Key Trends from the 2016 Incentive Marketplace Study

Melissa Van Dyke of the Incentive Research Federation (IRF) took some time to talk about key trends that emerged in the 2016 Incentive Marketplace Study conducted by the IRF when she recently spoke with Meetings & Conventions. Here are the highlights:

  • As service related jobs increase, incentives will increase too.

Van Dyke talks about how the majority of jobs in America are service or experience related and this trend is set to continue. What is important here is that employees in these positions need to be engaged to be successful at their jobs.  To keep them engaged employers need to look beyond traditional compensation. This is why non-cash incentives have grown from being used in 26% of businesses to 84% of businesses over the last 20 years. As more and more of these jobs are created, the demand for Incentive programs will continue to increase.

  • Companies are spending more on incentive programs.

Companies are realizing there is a certain amount of money that needs to be invested in an incentive program in order to see a return. For example, there is no point in running a program with a small or non-existent communications budget. A strong communication campaign is directly correlated to the success of an Incentive.  Communication pieces are how participants learn about the program and get excited to be a part of it. If you are going to run an incentive program, it needs to be done right, and preferably by experts. The increase in spend can be seen in all areas of Incentive Travel including employees, channel partners, salespeople and customers.

For more on this please read: Interested in an All-Inclusive Trip for Two to Tahiti?

  • Programs need to change with the changing workforce.

Van Dyke talks about how Millennials surpassed Generation X in the workforce in 2015 and how that changes the way that an Incentive Travel program should be designed. Innovative technology that keeps these participants connect is now a must and experiential travel is more important than a “traditional desire for luxury brands”.

These are all trends we have been proactive in offering at JNR. With over 36 years of experience in the industry and a passion for delivering programs that are tailored to your individual needs we know that a partnership with JNR is a great fit for you!

Information based on Incentives: 3 Trends to Watch by Lisa A. Grimalidi which was published in Meetings & Conventions in September 2016.


Written by Stephanie Thomas


JNR is a full service, globally recognized leader in the incentive industry offering solutions for Meetings and Conferences, Incentive Travel, Special Events and Entertainment, Prepaid Card Services and AXS Contact Center Solutions. We have over 36 years of experience working with Fortune 500 companies across many industries. Our clients trust our comprehensive suite of solutions that offer a better way to reach performance, productivity and loyalty objectives. JNR tends to every detail of your program to ensure an extraordinary experience for your customers, employees and participants and a favorable return on your investment. We allow you to step away from the logistical details and let you focus on what you do best.