What a year it’s been! As my Presidential year with SITE draws to an end, I’m left full of gratitude to the Board and Senior Leadership for their incredible support. I’m immensely proud of what we’ve achieved together, really excited about SITE’s future and now, more than ever, confident in the very bright future of our association.
2019 has been a remarkable year for SITE – with surging growth in chapters, in membership, in sponsorship support, in attendance at our events and in the number of events with the launch of Incentive Summit Europe!
Our “Incentive Summit Series” has a very special place in my heart as I drove the creation of the inaugural Incentive Summit Americas (ISA) in 2016. 2020 will mark the fifth annual ISA and I’m proud to report that it has sold out every year, bringing in over $1.25m in sponsorship dollars to our association. The creation of the Incentive Summit Series is my proudest SITE achievement and will remain as a legacy for years to come. (Hint: be on the lookout for the launch of the third instalment of the series, Incentive Summit Asia Pacific in 2020!)
My year as President started with the creation and publication of our ground-breaking initiative, The Bangkok Manifesto. This initiative will continue in 2020 and I’m really looking forward to participating in Vancouver in the crafting of the next edition. SITE is truly the "I" in MICE, the "Business" in Business Events, building value for our 4 audiences - members, industry, business world & society - and leading the conversation globally on the nature, purpose & direction of incentive travel with our Manifesto series.
2019 was a year during which we focused on chapters with unprecedented numbers of visits to Chapters by our senior leadership team, our International Board of Directors (IBOD) and our International Board of Trustees (IBOT). Our focus on chapters culminated with the recent creation of the Head of Chapter Engagement role, a senior leadership position reporting directly to Didier and totally focused on our Chapters, the lifeblood of our association.
This was also a year of better, tighter governance across the SITE enterprise with strong financial performance, planning and protocols; special attention was given to our events and, specifically, the hosted buyer component, which is a critical piece to our overall event strategy, driving value to our members.
Digital Transformation was another pillar for 2019 and I’m delighted to share that the first phase has now been concluded with a 100-page dossier that sets out the basis for how we go forward as a truly digital organisation. Watch out for the phase 2 work in 2020 which will lead to a suite of new on-line assets for the SITE community.
As we look to the future, I'm immensely proud of the new vision, mission and values statements that emerged from our workshop sessions during SITE Executive Summit in Istanbul, Turkey. These important statements will guide us confidently forward, proving a framework and filter for everything we do.
I’ve thoroughly enjoyed working with John Iannini, CIS, CITP, CTC, President of SITE Foundation and congratulate him on his two-year captaincy of the ship. It has been a marvellous year for SITE Foundation with record-breaking submissions received for the Incentive Travel Industry Index and three white papers about to be released. I’d also like to acknowledge Rhea Stagner, CIS, CITP, Immediate Past President, who completes her stellar term with SITE Foundation.
Our association is experiencing new levels of vibrancy and engagement as testified by the 13 candidates who presented for election to the SITE Board 2020 – 2022. I am thrilled to welcome Miek Egberts, Ken Lyons and Benoit Sauvage DMCP, CMP, CIS to the IBOD and to welcome back Kevin Edmunds, CITP and Anne Marie Rogers, CITP for their second terms. We say fond farewell – arriverderci and adios - to Annamaria Ruffini CIS, CITP, CMP and Julia Trejo, CMP, CIS, DMCP, who leave the IBOD following two terms served with distinction.
I’d like to offer my heartfelt thanks to incoming SITE President, Jennifer Glynn, CIS, CITP. She’s been an incredible support to me during my time on the SITE Board and I know she’ll take our precious association forward to new, exciting places, and look forward to supporting her ambitious and exciting goals for 2020.
Finally, to all of you, fellow members of SITE: I offer my deepest gratitude for your dedication, commitment and engagement with our great association. I’m often told that our association is increasingly the poster child of the Business Events industry for the quality of our education and events and the clarity of vision…and this is due to all of you.
P.S. here's a short highlights video of my year as SITE President.
Philip Eidsvold, CIS, CITP
President SITE 2019