SITE Canada President, Jennifer (Jenn) Glynn is the Co-managing Partner at Meeting Encore Ltd., Canada’s premier Site Selection company, celebrating their 25th year in business. Jennifer has worked in the hospitality industry for over 20 years with various hotel chains including Marriott, Starwood, Delta and Kimpton. Her industry volunteer work includes SITE, FICP and MPI.
SITE Canada Education Day is a highly anticipated event that sells out every year. This year's event will be held on 29 October 2014 at St. James Cathedral Centre in Toronto. With participation from Paul Miller SITE President 2014, Kevin Hinton SITE CEO, and guest speakers including Patricia Kerr from Nationwide Insurance and Michael Dominques of MGM Resorts it is sure to be another big success. To learn more and to register go to www.sitecanada.org
SITE: SITE appreciates that being a Chapter Leader is a volunteer position and requires a significant time commitment. What/who motivated you to assume a SITE Chapter Leader position?
Jenn: I believe in order to get value from your membership you need to give back. As soon as I joined SITE, Moira Hearn and Joe Orecchio “suggested” I get involved. After participating as a member, Joe asked me to get involved at a Board level. Although the time commitment is significant the team I get to work with and the satisfaction of ensuring that the Chapter continues its legacy is something that keeps me motivated. My business partner at Meeting Encore, Joe Nishi, has supported my SITE involvement and my husband also understands my passion for the industry. This allows me to dedicate the time necessary although I wish there was still more time in the day for what I would personally like to accomplish on the SITE Canada Board.
SITE: When recruiting new members, what do you tell them are the greatest personal and professional benefits of being a member of SITE?
Jenn: SITE provides a global reach that has allowed me to expand my knowledge and relationships around the world. My time on the Board, and as a member, has allowed me to develop new personal and professional friendships. The level of experience that our members have is exceptional and the opportunity for new members to gain access to senior level planners and suppliers is unique to SITE. Also, due to our niche market, the education is targeted to the incentive industry and ongoing professional development. This is valuable for all our members be it for our SITE young leaders or experienced planners
SITE: What are some of the educational activities and events SITE Canada is doing to engage current and prospective members?
Jenn: We are a very active Chapter supported not only by a very strong Board of dedicated volunteers, but also by our members. Our member engagement allows us to continue to push the bar higher. Some of our highlights for this year include:
- SITE Canada Social one of our primary fund raising events sold out for the 3rd year in a row. Our title sponsor Hard Rock Resorts has just re-signed for a 3rd year.
- Our Annual Golf Tournament continues with another sell out event for both golfers and sponsors almost 2 months prior to the event. Our returning sponsorship is at its highest level ever.
- Chapter meetings throughout the year continue to raise the bar with unique incentive based educational events and over 50 members and guests attending each event on average. Venues this year have included Ripley’s Aquarium Toronto and Ravine Vineyard.
- Our SITE Education Day on October 29th is a highly anticipated event that sells out every year. With participation from Paul Miller SITE President, Kevin Hinton SITE CEO, and guest speakers including Patricia Kerr from Nationwide Insurance and Michael Dominques of MGM Resorts it is sure to be another big success.
- We recently launched the SITE Canada ICE Awards, allowing us to promote incentive travel excellence at home.
Our theme for 2014 is Collaboration, so other initiatives include the continued promotion of the Gain InSITE program launched in 2013. Representatives from SITE Canada are working with Chapters around the world to promote the value of Think SITE, Buy SITE, Gain InSite. We need to continue to support our suppliers and partners that support SITE throughout the year.
SITE: What are some of the key opportunities/issues/challenges that are positively or negatively impacting the incentive travel and motivational events industry in your region?
Jenn: Budgets continue to remain flat. The challenge is working with customers to find new incentive destinations, but within their budget. Airfare costs continue to rise and these costs impact budgets, some of which have not increased in 3 or 4 years or more.
Security issues, perceived or real, are a big challenge. When working with clients on outbound incentive programs to unique destinations globally, what might be perceived as a safe upcoming incentive destination one minute is fraught with conflict and challenges that present security issues the next. For incentive programs that are booking locations 3 years out this is a major challenge. Unfortunately the end result is sometimes programs have to be cancelled or moved within a few short months.
On the positive side of things our company is seeing incentives on the rise, both at home and abroad. With more clients looking to create additional travel incentives within their sales programs we are hoping for a bright future locally and globally. SITE Canada as a chapter and SITE overall are critical to fostering the growth of the industry by supporting our members and promoting the value of incentive programs worldwide.