The Incentive Research Foundation (IRF) and Corporate Meetings & Incentives (CMI) have announced the results of their joint 2011 Incentive Trends Survey. The survey reveals that, while the marketplace is slowly improving, incentive planners and professionals are still faced with significant budget cuts.
Compared to 2009, incentive planners have seen incentive program budgets grow in 2010, and expect a slight increase in spending in 2011. 2010 also saw a lot of cancelled programs, and, for some, it seems that tendency will continue in 2011.
Pressure to reduce incentive program spending still prevails, and companies are finding various ways to deliver the same quality. Rather than compromising reward quality, survey respondents indicate that they typically achieve this by reducing program size.
Other ways of reducing incentive program spending include: reducing the number of offered gift rewards, shortening program duration, using domestic locations and properties within driving distance as well as reducing sponsored trip activities and number of participants.
And while planners are finding various ways to reduce spending, how are attendees responding to the changes in the marketplace? Based on the feedback planners have received, attendees generally seem understanding - the majority is either “grateful just to be having a trip” or have remained “as positive as in past years”, while a quarter of attendees said they “are getting used to a lower level of service and amenities.”
A more detailed summary of the survey findings can be found here.