SITE Italy President, Antonio Foti is Managing Director, Bluestone – a different touch, a leading DMC based in Sicily and winner of a SITE Crystal Award in 2011. Antonio has strong international experience in Hospitality Management, Food & Beverage and Sales & Marketing and is also active on the academic front as an educator in the tourism and meeting industry.
SITE appreciates that being a Chapter Leader is a volunteer position and requires a significant time commitment. What/who motivated you to assume the Chapter President position?
Antonio: I joined SITE in 2007 and, over the last 4 years, have served on the SITE Italy board. It is a huge privilege for me to serve as president of such an important chapter as SITE Italy and is the best opportunity I can have to directly contribute to the SITE global community. I have always valued SITE’s Code of Ethics and commitment to deliver excellence in the world of incentive travel.
When recruiting new members, what do you tell them are the greatest personal and professional benefits of being a member of SITE?
Antonio: Quite simply, SITE is the only global organization dedicated to strengthening and supporting the incentive travel industry worldwide. As a SITE member you have a significant opportunity to learn and grow, both personally and professionally, and also gain great added value and credibility for your business and profession.
How does SITE Italy plan to celebrate its 25th Anniversary?
Antonio: In honour of the SITE Italy 25th anniversary we have planned a year full of networking and educational opportunities during which we will celebrate the anniversary. At SITE Nite Europe in Frankfurt we will have the first official celebration outside of Italy and during IMEX week SITE Italy will host a reception. We will close the year with a celebration at our annual assembly in Florence in December.
What other events and/or education does the chapter have planned to engage current and prospective members in 2016?
Antonio: SITE Italy has a very busy agenda in 2016. In February, during BIT in Milan, we hosted a booth and held a session called “Inspirationpedia” - a study or outlook of some of the world’s best event ideas divided into categories – sharing how ideas can come from other ideas to enlighten inspiration. On 11 March, we hosted a session in Rome called “Dress to Impress” where attendees learned self-branding tips on how to be more effective at meetings, trade shows and congresses and on social media. The session opened with a presentation about ECPAT conducted by Annamaria Ruffini, VP Finance, SITE Board of Directors and Yasmin Abo Loha, President, ECPAT Italy. We will be hosting four webinars in 2016. The first, in April, will be focused on emerging markets. We will end the year with our annual assembly in Florence.