and recognition programs can support the strategic initiatives of Marketing, Operations, and Finance and will feature the voices of each. Attendees will come away better prepared to; serve multiple business agendas, integrate interrelated business needs into a stronger program structure and strengthen their evolving business case.

Speakers: Mike Ryan, Melissa Van Dyke, Brian Dunne, Lynn Randall

Primary Learning Objectives

1.    Understand the connection between human behavior and brand promise and values

2.    Understand how to use reward and recognition programs to facilitate change adoption

3.    Apply changing workforce dynamics to your reward and recognition efforts

4.    Understand why virtual workforces have grown in numbers and how the technology that enables them can actually stymie productivity and engagement.

What to Expect as an Attendee:

  • Opening presentation followed by an engaging, interactive “Organizational Q&A” where the moderator will ask questions of the Finance, Operations, Marketing voices represented to clarify the role of incentives/recognition in solving their challenges
  • Call to action and support tools to assist you with reaching out to a member of these teams to discuss how Incentive/Recognition can help their efforts.  Who will you reach out to first and why?

Session 3: Monday April 29 10:45AM – 11:45AM

Say That Again?:  Designing Communication Strategies that Get Results

How do notions get into our heads?  How do we capture a larger share of people’s minds? This session starts by digging into the neuroscience of communication.  By gaining a complete understanding of how the human brain absorbs and applies new information, we can do a better job with Incentive and Recognition program communications.  We’ll also discuss personalizing to the individual level – micro-targeting to individual motivational triggers.  This session also takes digital, social, and mobile trends and makes sense of how people use each of these tools to process information as well.

Primary Learning Objectives

  • Understanding why more than one communications medium is now necessary (virtual, mobile, video, print).  Communication mediums must be varied to hit all participants.
  • Uncover what these might mean to your audience
  • How to truly create a two-way dialogue
  • Understand the Implications of trends in communication exchange and their relevance for rewards and incentive program communications

o   Digital (virtual, webstreaming, etc)

o   Mobile

o   Social Media

Speaker:  Lynn Randall

What to Expect as an Attendee:

  •  Engaging presentation intermixed with Polling, Roundtable Discussions, and Q&A

Session 4: Tuesday April 30 8:00AM – 9:00AM

A Tale of Two Cities: Balancing Program Owner and Participant Needs in Award Funding and Selection

In this session we’ll attack the issue of choosing and funding the right awards from multiple angles.  The practitioner’s view takes into consideration limited budgets, expected business results and the decision criteria to help walk the tightrope between those two things.  The participant’s view explores the psychological aspects of participation in a reward or incentive program and what it takes to motivate specific behaviors.  The program owner' view will walk through the multiple levels of requirements and decision points that lead to the best outcome for your unique organization. 

Primary Learning Objectives

1.    Understanding your specific corporate and individual audience is key (for both budgeting and selection)

2.    Delivering recognition that isn’t a “thing” and emotional connection and how to meet fundamental human drives

3.    The four standards that all non cash awards must meet to be effective

4.    Industry benchmarks for award usage

Speakers:  Melissa Van Dyke, Fran Schuster

What To Expect as an Attendee:

  • A primer on the latest research
  • Decision Criteria/Practical Considerations (Tangible or Not, How big, Potential Budget Ramifications)

Session 5:  Tuesday April 30  9:00AM – 10:00AM

Wresting the Digital Lion:  How to Tame Business Challenges using Digital Solutions

The digital landscape has never been scarier and more critical to success at the same time.  Our impulse is often to bury our heads under the covers and hope this digital tidal wave washes over us.  This session flips the digital discussion from “technology’s terms” to business terms.  We look at business challenges and plug in digital solutions that solve our business problems (instead of creating more headaches).

Speaker:  Lynn Randall

Primary Learning Objectives

1.    Social Media Strategies must be integrated with reward and recognition programs

2.    Uncovering and sharing innovation

3.    Business goals and objectives enabled through technology or digital solutions

4.    Extending the recognition impact of your rewards and group incentive travel programs with digital solutions

5.    Leveraging data to improve program and demonstrate how program is achieving and supporting business objectives

What To Expect as an Attendee:

  • Experience lecture, discussion and game mechanics specifically developed for this session using data/analytics
  • Teams will take business objectives scenarios, identify digital solution to solve business challenge, and use analytics to prove program is achieving goals


Program Cost:

$275 discounted to $225 for IRF direct registrants.


Free to RPI registered attendees and hosted buyers/Sponsors of the R&R Expo.  If you will not already be attending one of these events, CLICK HERE for room reservations.