Incentive - August 2008 - (Page 10)

IN THE NEWS Building a Las Vegas Race for the Prize National Grid’s event gives a green tint to its Marketplace teambuilding By Leo Jakobson BY NATHAN ADKISSON Y Representatives from the Encore Suites Tower at Wynn Las Vegas; Photo taken by a Sony DSC-H50 s I stood on the balcony of Moon, the very hip nightclub atop The Palms in Las Vegas last week, and looked out over The Strip, one of the first things that struck me was the sheer number of cranes dotting the skyline. Whatever else is going on, the gaming industry is clearly still in the midst of a very significant building boom. That was on display throughout Incentive’s 5th annual Las Vegas Marketplace, a hosted buyer show, held July 13-15. This year’s host hotel was The Palms, which until recently was a part of that boom—its Palms Place A tower only opened in February. But as I looked out over The Strip, the second thing that struck me was how many of those cranes are right smack in the center, at MGM Mirage’s new CityCenter development—I counted 15 cranes from the balcony and 16 from a different location. In all, Las Vegas has seen and will see more than $26 billion worth of hotel and casino development in the twoyear time frame that began in 2008. Heck, even Maverick Aviation Group is planning on adding more sightseeing helicopters to its fleet. ou wouldn’t expect to find human resources people, who tend to have more experience with personnel and promotions than physics, at a car-building competition. But on June 24, 70 HR professionals from British power company National Grid gathered at the W Union Square Hotel in New York to construct and race miniature solar-powered and recycled vehicles. The excursion was organized by New Jersey–based team-building firm Impact4Good. The company plans teambuilding that incorporates social responsibility through giving back to the community and the environment. “Each program attempts to achieve three additional goals,” says Ira Almeas, president of Impact4Good. “We want to get across the content of the meeting, but also teach better communication, do a give-back and have fun.” The competition, named “Go Green Racing,” called for teams of 10 to build two cars, one using solar power, and another using recycled materials. “Tonight you are going to learn about the environment,” said Jeff Flowers, a facilitator for Impact4Good. “We will talk about the environment you live in and the environment you work in, because environment is the number-one factor in job satisfaction.” The give-back part of the program is organized through Junior Achievement, an international, New York–based company that uses corporate donations to create workforce readiness in schools. “The beneficiary this time is PS/MS 206 in Brooklyn, which is a great school we’ve been working with for a long time,” said Doug Schallau, president of Junior Achievement. “It just worked out tonight that National Grid is an energy company and the program for the school is about alternative fuel.” The school will receive funds and training for a science curriculum based on the event. Brian Varga, director of US learning and corporate events for National Grid, says that when he had to decide what type of teambuilding event to do, the Impact4Good/Junior Achievement partnership made it the clear choice. “We’re committed to the environment,” Varga says. “We’ve made a commitment to reducing our carbon emission by 80 percent by 2050. There is a real alignment with what they have to offer and our themes and corporate direction.” As with all Impact4Good events, the participant doesn’t find out about the donation until the end of the night. “We keep it a secret, and then do a reveal that money is going to the school,” Almeas says. “It’s this warm fuzzy at the end.” 10 | Incentive | August 2008 |

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Incentive - August 2008

Incentive - August 2008
Editor's Note
In the News
Cover Story: Amgen and Avnet, a Pair of Fortune 200 companies, are taking two very Different Approaches to Rolling out a Global Recognition Program
Incentive Interview: Author, Speaker, Professor, Refugee; Steve L. Robbins’ many hats have led him to ask, “What if ... The World isn’t as We Think It Is?”
Case Study: Rudi’s Organic Bakery Found that an incentive trip with a Strong Social Responsibility Component Works Wonders
Gift Card IQ
Banking on Relationships
Corporate Comics Make Serious Points
Incentive Primer: Tom Miller
Gas Incentives Rev Up
Legal Ease: Pitfalls Beyond Taxes
My Turn: Airline Frequent Flier Programs
Travel News: Where To Go and What To Do
Amalfi Coast: A Classic Italian Destination
Hong Kong: The Original Chinese Incentive
Ireland: South, East, West, and Now North
potentials Here and Now
Electronics: Top Tech Trends
Luxury Goods: Exceptional Awards
Corporate Gifting: Rules and Ideas
Excite and Incent: Spot Rewards
Advertiser Index
Off the Cuff: Hollis H. Malone

Incentive - August 2008