It's a shopper's dream come true: a warehouse full of every conceivable grown-up toy — from gleaming new TVs to slick little MP3s — and two minutes to pluck anything you want from the shelves.
Bet your top salespeople would like that.
Two incentive firms offer winners the experience to run through their warehouses. Rock 'n Run, The Warehouse, is held in a specially designed area in the 20,000-square-foot Partners for Incentives warehouse in Cleveland. At Hinda Incentives' facility in Chicago, it's called the Warehouse Dash.
PFI recently did such a program for a pharmaceutical company's top 20 salespeople, who scooped up TVs (just the empty boxes are stocked so there's no heavy lifting), DVD players, and VCRs. “With travel being down now, this is something you can offer to top people in its place,” says president Mary Anne Comotto.
Winners are greeted with welcome banners and balloons and walked through part of the facility to whet their appetites and familiarize them with the lay of the land. (Some companies even provide winners with a map beforehand.) For the dash itself, there's pulsating music, special carts to put the merchandise in, referees in each aisle to help people find what they want, even cheering sections. The event can also include live music and a lunch buffet or snacks.
PFI's warehouse stocks more than 400 items, from electronics (which Comotto says are the most popular picks) to kitchen accessories and golf clubs. Companies can tailor what they offer to their group's interests, adding, for example, sporting and camping equipment. When budget is an issue, companies can choose to remove some of the high-end electronics. In every case, runners are limited to only one of an item to prevent them from loading up their carts with the most expensive gadgets.