MORE CORPORATIONS are finding ways to add extras — from meals to massages — to make individual incentives even more appealing, says Washington, D.C.-based Sharon Waters, director, sales and marketing, Marriott Incentive Awards. Marriott and other hotel companies now offer a portfolio of products “so clients can choose what will be best for the people they are trying to motivate.”

Chicago-based Scott Walker, director, incentive and promotion certificates, Hyatt Hotels Corp., also sees “a trend emerging in reducing the number of nights but adding extra services. I'm hearing, ‘Let's change it from five nights to four but add extras.’”

For example, to reward a few salespeople who had gone above and beyond what was expected of them, one company purchased certificates for a round of golf and a spa service in conjunction with a two-night hotel stay. Other extras that can be offered include breakfast, lunch, or dinner, or just hotel bucks. Hyatt Cheque Certificates have an actual denomination value, which leaves the choice of the add-ons up to the winners. “We built this around the end-user, to offer the greatest flexibility,” says Walker. “Let's say the recipient is not a spa person and the resort offers horseback riding, something they would really like to do. With a cheque certificate, they can do what they want.”

To add prestige to individual awards, other companies are presenting the certificates in a public gathering before the recipients' peers, so that they are recognized for their accomplishments. Another nice touch being used more frequently is leaving a personal letter and a welcome gift, such as a bottle of wine or champagne, or a fruit or cheese platter, in the winners' hotel rooms.

At Foxboro, Mass. — based Invensys Process Systems, a systems and instrumentation company, those who qualify for individual incentive travel certificates also become members of the President's Club, an accolade they feel is just as important as the certificate. A plaque is prominently placed in corporate headquarters listing the members of the club, and the winners get new business cards with President's Club logos. “Being named a top salesperson is a big accomplishment here,” says Steve Altieri, director of compensation and benefits.