U.S. Economy Boost From Motivation Initiatives

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<p><strong>New York &mdash; Oct. 1</strong><br />The total market for incentive travel, motivational meetings and special events was $77.1 billion in 2006, according to the 2007 Industry Profile Study, “The Market for Incentive Travel, Motivational Meetings and Special Events in the United States,” recently released by the Incentive Research Foundation. </p><p>According to the study, 66 percent of companies in the United States used one or more of these business initiatives in 2006 with $13.4 billion spent on incentive travel, $25.9 billion spent on motivational meetings and $37.8 billion spent on special events. </p><p>The study was conducted by GfK, an international market research company, and funded by the Incentive Research Foundation (IRF).</p><p>&ldquo;These numbers indicate that incentive travel, motivational meetings and special events are valued far more than we ever imagined,&rdquo; said Bob Dawson, CITE, which facilitated the study on behalf of the IRF. &ldquo;While in the past they may have been given basic &lsquo;perk&rsquo; status, they are now viewed as effective business tools that play a major role &mdash; a $77 billion role &mdash;  in all kinds of organizations. And they play a significant role in the U.S. economy.&rdquo;   </p><p>The study revealed 10 percent of large and small companies combined used incentive travel in 2006, 50 percent used motivational meetings and 55 percent used special events. </p><p>Large companies are proportionately bigger users &mdash; 23 percent used incentive travel, 61 percent motivational meetings and 81 percent used special events.</p><p>The study defines incentive travel as a management tool that uses an exceptional travel experience to motivate and/or recognize participants for superior performance in support of organizational goals. </p><p>Motivational meetings are those that encompass any perceived motivational element. They include recreation, motivational speeches, awards and team-building activities. Attendance at these meetings is expected as part of the participant&rsquo;s position in the company, not as a reward. </p><p>Special events are defined as stand-alone events that encompass a range of activities, including business meetings, conferences, sales meetings, product road shows, product launches and social customer gatherings.</p><p>Other key findings:</p><ul><li>Average budget for incentive travel programs was $164,271, motivational meetings was $68,330 and special events was $78,029.</li><li>The most common objectives for incentive travel were motivate incremental sales, maintain high morale and improve productivity.  </li><li>More than half of the respondents from large companies believe spending on incentive travel will go up over the next two years, and 37 percent are confident their budgets will stay the same.  </li><li>More than a third of large companies state that the budget for motivational meetings has increased over the past two years, and 41 percent say budgets have remained the same.</li><li>On average, large companies sponsored more than 90 special events each in 2006. Four in 10 companies sponsored 11 to 50 special events last year.</li><li>Four in 10 large companies state that the budget for special events has increased over the past two years, and 44 percent say budgets have remained the same. <br /></li></ul><p>The 2007 Industry Profile Study was conducted by GfK, the fourth-largest marketing research organization in the world. </p><p>This comprehensive study used several methods to define and gain insights into the size and scope of the incentive, motivation meeting and special events market in the United States. </p><p>Focus groups with corporate decision makers, interviews of key industry stakeholders, telephone surveys with end-users and online surveys for company executives that provide these services were some of the research methods used in this study.  </p>

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