“As we approach the end of the year, the IMA maintains its quest to inspire – through annual events such as the Motivation Show – and looks to 2013 and beyond with optimism, continuing its position as a promoter of the incentive industry,” says Deborah L. Vence, Associate Editor of Premium Incentive Products (PIP) magazine, at the beginning of her article “IMA Roundtable: Education and Partnerships are Vital for Incentive Industry Growth.”
Vence’s article in the November/December 2012 issue surveys top industry experts who are also IMA board members about what the IMA has to offer, and Hinda president Dave Peer – who is also the president of the IMA – weighed in.
According to her article, Vence states that, “…the Incentive Marketing Association [is] an organization that’s become known to many for imparting value to its members by offering education, research and networking opportunities, all while presenting resourceful ways to acknowledge employees, sales professionals, channel partners and customers.” And there’s no sign of this changing or slowing down in the coming year.
“A big benefit is the opportunity to exchange information with people who are experienced and who are facing the same challenges as you,” Peer says. “[There’s a] great deal of trust, so even competitors can get together and discuss things in a way that is mutually beneficial… One of the most important benefits is the annual IMA summit, which will be held in Denver in 2013. The Summit has emerged as one of the premier events in our industry where top talent is able to get together, attend workshops, exchange information and educate one another.”
Peer also says that that the IMA and its members are vital when it comes to lobbying the benefits of properly designed and managed reward programs with legislators in Washington, DC. The industry came under fire earlier this year with the GSA scandal, and the IMA and its members have taken pains in the aftermath to return the industry to a positive light and to stress the key initiatives of the IMA, which Peer says include ensuring the financial strength of the association, continuing to improve member benefits and communication and collaboration with industry trade groups to further generate awareness of the business.
“I’m confident about the future of our industry,” he says. “We’re seeing significant recovery from the Great Recession, and companies have recognized the need to engage and retain employees. There is also fierce competition in consumer loyalty… The IMA will remain the primary resource and advocate for all facets of the incentive industry but will adapt to change as the market does. The IMA services as the primary industry resource for education, research, advocacy and networking, and the association will evolve and continue to serve in this important role.”