About the Incentive Marketing Assocation

The Incentive Marketing Association (IMA) is an organization of providers of incentive merchandise and services dedicated to promoting high standards of professionalism in the incentive and recognition field, creating greater awareness of incentives, and helping its members prosper in a changing business environment through education, training, research, and marketing services.

IMA's Mission

The Incentive Marketing Association advocates for and promotes the use of incentives and recognition to improve business performance.

Facts on IMA and the Incentive Marketing Industry

  • Business improves when employees and customers are recognized, rewarded and engaged through effectively structured programs with defined goals and proven returns. IMA is comprised of companies who are leaders in the $90 billion incentive industry. IMA is the umbrella organization for suppliers in the incentive marketplace. Founded in 1998, IMA’s membership consists of over 500 individuals and groups engaged in providing goods and services for incentive buyers and suppliers.
  • IMA is the only organization in the field representing every segment of the marketplace including: advertising/sales promotion agencies; consultants, distributors; gift card suppliers; fulfillment companies; incentive houses; manufacturers; national marketing companies; performance improvement companies; representatives; recognition companies, travel specialists and the industry’s major trade publications and trade show managers.
  • IMA is the place to go to find all the expert resources for recognition and incentive programs. Additionally, IMA provides education and information services, publications, conferences and seminars, and research to businesses to help them effectively use incentive programs to motivate employees and customers.
  • IMA is a founding member of the Incentive Performance Center and is a leader in the Incentive Federation, the industry’s government relations organization. It is comprised of several strategic industry groups including the Incentive Gift Card Council (IGCC), the Incentive Manufacturers & Representatives Alliance (IMRA), the Incentive Travel Council, the Incentive & Engagement Solution Providers (IESP), IMA-Canada Council and IMA-Europe Council.
  • 84% of U.S. businesses spend $90 billion annually on the incentive industry with $14.4 billion spent on incentive travel and $75.6 billion on award points, merchandise and gift cards to reward sales staff, employees, channel partners and customers.
  • The IMA Code of Business Conduct advocates best practices for members to help avert ethical dilemmas within the industry. The organization also offers an Incentive Industry Certification Program for members to foster high standards of professionalism within the incentive marketplace.

Research studies conducted by IMA groups have concluded that incentives can:

  • Increase Productivity
  • Boost Morale
  • Enhance Quality
  • Foster Teamwork
  • Decrease Absenteeism
  • Improve Work Habits
  • Ensure Safety
  • Reward Loyalty
  • Attract & Retain Quality Employees
  • Engage Participants

Our Anti Trust Compliance Statement

The Incentive Marketing Association (IMA) is committed to strict compliance with federal and state antitrust laws. The antitrust laws are designed to promote free and open competition and to penalize any activities that unreasonably lessen business rivalry. These activities include agreements among competitors on prices, agreements to boycott third parties, and agreements to divide markets.

Because trade association meetings bring together competitors, any unauthorized discussion of such topics can lead to an inference that an illegal agreement was reached. Accordingly, the following guidelines apply to any meeting or other activity conducted under the auspices of the IMA:

  • There shall be no discussion of prices, discounts, or other terms and conditions of sale without the prior authorization of IMA’s President.
  • There shall be no discussion of the areas in which members will compete or the products and services that they will offer.
  • There shall be no discussion of any agreement or understanding to boycott a third party or to deal with it only on certain terms.
  • Without prior authorization, there shall be no discussion of agreements to deal exclusively with certain parties, requirements that purchasers of particular products or services purchase other products or services, standard-setting, certification, statistical reporting, or codes of ethics and other self-regulatory activities.
  • IMA’s staff shall keep minutes of all meetings and immediately terminate any discussion that may violate these guidelines.

Severe civil and criminal penalties, including fines and imprisonment, can result from violations of these antitrust laws. Whenever in doubt about how to apply these guidelines, the officers, members, and guests of IMA should consult its President.