When Society for Incentive Travel Excellence (SITE) decides to make a public declaration about the nature, purpose and direction of incentive travel for the coming year, it is not an edict from the executive team. Instead, the association crowdsources both the defining and the prioritizing of where to focus research—and then iterates with each gathering to refine the statement.
That is why at the recently concluded Site Global Conference 2020 in Vancouver, a series of workshops sticky-noted input for a Vancouver Manifesto that built on conclusions from the previous year’s Bangkok Manifesto.
SITE Chief Marketing Officer Padraic Gillian explained that the goal was to “move from idea to action.” The 10 statements identified in 2019 were reduced to three. A record 640 attendees (and 2,000 who popped in on livestream) gathered at JW Marriott Parq Vancouver to vote during the closing session on how to best use resources for impact.
Responsible, Vivid and Targeted
Under the umbrella topic of Social Responsibility/Sustainability, the consensus was to explore ways to contribute to reduction in food waste by drafting standard language regarding sustainable practices that members can use in RFPs and contracts. The focus also included a call to join in initiatives being developed by other organizations, such as ICCA, AIPC and UFI, to build on existing momentum.
In the area of Culture, Relationships, Teamwork and Corporate Culture, the vote was to produce a toolbox of strong, emotional key messages that can be used by members to tell management and policymakers the story of the power of incentive trips. “Storytelling is a bigger priority than data, and it is vital that we speak with one voice,” the draft document read.
In the area of Economic Growth and Innovation, the consensus was to develop two advocacy approaches with specialized campaigns—one that promotes the economic value generated where the companies operate and another for where the programs are hosted. That will allow the messaging to resonate with the distinct audiences; that is, business-events groups for the former, and tourism audiences (hospitality, airlines, tourism boards) for the latter.
Look for more advances in Dublin when SITE Global continues the discussion there Feb. 3-7, 2021.