We wondered could it be done?
Was it possible to enact a truly engaging incentive travel experience while, simultaneously, following the protocols around social distancing, mask-wearing and all the other accoutrements that define our way of living these days?
Could the science of health security be reconciled with the art of motivational experiences, without compromising both?
ISA 2021, which concluded this past weekend, was the pilot, the great experiment, the tentative toe in the water. SITE’s first in-person event since Global Conference in Vancouver back in January 2020. Thankfully it demonstrated, without equivocation, that science and art can work hand in hand (with appropriate gloves on) to keep participants safe while delivering on the “wow”.
Nobody likes being told what to do especially when you’re supposed to be enjoying a motivational experience, customised especially for your delectation and delight. So how do you constantly remind participants to keep their distance, observe the protocols, without being a nag or a nuisance?
SITE’s event partners for ISA, Unbridled, used humour across all signage and print collateral to spotlight the core messages around safety while, at the same time, doing so with a lightness of touch. No one felt judged, yet everyone got the message and participants remained mindful of the framing realities, while fully enjoying a motivational event. Classic win | win.
So did ISA 2021 surprise and delight our participants? Let’s leave the word to them:
Congratulations to you and the team on delivering what was a wonderfully successful ISA! No doubt the planning of the event, with so many moving parts and additional requirements was challenging and rewarding. ISA is living proof that incentive travel and gatherings can happen now – with the oohs and ahhs and great memories that are expected of reward travel.
Joanne Trudeau, Accor
The SITE planning team did a FABULOUS job with the event, especially under the abnormal circumstances. I’ve attended all by one SITE ISA and this did not disappoint … it was actually very impressive and I was grateful to be included!
Christy Assaly, One10
It was such a breath of fresh air attending ISA. After more than a year of Zoom and Teams conversations with industry friends, to see each other in person was amazing. I greatly appreciate everything SITE and the sponsors in Aspen/Snowmass did to keep us safe. Conducting the virus testing on the way in and at the end was a terrific idea. It truly gave us peace of mind that we were safe gathering as a group. In fact, all of the protocol and planning done by SITE, Unbridled, and the local providers was reassuring. I’m very glad I decided to participate. I was hesitant at first but it turned out to be an outstanding event and a super-spreader of confidence and assurance that our industry is on its way back! At last, eh?!! Please pass along my appreciation to all of the SITE staff for doing such a great job!
Mark Bondy, President / Owner, Viktor
SITE ISA was fabulous! I very much appreciate all the time, effort, planning, re-planning and re-planning that went into this exceptional event. You, SITE and Aspen Snowmass were able to reinforce that live events can happen NOW, safely and can include personalized experiences. Thank you again for helping make SITE ISA a reality!
Tracy Norum, Meetings & Incentives Worldwide
You and your team did a wonderful job this past weekend.
Dan Taugher, Cayman Islands Department of Tourism
Well done. It was really a nice event with a very balanced program, beautiful weather, nice evening events, etc.
Joost de Meyer, First Incentive Travel
We loved hosting and sharing our community with SITE! Thank you for believing in us to successfully host the first in person event for SITE.
Kristin Kenny, Aspen Snowmass
Great to see you, and thanks for an awesome event. It was so much fun to do it in person again!
Drew Welsheimer, Atlantis Paradise Island
I loved being at the event! Looking forward to the 2022 info. Great job by the entire team!
Carmelina Iannarone, Melia Hotels International
Thank you so much. You guys created such a memorable weekend for everyone. It was so wonderful to be back to face to face client interaction.
Andrea Schrager, Kerzner International
This was my first SITE event, and it lived up to everything I've heard, and more 😊 Super well-executed -- congrats!
Courtney Armbrust, Meridian Events
"It was such a great event and well executed. Everyone did a great job, was sad to leave!
Susan Wessel, AIC Hotel Group
We had such a great time, and it was definitely refreshing to see everyone face to face! Thank you for always including us.
Suzanne Hackman, Visit St. Pete/Clearwater
So wonderful to be with everyone again, super event and destination.
Jonathan Richards, Maui Jim
It was such an enjoyable and well planned event. I was delighted to be able to join and meet so many industry colleagues and partners. Thank you all for the wonderful welcome and hospitality.
Suzanne Markarian, Landmark Incentives
It was fabulous. Thank YOU for inviting me and for all the hard work you and your team put into this.
Amy Steinwand, H&R Block
Hats off to you all for pulling this event off! Well done.
Tom Ryder, Maritz Global Events