Editor's Desk - September/October 2013

Something's Missing

Over the past five years, putting together the September/October issue of Premium Incentive Products m agazine has also meant getting prepared for the annual Motivation Show, which up until last year took place in Chicago. It was an annual gathering of businesses and consultants who serve the incentive marketplace with merchandise, gift cards, services, travel and more.

Perhaps you were among the attendees visiting the Windy City and getting advice and ideas from the top leaders in the incentive marketplace. Perhaps you are now wondering where you will go to get the same level of education, networking and knowledge in the future.

The good news on that front is that you don't have to look too far for a new way to get hands-on with all the incentive merchandise you want to check out, or face-to-face with those same experts.

While the Motivation Show is no more, the incentive market has teamed up with the Promotional Products Association International, which will be expanding its PPAI brand. show to include more exhibitors, more education—more for you!

As a reader of Premium Incentive Products, you are, of course, invited to register and attend PPAI brand., which will take place from Jan. 15 to 17, 2014 at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas.

It's a nice time of year to think of going somewhere sunny, and a nice way to get all your incentive know-how in one place. Registration is open online, and we hope you'll join us there.

In the meantime, we have another issue chock-full of information to help you run your most effective incentive, rewards, engagement and motivation programs.

In this issue, you'll find our annual spotlight on merchandise trends, where we break down the latest goings-on in the realm of incentive merchandise. Whether you want to know what's popular or you want to know the major trends affecting the consumer tastes and preferences that drive redemptions, we've got you covered on page 16.

And, of course, what would an issue be without a close-up look at a specific type of incentive merchandise? This time around, we're talking about the latest and greatest in recreation and sporting goods. These feel-good items not only support your program participants when they want to have a little fun—many of these products also support them in their wellness goals. From biking and boating to camping and cooking out, these incentives are highly motivating to anyone who sports an active lifestyle. Learn more about the newest developments on page 26.

Wellness programs in and of themselves are also worthy of coverage, and we take a look inside this ever-evolving business practice on page 32.

Finally, with new developments in technology, as well as changing approaches to sales practices, the sales contests of yesterday have been replaced—or at least updated—to meet the needs and aspirations of an evolving sales force, along with the teams that support sales. Learn more about these changes on page 36.

And, as always, we provide a look at some of the greatest incentive merchandise the market has to offer, and guest columnists give you the experts' view on developments in engagement, motivation and other types of programs.

So go ahead and start thinking about Las Vegas, and sign yourself up to attend PPAI brand. But in the meantime, turn the page and prepare to learn something new.

Be well,

Emily Tipping
Editorial Director,