The Chapter Excellence Awards acknowledge the extraordinary efforts and performance of our chapters across the globe. Throughout the lockdowns and uncertainty in our industry, our chapters reached out to and supported members with both educational and spirit-lifting content.
They truly demonstrated the importance of an industry community like SITE.
This year, we recognized chapters in 8 categories and received submissions from 17 different chapters. A judging panel of 29 volunteer leaders anonymously judged the submissions. Our thanks to each of these individuals for their support of our chapters.
Excellence in Young Leaders
The SITE Chapter Excellence Award in Young Leaders is offered to a Chapter which has supported a strong and vibrant young leader community through various chapter initiatives, with a focus on personal growth and development of these young leaders within the larger SITE community.
Accepting on behalf of the winner, SITE Chicago, was Colleen Brzozowski, 2020 Chapter President and the board.
SITE Chicago’s young leader program includes a combination of separate young leader engagements, along with intentional interactions between junior and senior industry professionals.
These include private meet-ups pre or post chapter events, along with opportunities for intimate conversations that are less intimidating for young leaders to participate. In addition, the chapter offers a strong mentor program. Through these initiatives, SITE Chicago is proud to have increased young leader membership by almost 4% year over year and touts a consistent representation of 20% of young leaders at all chapter events.
Congratulations to SITE Chicago!
Excellence for a Sustainable Event
The SITE Chapter Excellence Award in Sustainable Event recognizes a single Chapter event or activity that demonstrates excellence in sustainability. Accepting on behalf of the winner, SITE Poland was Grazyna Grot-Duziak, 2020 Chapter President.
As part of a larger scale project to focus on sustainability, SITE Poland executed an event themed around # 12 of the United Nations Sustainable Development goals, which outlines responsible consumption and production. The sponsoring hotel venue for the event shared how they manage their food supply and prevent waste during group conferences, demonstrating a 50% savings of food waste. The conversation continued post event with chapter members pledging to implement similar measures not only in their programs, but also in their personal lives.
Congratulations to SITE Poland!
Excellence for a Special Event
The SITE Chapter Excellence Award for a Special Event is awarded to the Chapter that demonstrates creative excellence in delivering a signature event or activity that highlights the benefits of SITE membership and promotes advocacy for incentive travel in a truly memorable way.
Accepting again on behalf of the winner, SITE Chicago, was Colleen Brzozowski, 2020 Chapter President and the board.
SITE Chicago’s flagship event, Holly Trolley, is a 5.5 hour progressive event featuring 3 Chicago venues with private trolley transfers in between. Aligning with SITE’s mission, the event was designed as a local-incentive-styled experience for members to increase engagement and build new business connections. Touches such as signature F&B experiences, gifting, and themed décor were incorporated, as well as an event flow encouraging networking with a wide range of attendees.
Additionally, the chapter took strategic measures to meet their desired member and buyer/supplier ratio. Congratulations to SITE Chicago!
Excellence in Membership
The SITE Chapter Excellence Award in Membership is awarded to the Chapter that has provided incredible value for their members during the qualifying period. This award considers member recruitment, retention, and engagement. Accepting on behalf of the winner, SITE Texas, were Lauren Dunnaway, 2020 Chapter President, & Randy Clark, VP Membership.
SITE Texas’s approached member recruitment and retention with a multi-prong outreach process, utilizing phone trees, care packages, membership tables at events, and alignment with SITE Global membership campaigns. The chapter initiated its first member needs assessment to capture members’ voices and adjusted strategies based on the member feedback. These initiatives resulted in a 12.5% YOY increase in membership and the attainment of the chapter’s goal of engagement of 25% of the chapter members in a volunteer role in the chapter.
Congratulations to SITE Texas!
Rising Star Award
The Rising Star is awarded a developing chapter who delivered exceptional benefits for their members across a number of key areas. Accepting on behalf of the winner, SITE Africa, was Tes Proos, 2020/21 Chapter President.
SITE Africa expanded from a one-country chapter, SITE South Africa, to cover an entire continent during the qualification period, necessitating a strategy shift to engage new regions. Chapter outreach utilized regional ambassadors and strong education to promote the chapter, as well as incentive travel in general, which is new to many regions of the continent. The approach successfully increased membership by 22% and the chapter continues to gain traction throughout all of Africa.
Congratulations to SITE Africa!
Excellence in Education
The SITE Chapter Excellence Award in Education is awarded to a Chapter that delivers a strong industry education component in their events and communications, aligned with the SITE Education Curriculum and/or SITE Foundation research. Accepting on behalf of the winner, SITE Texas, were Lauren Dunnaway, 2020 Chapter President & Melissa Soto, VP Events.
SITE Texas crafted a year-long schedule of events based on a member needs assessment and alignment with SITE’s educational curriculum and the Incentive Travel Industry Index. Highlights include a roadshow spanning 3 cities, touching over 400 participants, and a 51% buyer/supplier ratio; as well as offering of CEU credits for most events, and executing a successful pivot to virtual at the onset of the lockdowns. The chapter even used their virtual happy hour platform to integrate education in a more informal way with specially invited speakers and candid conversations.
Congratulations to SITE Texas!
Excellence in Virtual Engagement
The SITE Chapter Excellence Award in Virtual Engagement recognizes excellence amongst SITE Chapters who have demonstrated creative and innovative approaches to engaging with their members through online, virtual and digital platforms such as a virtual event, social media campaign, webinar or other online activity. Accepting on behalf of the winner, SITE Canada, were Gabby Spanton, 2020 Chapter President & Pearleen Mofford, 2021 Chapter President.
SITE Canada’s member engagement program kicked into high gear once lockdowns were announced. The chapters created a multi-pronged approach to stay in touch and support members virtually. Outreach included a newsletter, a gratitude campaign, increase in social media posts, a seeds of hope campaign, and an impressive 22 virtual events during the qualification period; including bi-weekly cocktails and conversations, which provided a safe haven for members to connect, support, and motivate each other.
Congratulations SITE Canada!
Chapter of the Year
The SITE Chapter of the Year is the highest honor a Chapter can receive. It is awarded to a chapter that exemplifies the values and mission of SITE, demonstrates value to members, and establishes a sound leadership structure.
Accepting on behalf of the winner, SITE Texas, were Lauren Dunnaway, 2020 Chapter President, & Lorraine Mahoney, 2021 Chapter President.
Throughout the qualification period, SITE Texas amplified its focus on governance and operational excellence to deliver member value and ensure a strong succession to the chapter’s leadership. These efforts resulted in a year-over-year increase in membership of 12.5%, with a 35% growth in new members and a 78% member retention, as well as engaging 25% of the members in a volunteer capacity with the chapter. Key to this success was the launch of a chapter needs assessment to members which provided feedback used to refine the chapter’s strategy.
Demonstrating its commitment to overall industry education and advocacy, the chapter contributed $5,000 to the SITE Foundation. Congratulations to SITE Texas, our 2020 Chapter of the Year!