Dear Members of SITE,
You’ve no idea how proud, honored and humbled I am to address you as SITE President for the first time. I look forward to seeing many of you in Bangkok for our Global Conference next week or, if not there, at one of our many exciting face to face events throughout 2019, especially our newly launched Incentive Summit Europe, taking place at the W Hotel in Verbier, Switzerland (April 25-28).
2018 was an extraordinary year for SITE with massive growth in global membership, the launch of a brand new certification program and record attendances at our face to face events. I want to thank SITE Past President, Annamaria Ruffini, CIS, CITP, CMP, for her inspirational leadership throughout the year.
In 2019 we will build on this solid platform and start to craft our Painted Picture 2023, the vision document that will lead us to our 50th anniversary as an association dedicated exclusively to the incentive travel industry. Other key themes for 2019 will be governance – ensuring the structures are in place both tactically and strategically to lead us forward; content, content, content – an uncompromising focus on creating and delivering quality content to members, industry, business community and society at large; digital transformation – creating an on-line architecture to meet the needs of all SITE members globally; global growth – building out robust programming including face to face events and certification to engage a truly global audience.
I look forward to leading our association at a time when incentive travel is definitely in great health, outperforming the other components of “MICE” – meetings, conferences and exhibitions – for year on year growth and generating the highest per person spend for destinations among all activities on the Business Events spectrum. I’m hugely encouraged to note how corporations are using incentive travel these days not just to deliver profitability and shareholder returns but also as a bulwark of company culture and a means to enhance and improve workplace relationships.
These are indeed exciting times for incentive travel professionals and a great time to be a member of SITE. I want to thank you all for your commitment to our great association and wish you and your loved ones a happy, healthy and prosperous new year.
Philip Eidsvold, CIS, CITP
SITE President, 2019