The incentive program season is over. Time for less ambitious conferences and events. Smaller meetings are more or less routine, but that doesn't mean you should take a routine approach. Don't lose sight of the big picture; try to keep these meetings fresh and memorable and don't forget about production enhancements and ideas for next year's larger programs.

Whether you're a seasoned planner or just starting out, you can generate ideas to boost your company's profile as well as your own. Marketing executives don't have a lock on creative ideas to increase revenue. Think about sponsorships, promotions, and other tie-ins that you can develop with the support of your department and a good production company.

What events does your company already participate in? What activities could the company take part in, but it isn't? Whether you consider it job security or job enrichment, nontraditional events can increase your company's brand awareness, profile in the community, and agent and customer loyalty.

Start by outlining a few possible ideas for events, then tap your production company's resources to help develop them. Next put together a formal document and get in front of the appropriate executives.

You might encounter a negative response such as: “Great idea but it's a little too soon for this sort of thing,” or “We don't have the budget to support it,” or “The concept conflicts with other plans that we're working on.”

On the other hand, provided you've done your homework and pitched it as professionally as if you were an outsider, the exec could say: “This has real possibilities. Let's take it to the next level.”

In my view, you win either way. You're seen as someone who's creative, proactive, and takes an interest in the company's profile and well-being, whether the event comes to fruition or not. And imagine how gratifying it will be if you do go all the way with it.

Put your unique talents to work for your company. The next big idea may just be yours.

Ken Kirsh, CMP, is president of Kirsh Productions Inc. in New York City. Contact him at (212) 262-4388 or

Think Big!

Think of appropriate promotions and other tie-ins for your company relative to its

  • marketing efforts,
  • corporate culture and values,
  • relationship with agents, and
  • relationship with the community.

Also, think about expanding existing sponsorships or campaigns into events that further enhance your company's image. (In the process, you may do the same for your own.)

To Get You Started …

There are many different types of events to consider that can generate community goodwill and agent loyalty. You can produce the event locally or take it on the road. Here are four possibilities:

  • Benefit Concert
  • Family Fun Day
  • Health Festival
  • Sporting Event