The Motivation Show, the combined 70th National Premium Incentive Show and 31st Incentive Travel & Meeting Executives Show, rolls into Chicago's McCormick Place September 16 to 18, with an expected attendance of 20,000. More than 2,000 suppliers of merchandise and travel services are expected to exhibit.

Among the highlights:

  • New this year is “The Motivation Show Associate Program — Relationships Drive Business Results,” a program for performance improvement and incentive companies that will provide complimentary education, business services, and networking opportunities. Participating companies will have access to a private lounge and meeting space. A seminar titled “Selling Performance Improvement and Incentive Products in Today's Business Environment” will be presented each day by Bob Vitagliano, CITE.

  • Frank Mulhern, associate professor and chairman of the Department of Integrated Marketing Communications at the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University, has consulted on this year's expanded education sessions, which will include a new emphasis on people-performance management and integrated solutions for motivating consumers and employees.

  • The Society of Incentive & Travel Executives will hold its annual Crystal Awards Gala September 15 from 6 to 8:30 p.m. at the Shakespeare Theatre on Navy Pier. The event will honor the most outstanding incentive programs of the past year. For information and tickets, visit