In late July, I traveled to Newport Beach to attend the annual Incentive Marketing Association (IMA) Conference.
Most of the time there was taken up by networking and education, and there's always plenty of opportunities at the conference to learn something or meet someone new.
But toward the end of the trip, I found myself with some spare hours, so I decided to take a walk to the beach—a little more than two miles one way.
Of course, the hotel did have a beach shuttle, and it would have been quicker and easier to go that way. But when traveling, I always like to take some long walks, if I can, to see what there is to be seen. Sometimes, it's just buildings and cars. But every once in a while, between here and there, you stumble on some treasure—an unexpected pleasure.
As it turned out, there was a veritable gem along the route: the Sherman Library and Gardens. Intent on the beach, at first I walked on by. But then I noticed a breeze in the plants hanging over the fence, and I threw myself into reverse.
I stepped up to the kiosk and asked the lovely volunteer, "What's all this, then?" She gave me the elevator speech, and it sounded like a fine detour, so I paid my $5 and took the time to wander the grounds. Money and time well spent. After a week of work and socializing, it felt right to settle into each beautiful environment painstakingly created on the grounds there.
We get busy. Our focus narrows. And sometimes, we need an adventure to take us away from the day-to-day—to give us a new perspective. Sometimes it's as simple as a walk in an unfamiliar neighborhood or a detour away from a familiar daily route. Or, it might be signing up for that class you've been meaning to take, or welcoming an opportunity to go somewhere different and learn something new.
If you provide incentives, rewards and recognition opportunities, you're in the business of providing these unexpected pleasures and treasures—those moments and highlights that lift us out of the ordinary, get us excited, and get us re-engaged in work, and in life.
In this month's issue, we've got plenty of ideas and assistance to help you do just that, from providing the very best rec and sporting goods so people can get up out of the chair and have some fun, to understanding the latest trends driving the marketplace.
So, take your time. Turn the page. Learn something new. But also, don't forget to go out and adventure! Learn something new! Change your perspective!
And don't forget to stop and smell the roses along the way.