An incentive house is a company that provides incentive programs to businesses. The programs serve to reward employees who meet or exceed performance requirements. The "incentive" often takes the form of travel for the employee and spouse. It can range from a weekend getaway to an elaborately packaged vacation. Whole-ship charters are increasingly common in the incentive market, as their all-inclusive nature offers accommodations, dining, entertainment and breakout rooms.
A number of tourism trade associations promote the work of incentive houses and similar businesses. Among the most well-known are the Society of Incentive & Travel Executives (SITE) and the Incentive Marketing Association (IMA).
The IMA points out that Incentive Travel initiatives are a proven asset. They help organizations achieve business performance objectives. How well those initiatives perform will have a direct impact on those business objectives.
The association's stated goal is to increase awareness of how reward and recognition travel, in its many forms, is an effective strategy for achieving better business performance. Its focus is to educate and promote the benefits of incentive travel to the business community at large. At the same time, it aims to also provide value to its own members by promoting their services, products and brands. Membership in the IMA is limited to qualifying companies who meet the following criteria:
- Support the purpose of the Incentive Travel Council
- Provide experiential rewards, which include travel and/or experiential incentive "products and services"
- Commit to maintaining the professional standards of the Incentive Travel Council
- Agree to abide by the Incentive Travel Council Bylaws and such other rules and regulations that the Incentive Travel Council may adopt
- Are recommended for membership by a current member of the Incentive Travel Council.
Some Top-Rated US Incentive Houses
From time to time, incentive publications and websites generate lists of top-performing incentive houses. Here's a list of some of the companies most frequently found on "best of" lists.
ALTOUR International Inc.
American Express Meetings & Events
- BCD Meetings & Events
- BI WORLDWIDE
- CWT Meetings & Events
- Enterprise Events Group Inc.
- Fox World Travel
- ITA Group Inc.
- Maritz Global Events.
- McVeigh Associates, Ltd.
- Meeting Alliance
- Meeting Expectations
- Meetings & Incentives Worldwide Inc.
If you'd like to look up incentive companies near you, here's a list of companies operating throughout the country.
Ambassadors Performance Group
Newport Beach, CA
Newport Gateway Tower II
19900 MacArthur Blvd. Suite 700
San Rafael, CA Irvine, CA
Meeting Expectations Inc.
St. Charles, IL
BCD Meetings& Incentives
George P. Johnson
Auburn Hills, MI
Excellence In Motivation
Gray Consulting International Meetings & Incentives
Salt Lake City, UT
Creative Group Inc.
Meetings & Incentives
Here's a list of some key incentive travel associations. They're a great place to begin your inquiries into the incentive travel arena.
Incentive Research Foundation
Incentive Marketing Association (IMA)
Incentive Travel Council