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Association Update

NCA Sets Theme; SITE Sparks Business NCA Conference to Focus on Business of Catering The National Caterers Association will host its Annual Education Conference from Feb. 17-21 at the Arizona Biltmore Resort & Spa in Phoenix. The "Business of Catering" will be the theme of the five-day conference, which will offer hands-on seminars in six educational tracks: Masters, Sales, Marketing, Design, Chef's Council and a new Niche Market track.

Executive director Diane Welland says the new track will feature sessions that target specific markets such as corporate catering, weddings and social events.

An "e-commerce room" will introduce caterers to different types of e-commerce. "It's more of a one-on-one session between caterers and consultants and suppliers," Welland says.

Evening activities will include an opening-night reception in Phoenix's warehouse district, a gala dinner under desert skies and a dine-around-town on which caterers will sample fare from local restaurants.

Contact: NCA, 860 Bay St., Staten Island, NY 10304; 800/622-0029; Web site: www.ncacater.org

The Society of Incentive & Travel Executives has produced a video to interest corporations in non-cash incentives for employees. The nine-minute "Incentives Work" video demonstrates what incentives are and how they can achieve return on investment. SITE says the video can serve three purposes: as a presentation to prospective new clients, reinforcement of business goals with current clients and a training tool for new hires in incentive supplier companies.

SITE executive vice president Jill Harrington says the video uses testimonials of incentive users and addresses concerns of corporations that don't use non-cash incentives. "Corporate users share stories of how properly designed incentive programs work beyond the `typical' sales channel, are cost-effective and can produce results in less-than-robust economic times," she says. "The video also candidly notes that incentives are not a cure-all for any problem but must be part of a total strategic effort."

A 1997 study of U.S. corporations revealed that 26 percent use non-cash rewards and spend $22.8 billion annually on the programs, according to SITE.

The video is $30 for SITE members and $60 for nonmembers.

Contact: SITE, 21 W. 38th St., 10th Floor, New York, NY 10018; 212/575-0910; Web site: www.site-intl.org

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