Guest Column - March/April 2008

Be a Part of It

Hit the Big Apple to Build People-to-Brand Connections

Who can resist springtime in New York? Luckily for you, there's a great excuse to go! The second annual New York Incentive, Rewards & Recognition Show and Brand Engagement Conference will be held May 7 to 8 at the Hilton Hotel and Towers in New York City.

With the theme, "Brands Powering People, People Powering Brands," the conference is the perfect opportunity for professionals in general management, finance, marketing, corporate communications and human resources to head to the Big Apple to learn more about engaging their customers, employees, sales force and channel partners to help achieve critical business objectives.

Several trends affecting business are reflected in the program of educational events and on the exhibit hall floor, including the shift from mass-marketing to target-marketing; the growing focus on creating a distinct customer experience; the coming labor shortage; and the need to integrate external and internal marketing. These trends require organizations to place a greater emphasis on engagement—both internal and external.

At the conference you'll learn more about strategically engaging employees, salespeople, channel partners and customers to maximize the performance of your own brand. In addition, you'll learn more about using leading brands and promotional products in your own communications and rewards and recognition programs.

On Display

In addition to some exciting educational topics covered in the conference program, the exhibit hall will be the place to see and be seen, featuring exhibitors from select brands and leading suppliers of incentives, rewards, recognition and promotional products, as well as incentive companies that specialize in working with companies to engage their target audiences.

Leading brands that will be represented at this year's show include: American Express Incentive Services, Apple iPod, Barnes & Noble Booksellers, Canon USA, The Coleman Company, Cross, Fuji, Ghirardelli, Johnson Outdoors, La Cense Beef, Maui Jim, Movado Group Inc., Omaha Steaks, Sony and Tumi, among many others. Leading incentive companies and brand representatives will also be there, including Dittman Incentive Marketing, the Incentive Group, Rymax Marketing Services, Top Brands Inc. and many more.

These exhibitors are well-versed in planning incentive, reward and recognition programs and will feature state-of-the-art solutions related to consumer promotions, employee and sales incentive programs, employee and customer recognition, channel partner motivation, incentive and recognition awards, consumer loyalty awards and brand extensions through promotional products.

A number of sponsoring associations will also be there to help you learn more about engaging your partners, employees and customers, including the Forum for People Performance Management & Measurement, Human Capital Institute, Incentive Marketing Association, Incentive Research Foundation, International Society for Performance Improvement, Recognition Professionals International and the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology.

Never Stop Learning

The show will also feature an education component, divided into two tracks: People Powering Brands and Brands Powering People.

Headlined by marketing guru and author Don Peppers, as well as communications consultant and author of "Brands from the Inside," Mark Schumann, the People Powering Brands forum will feature 10 sessions covering everything from the economics and psychology of customer and employee engagement to engagement strategies and implementation and measurement methods.

The Brands Powering People sessions will focus on the latest in consumer products and services, with new information on the demographic appeal of key brands, products and services. Companies will present information to help you engage your key targets using brands and promotional products. Presenters will include representatives from some of the nation's top brands covering consumer electronics, clocks and watches, gift cards, food gifts, housewares and sporting goods, promotional products, and incentive and performance improvement companies.

A Step Away from the Action

The 2008 New York Incentive, Rewards and Recognition Expo and Conference will be held in the heart of Manhattan at the Hilton New York, a sophisticated international hotel. This convenient location is within walking distance of such attractions as Radio City Music Hall, Rockefeller Center, Broadway theaters and Times Square. It's just a block away from Fifth Avenue shopping, so after viewing all the latest and greatest product innovations on exhibit, you can satisfy your appetite for something new. It's also just steps from the legendary Museum of Modern Art, Carnegie Hall and Central Park.

So when each day's events are over, you can put on your walking shoes and really enjoy springtime in New York!