Want to differentiate between your top-tier performers and the rest of your incentive winners? Independent meeting planner Diana Francies of Events to Di For, Atlanta, offers the following tips:

  • Use a different type of name badge for your top 25, or order gold lapel pins for the top 10 and silver for the next 15.

  • Notify winners at check-in of a “special” meeting before the awards dinner. Have the president or CEO congratulate them and pose for photos. Then have them enter the awards dinner with the top executives after everyone else is seated.

  • Reserve special tables for your top people during the awards ceremony. Use nicer and noticeably different linens and floral arrangements with special lighting to make those tables stand out.

  • Do a slide show throughout the dinner with pictures of the top 25, highlighting their accomplishments.

  • Invite top winners to arrive at the destination a day or two earlier, and let them choose from a menu of golf, swimming with the dolphins, or other activities. The other attendees may be offered the same experiences, but they're often available on a first-come, first-served basis, and spots fill up fast. People appreciate the chance to come a day earlier and choose whatever they'd like.