JNR INCORPORATED CELEBRATES THIRTY FIVE YEARS OF SUCCESS Global Events & Incentives

It seems like only yesterday JNR was a small, five-person enterprise owned and operated out of Las Vegas by us, Jim and LuAnn Jalet.  We were veterans of the hotel and hospitality industry who had worked together and shared a passion for quality and service. When we realized a void existed between hotels/resorts and busy clients in the managing of large-scale events, we conceived of offering a one-stop solution for incentive, event and entertainment management. That’s how it all began…

In 1980, the hours were long, the clients were few, and there was no money for additional staff.  Now, some thirty-five years later, the hours are longer, the client roster includes many of the nation’s leading corporations, and an incredible staff of 80+ keeps things moving at an energetic pace.  It has been a challenging, demanding and wonderful journey!  We are very proud of the growth we’ve achieved and recognize that our success has come from the relationships we have established with our employees, clients and suppliers.

What began with a core idea thirty-five years ago has developed into a thriving enterprise through hard work, integrity, values, careful nurturing and prudent management.  When we started JNR, we created a company where people would enjoy coming to work. One of the many reasons for the organization’s success is our belief in treating employees much like an extended family.  This philosophy has proven very effective, with the average tenure of current JNR employees being 10-15 years; several individuals have been with JNR for more than 20 years. We are very fortunate to be surrounded by extremely dedicated, knowledgeable, experienced and passionate people.  Each person on our JNR team brings something unique and valuable to our process and they exhibit a level of care and pride about their work that is refreshing, respected and appreciated. We know the strength of our organization lies in our team and we want them to know how important they are to us.  We have been able to evolve and thrive over the years through a true collaborative effort.

We value the successful partnerships and genuine lasting relationships we’ve developed throughout the years, and are fortunate to enjoy friendships that reach far beyond the business realm.

We have gained the respect of business partners around the world and our client’s say that, even in today’s highly competitive world, JNR stands alone as the one company that never compromises on quality or service, and delivers on every promise. We have always focused on our client’s needs and take the initiative to make things better by delivering exceptional programs and events, at a superb value, providing everyone with extraordinary once-in-a-lifetime memories.  We are proud of our reputation.

We express our heartfelt gratitude to everyone who has supported and believed in us.  If you work with JNR, we thank you.  If JNR is new to you, please take a look at our site and let us know how we can help you: www.jnrcorp.com

You have our assurance that your decision to work with JNR will be appreciated and one you will be pleased with.  You have our promise.

 

Thank you,

Jim & LuAnn Jalet

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JNR Incorporated is a results-based, globally recognized leader that specializes in creating custom travel, meeting, event, prepaid card and merchandise programs that motivate, engage and inspire the employees, customers and channel members of our clients. We have over 30 years of experience working with Fortune 500 companies of many diverse industries. Our programs are tailored to fit the specific needs of marketing, sales, management and human resource professionals. The unique solutions we apply are measurable and proven to increase performance, loyalty and revenues.

Technology Spotlight: Virtual Reality

It has been less than a year since Facebook acquired Oculus VR  for a staggering $2 billion and pushed virtual reality into the spotlight but, within that time, this industry has progressed and matured at an astounding rate. Oculus Rift, which is the virtual reality head-mounted display by Oculus VR, has always been focused on progressing computer games and allowing gamers to truly immerse themselves in the story.  This week at Sun Dance Film Festival we have seen virtual reality take a new direction.

Filmmakers Chris Milk and Spike Jonze presented their newest venture: Vice News. This endeavor combines virtual reality with journalism and let audience members experience a December 2014 protest in New York City concerning police brutality and place themselves in the moment with the 25,000 people who marched. Three hundred and sixty degree footage was taken and allowed the viewer, rather than the director, to be in control of the experience.

Vice News was far from the only virtual reality installment at Sun Dance. This year the New Frontier category had 12 virtual reality projects, up from just nine the year before. Even Oculus is now turning towards feature films as an additional direction to take their company. They announced Story Studio last week in Park City, a division that will be focused on creating feature films in virtual reality. They have hired Saschka Inseld, who has previously worked on Toy Story 3 and Brave, to add some Hollywood credibility to their team.

Another new direction for Oculus was announced last week when Qantas, Australia’s largest airline, said in a statement that they will start using Samsung’s virtual reality device, Gear VR, on select flights. A spokesperson for Qantas said that the technology will give the user an immersive, exciting experience.

These new developments in this industry started us thinking about how virtual reality could be adopted in the incentive travel industry. This is an interesting idea with endless possibilities. One area I would like to see virtual reality is in communication pieces. Nothing would get participants more excited about a program then giving them a taste of what they can experience. Let them escape their office for three minutes of adventure through tropics of Costa Rica or a bike ride through the French countryside to motivate them to reach their goals and earn their position on the upcoming travel program.

With big players joining the game like Microsoft with their HoloLens for holographic images and Google’s low tech version that requires a cardboard viewer, the race to capture the virtual reality market is truly heating up and we cannot wait to see the results.

By JNR Incorporated

Written by Stephanie Thomas

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JNR Incorporated is a results-based, globally recognized leader that specializes in creating custom travel, meeting, event, prepaid card and merchandise programs that motivate, engage and inspire the employees, customers and channel members of our clients. We have over 30 years of experience working with Fortune 500 companies of many diverse industries. Our programs are tailored to fit the specific needs of marketing, sales, management and human resource professionals. The unique solutions we apply are measurable and proven to increase performance, loyalty and revenues.

Photo: “Samsung Gear VR” by Maurizio Pesce  is licensed under CC By 2.0

Cuban Spotlight: Is Havana the next hotspot for Incentive Travel programs?

Seasoned travel planners are constantly on the lookout for the latest and greatest travel hotspot for Incentive Travel destinations.  Recent years have shown that since many recipients of these programs are well travelled, the expectation has shifted from a predictable vacation itinerary to an experiential journey.  With President Obama’s announcement that the U.S. and Cuba will begin taking steps to normalize their relationship, travel to The Pearl of the Antilles is suddenly on everyone’s radar.

Fun in the sun incentives remain a top choice for companies looking to motivate and reward their partners, and although planners have their choice of exotic island locations to choose from, Havana is added to the short list of locations that are easy to get to and less than 100 miles from our own coast.

With tourism to the island minimal since the 1959 Cuban Revolution and the U.S. imposed travel restrictions that followed, there are a limited number of high-end resorts and hotels for new travellers to consider.  This may work to Cuba’s advantage though, making the island even more of an exclusive destination and driving the desire to bask on the pristine beaches immensely.  The small, secluded island of Cayo Coco is already regarded as one of the best places to snorkel in the vicinity and presumably, this and a number of other resort towns in Cuba, will be met with the challenge of quickly accommodating an influx of visitors.

Cuba offers a variety of landscapes and biodiversity on the archipelago.  Although the beach towns are an obvious draw for tourists, the romantic history, rich heritage and apparent time warp of the cities are equally as enthralling.  Along with the capital city of Havana, Santiago de Cuba and Trinidad hold some of the most eye-catching glimpses of Cuban history on the island.  Cobblestone streets, colorful houses and perfectly preserved sugar mills from the turn of the century make it as though Cuba went to sleep and never woke up.  Cuba’s bounty of natural attractions, paired with some of the most ardent conservation practices in the world, make it one of the best ecotourism destinations in the Caribbean.  From the beaches of Varadero, the UNESCO Heritage Site of Cienfuegos, breathtaking waterfalls in Holguin and the lush vegetation and brilliant white sand of Guardalavaca, Cuba is sure to see tourists flock to the island that previously were unable to do so.

Although travelling to Cuba for general tourism is not yet approved by our Congress, professionals in the industry are gearing up so that when the market does fully open, they can be among the first to offer the stunning Cuban culture to their clients.  We immediately saw Delta Air Lines, United Airlines, JetBlue Airway and American Airlines publically show interest in adding regular flights to Havana.  Both MasterCard and American Express have stated that once the Obama administration lifts the ban on U.S. banks doing business there, they will happily begin accepting credit and debit card transactions from the country.   Conveniences allowing travelers to now take $10,000 with them when they travel make it easier for Incentive trips to become a viable option.

We will watch closely as this continues to unfold.  As tales of the revolution diminish in the minds of younger generations and the overwhelming charm of the Cuban culture banquets through the hearts and minds of avid travelers, the country will no doubt become the generous host that it is known to be by only a limited few today.

By JNR Incorporated

Written by Barbara Williamson

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JNR Incorporated is a results-based, globally recognized leader that specializes in creating custom travel, meeting, event, prepaid card and merchandise programs that motivate, engage and inspire the employees, customers and channel members of our clients. We have over 30 years of experience working with Fortune 500 companies of many diverse industries. Our programs are tailored to fit the specific needs of marketing, sales, management and human resource professionals. The unique solutions we apply are measurable and proven to increase performance, loyalty and revenues.

Photo: “View from our balcony” by Still Burning is licensed under CC By 2.0

Cuban Spotlight: Cuban Flan

Cuban food is truly fusion cuisine with influences from Spain, Portugal, France, Africa, the Caribbean, China and of course, Native American Taino food. Garlic, cumin, oregano and bay leaves are used along with a sauce known as sofrito that gives the Cuban food its distinct flavor.

Dinner often consists of rice and beans with meat. For dessert it is typical to see a flan or caramel-flavored custard.

Today we are sharing a traditional Cuban Flan Recipe.

Cuban Flan

Total Time:     1 hr 20 min

Prep:     20 min

Cook:    1 hr

Level:    Moderate

 

Ingredients

1 ½ cups white sugar

¼ cup water

6 medium eggs (separated)

2 cups milk

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 rind of a lemon

¼ tsp salt

1 cinnamon stick

Pastry brush

Baking dish filled with water to create a bain-marie

Flan mold (9” diameter)

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix the water and the sugar together in a small saucepan over medium heat. Allow the sugar to start melting and bring the mixture to a simmer. Wet the pastry brush and use it to wash any of the sugar from the sides of the saucepan. When the sugar mixture starts to thicken and turn brown, remove it from the heat and add a few ice cubes.

Coat the flan mold with the sugar mixture to cover the sides and bottom. Set remaining mixture aside.

In a saucepan, slowly bring the milk to a boil and add lemon rind, cinnamon stick and salt. When the mixture starts to boil, remove it from the heat and allow to cool.

In a medium mixing bowl, lightly beat the egg yolks, egg whites, vanilla extract and remaining sugar mixture.

Pour this mixture into the milk mixture and then strain into the flan mold.

Place the flan mold inside the baking dish so that the water reaches half way up the mold.

Bake in the middle rack of the oven for an hour or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Let the flan cool and then place a serving dish flat against the top of the mold and turn upside down in a fast motion.

Serve and Enjoy.

 

By JNR Incorporated

 

Written by Stephanie Thomas

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JNR Incorporated is a results-based, globally recognized leader that specializes in creating custom travel, meeting, event, prepaid card and merchandise programs that motivate, engage and inspire the employees, customers and channel members of our clients. We have over 30 years of experience working with Fortune 500 companies of many diverse industries. Our programs are tailored to fit the specific needs of marketing, sales, management and human resource professionals. The unique solutions we apply are measurable and proven to increase performance, loyalty and revenues.

Photo: “Miami – West Flager: Versailles Restaurant – Fland Cubano” by Wally Gobetz is licensed under CC By 2.0

Snapshot Recap: 2014-2015 Incentive Trends and Forecasts

As we wrap up another year, let’s take a quick look the popular trends of 2014 and predictions for 2015.

It has been a great year for incentive travel and according to the Society for Incentive Travel Excellence’s (SITE) annual incentive travel forecast, next year will be no different. Incentive travel professionals predict an increase in the use of incentive travel in the next six months and the following twelve months, up 4% and 11%, compared to last year.

Key Trends of 2014:

  • Technology: Increase in creating interactive experiences through social media, gamification and digital technologies
  • Goodbye conventionality, hello authenticity. A key focus of 2014 has been creating authentic and engaging program experiences that connect with all guests, adjusting for less Baby Boomers and Gen X’ers and incoming Generation Y and Millennial participants.
  • Corporate Social Responsibility: Adding a CSR element to an incentive program and contributing to local communities is growing in popularity with program participants

Forecast for 2015:

  • Increase in international destinations. According to the latest Pulse survey, the number of planners intending to move from international incentive travel destinations from domestic is 50% greater than those shifting from international to domestic.
  • The involvement of procurement in the decision-making process will continue to increase making it a challenging numbers game in the planning stages with the expectation shifting to an experiential journey in the implementation phase.  Finding a way to make both happen will continue to require planning excellence and experience.
  • Incentive budgets are trending up, and per-person budgets will continue to increase

 

Want more news on industry trends and events? Take a look at:

Richard Branson Thinks Hospitality and Tourism Industry can Tackle Global Water Crisis

Meetings, Events and Hospitality Industry Spotlight: Staying Current with Technology

Incentive Travel Industry’s Spotlight: 2014’s Positive Outlook

By JNR Incorporated

Written by Kelly Woolsey

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JNR Incorporated is a results-based, globally recognized leader that specializes in creating custom travel, meeting, event, prepaid card and merchandise programs that motivate, engage and inspire the employees, customers and channel members of our clients. We have over 30 years of experience working with Fortune 500 companies of many diverse industries. Our programs are tailored to fit the specific needs of marketing, sales, management and human resource professionals. The unique solutions we apply are measurable and proven to increase performance, loyalty and revenues.