Last week’s IRF Education Invitational at the Hyatt Zilara Cap Cana in the Dominican Republic was the place to be for incentive professionals, a mix of crowdsourced education, networking and fundraising for future research.
Here are a few highlights from the three-day IRF Education Invitational:
• The event’s annual live and silent fundraising auctions exceeded their goal, making $447,000 to support incentive industry research in the coming year. A raffle also raised $5,000 for José Andres’ World Central Kitchen.
• Attendees had a first glimpse at some of the newest research during the education day, including a hot-off-the-press report on the role of incentives in motivating a remote workforce. This year, the organization brought in the experts from Haute, Liz Lathan, CMP, and Nicole Osibodu, for a Spontaneous Think Tank, where attendees broke into small groups to tackle the most important post-pandemic issues they face.
• In the opening session, the Incentive Research Foundation bid a dramatic farewell to its teal logo and revealed its new blue and orange logo and branding, which it will incorporate into a new web site soon.
• The event was a buyout of the Hyatt Zilara and a huge boost to tourism on the Caribbean island, which was hit hard by COVID-19. In addition to bringing the Dominican culture into the resort with food and gifting, a variety of tours took attendees off property to explore the DR’s many natural wonders, learn about ecotourism initiatives, and meet the local residents.
• Two new awards were given, with an award for Outstanding Service to an IRF board member who made a tremendous impact to the organization going to long-time Chief Research Officer Rodger Stotz and Volunteer of the Year awards to Lynn Randall, senior strategy director, InVision Communications; Jen O’Mara, account director, group sales, Four Seasons Resort; and Jamie Randall, manager, global strategic initiatives, Tableau @ Salesforce.