“Those who have knowledge, don’t predict. Those who predict, don’t have knowledge.”

–Lao Tzu, 6th Century BC Chinese Poet


  1. 2020 will be the 18th year in a row that “personalization” will be on the list of new trends to watch for.
  2. Once again, someone who sells merchandise to the incentive industry will predict merchandise as the most desirable award media.
  3. Millennials will be the go-to demographic again – 28 years after it was coined by Howe & Strauss.
  4. AI will be talked about ad nauseum but never actually demonstrated (except on invoices to clients).
  5. Responsive websites will be responsive and STILL considered a point of difference.
  6. ROI will be the new differentiator – for the 19th year in a row.
  7. CSR – or Corporate Social Responsibility will be in every presentation and yet implemented by clients zero times.
  8. Wellness will be the new “it” girl – but only if wellness means twinkies and chocolate fountains at corporate events. (Have you ever seen a line at a broccoli and ranch dressing fountain? Ever?)
  9. Incentive program participants will outsource their goal attainment to Chilean salespeople for 2 points on the dollar.
  10. Once again, everything on the current year’s list will have been on a previous list at least once in the last 20 years. Many on every single list.


“A good forecaster is not smarter than everyone else, he merely has his ignorance better organised.”