During its international conference last week in Montreux, Switzerland, Site awarded the highest of honors in the incentive industry—the Crystal Awards—to 15 companies. Many of this year’s entrants faced the challenge of maintaining quality despite shrinking budgets, including one winning company that changed its destination at the last minute from Egypt to Washington, D.C.! Corporate Meetings & Incentives Editor Barbara Scofidio served as a judge for the awards, which were established in 1980 to recognize programs that are highly successful in achieving business objectives.

2008 Crystal Award Winners

  • Most Effective Use of an Incentive Program for a Strategic Business Solution, Internal: Extra Mile Company, Auckland, New Zealand, for Kordia, a TV network company. The program was designed to improve morale and motivation and instill a strong corporate culture in the company’s 1,000+ employees.

  • Most Effective Use of an Incentive Program for a Strategic Business Solution, External: 212F, Sydney, Australia, for HP Australia. This channel partner program followed on the heels of a program that had failed miserably the year before.

  • Most Effective Use of an Incentive Program for a Strategic Business Solution, External: CiEvents, Sydney, Australia; Merscient, Toronto, Ontario, Canada; and Fatfish Design, Melbourne, Australia for IBM Corp., Armonk, N.Y. This channel program ran across 88 countries and 10 different languages.

  • Most Outstanding Incentive Travel Award ProgramUp to 3 Nights, Fewer than 200 Participants: Capitol Services, Church Falls, Va., for BMC Software. This company’s challenge was to make a sales incentive to Washington, D.C, rewarding after pulling out of the planned destination, Egypt.

  • Most Outstanding Incentive Travel Award Program—Up to 3 Nights, More than 200 Participants: Carlson Marketing, Minnetonka, Minn., for Qwest Communications. The sales incentive included a charitable event for the Warrior Foundation, which sends supplies and messages to wounded soldiers.

  • Most Outstanding Incentive Travel Award Program4 or More Nights, Fewer than 200 Participants: helloAfrica, Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa, for Automobile Financial Services. This incentive trip designed to wow a well-traveled group included a speech by Nobel Peace Prize laureate, Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

  • Most Outstanding Incentive Travel Award Program4 or More Nights, Fewer than 200 Participants: Krzysztof Michniewicz, Incentive Concept Poland, Warsaw, Poland, for HDI Gerling Polska TU SA. This incentive trip to Costa Rica that focused on saving the rainforest.

  • Most Outstanding Incentive Travel Award Program4 or More Nights, More than 200 Participants: MCI, Brussels, Belgium, and Geneva, Switzerland, for NUMICO. A general managers meeting was held in Morocco for the top 240 leaders of this specialized nutrition company.

  • Most Outstanding Incentive Travel Award Program4 or More Nights, More than 200 Participants: THA Group, Brussels, Belgium, for AXA Insurance. This incentive trip ventured to the uncommon destination of Senegal.

  • Most Outstanding Incentive Travel Award Program4 or More Nights, More than 200 Participants: USMotivation, Atlanta, Ga., for Diebold Inc. The company’s Master’s Circle trip was to Cabo San Lucas.

  • Most Outstanding Incentive EventUp to $80,000: Harith Wickrema, Harith Productions, Willow Grove, Pa. for “An Evening of Carioca Pride.”

  • Most Outstanding Incentive EventMore than $80,000: Fourth Wall Events, New York, N.Y., for “Beatlemania.”

  • Most Outstanding Incentive EventMore than $80,000: Ovation Ireland, Dublin, Ireland; and The Veritas Group, Sydney, Australia, for a high-end board meeting.

  • Sustainable Event: MotivAction LLC, Minneapolis, Minn., for a bike-building event.

  • Sustainable Event: Dittman Incentive Marketing, New Brunswick, N.J., for “The Leadership Club.”