There is a surprising amount of research and data surrounding the field of incentive travel and destination meetings, and the Incentive Research Foundation is at the forefront.
The Incentive Research Foundation (IRF) is a “private not-for-profit foundation dedicated to understanding, educating, and advocating for the use of non-cash incentives.” Their goal is to gather information to put data and statistics together to share how important incentives and destination meetings are to corporations. Additionally, they also help foster, elevate, and grow the industry itself.
2023 IRF Invitational:
This year, the IRF hosted their 2023 Educational Invitational in Las Vegas. This annual conference shares industry-specific research and information, such as top destinations to travel, average prices per destination, and precisely what guests are excited about regarding travel incentives and destination meetings. This type of information is essential to help companies like Sutton Planning better partner with our clients to provide unforgettable experiences. Our very own Sales & Marketing Advisor, Taylor, attended the conference and brought back valuable information on fostering relationships, engaging with emerging technologies, and marketing unforgettable travel incentives and destination meetings.
IRF successfully provided its Invitational guests with an incentive experience like we provide to our clients. Obviously, a huge component of the conference was the educational aspect and the networking opportunities. However, the resort’s activities and the offerings of Las Vegas itself were also crucial components of the Invitational. Part of why Las Vegas was chosen was to promote the Resorts World Las Vegas hotel on its two-year anniversary.
The conference also offered numerous destination activities for the guests to experience the city firsthand. These activities included helicopter tours, canyon gold mine tours, river rafting, foodie tours, museum and distillery tours, and even construction site visits (or, hard hat tours) of new hotels being built. All of these opportunities allow guests like Taylor to note what makes Las Vegas a great destination for meetings and incentives. “Vegas,” Taylor says, “has a lot to offer. There are so many fun things to do and even if you’ve been to Vegas a million times, I feel like it is a place that you could go and do a million different things every time.”
One of the chief topics of conversation from the Invitational was technology. Technology is an ever-evolving, ever-increasing force that companies must continue to reckon with. It can be a bit of a sticky subject for some. But if a company is willing to learn and embrace what technology has to offer, it can only make their jobs easier. At Sutton Planning, we value seamlessness for our clients and recognize that technology has the potential to elevate a program. This means considering technologies that are professional and easy to navigate from end to end but that also allow us to add that personal, custom touch we are known for.
Thank you IRF for a wonderful experience! As always, we are excited for next year’s Educational Invitational where we can further explore how the incentive travel industry is continuing to boom!