Incentive - May 2009 - (Page 24)

ROUNDTABLE PARTICIPANTS Fay Beauchine, President, Engagement and Events, Carlson Marketing Incentive House Roundtable Moderated by Leo Jakobson In mid-April, as the anti-incentive mood of the country began to wane after a White House meeting between President Obama and incentive and hospitality industry leaders, Incentive gathered five leading voices from incentive providers large and small for a telephone roundtable on the state of the industry and the way forward. What follows are excerpts from that conversation. The full transcript is available at Dennis Borst, President and COO, Patriot Marketing Group Chris Gaia, Vice President of Marketing, Maritz Travel ■ Leo Jakobson: What are you hearing now from clients? What are you seeing in terms of business? Have we turned the corner? Q ness, but it feels very different in the last, I would say, 10 days, from what it felt like in early March and of course in February. 2010 activity is very brisk. The question is whether 2009 will be wobbly or not, but I think the worst is over. Chris Gaia: We certainly have seen cancellations slow, specifically around incentive travel programs. We have not seen a real uptick yet in terms of people rebooking or putting stuff back on the books for 2009. We are having more conversations with clients that canceled everything, in a sort of knee-jerk reaction, back in January and February when all the stuff started hitting the fan. They are now coming back and saying, “That was probably not a very good idea. How are we going to reward and recognize and keep these folks motivated and keep them engaged?” Barry LaBov: What my company is seeing is that the worst is over and that there is a slow improvement, although it is nothing to do backflips over, because many of the companies that we work with, while they are doing fairly well, are very, very conservative and cautious. I am also seeing a little less of an emotional response than we saw from clients the first four months or so of this dramatic recession, where there were a lot of knee-jerk reactions. However, I do believe that we are going to see still a low level of activity compared to what we have expected in the past. We are seeing an uptick in Barry LaBov, President, LaBov & Beyond Marketing Communications Bob Miller, President and COO, Excellence In Motivation (EIM) Fay Beauchine: I think the worst is over. Congress is now saying good things about [business] travel. We see a loosening up. It manifests itself in the form of more requests for proposals finally coming out—big ones and little ones together, and people making decisions on [programs scheduled for] the fourth quarter [of 2009] that were previously withheld. I cannot say it is a booming change, but it feels gradual and healthy. You will see how much of it manifests itself into real busi- 24 | Incentive | May 2009 |

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Incentive - May 2009

Incentive - May 2009
Editor’s Note
Cover Story
Incentive House Roundtable
Incentive Strategies
Travel News
Up and Coming Destinations
Florida Beaches
Marvelous Mexico
Size and Style Matter in Luggage, Leather
Dining Gift Cards
Gift Cards Aid Archdiocese’s Wellness

Incentive - May 2009