October 2010

Background and Survey Purpose

Beginning in August 2008 it was decided that an appropriate topic for the 2008 Pulse Survey would be an incentive industry trends outlook for 2009 and with the continued economic conditions, also an appropriate topic for the trends outlook for 2011.

Given that the Incentive Research Foundation (IRF) is charged with advancing the science of incentives, it surveyed industry professionals to obtain their opinions about the more salient trends affecting the industry during 2011.

To this end, the IRF asked these professionals questions on trends with regard to incentive travel programs, merchandise non-cash programs, and budget changes forecast for 2011.

In addition to the current topic on industry trends, the IRF tracks core issues of continuing interest to the industry:

  • The extent to which company financial forecasts influence incentive programs;
  • The effect of competitor reactions on company incentive programs; and
  • Sensitivity to others’ perceptions of company incentive programs.

Research Methods

Invitations to participate in this online survey were sent to 2187 incentive providers, suppliers to the industry and corporate incentive travel buyers.

The 130 survey participants can be categorized as follows...

  • Provider (e.g., incentive company) (60.0%)
  • Corporate incentive travel buyer (16.2%)
  • Supplier, (e.g., hotelier) (11.5%)
  • Other (12.3%)
  • …and represents, after undeliverable emails and out of office adjustments are made, a response rate of 7%

Data collection was conducted September 13th through September 30th, 2010.

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