Bill Boyd, CMP, CMM, CITE, founder of Sunbelt Motivation & Travel in Dallas, Texas, is a highly respected industry leader and a mentor to many incentive travel and motivational events professionals. During his successful, 42-year career, he has generously contributed his time as President of the Site International Board of Directors as well as International President of MPI. Now, Sunbelt has announced its merger with Dallas-based Spear One. Site Source asked Boyd to share his plans for the future and offer advice on how to achieve success in today’s competitive environment.
Site Source: What was the motivation to merge your business with Spear One?
Bill Boyd: Spear One has been a respected competitor of Sunbelt’s for a number of years and with this combination our merged market strength becomes formidable. With both companies based in Dallas, it was essential to me that we were able to retain a majority of the Sunbelt staff, most who have been with me for over 20 years, enabling us to continue to deliver a high level of professionalism and client care to our clients.
Despite the rumor, I am not retiring. I will continue as Owner and Chairman of Allied PRA/Dallas/Fort Worth and will also serve this year as Chair of the Dallas Convention & Visitor’s Bureau. However, my personal motivation was to free up more time to volunteer with the Society of St. Vincent de Paul and the North Texas Food Bank, organizations that provide programs and services to the needy and homeless, causes that I am passionate about.
Site Source: What words of advice would you share with industry professionals on how to achieve career success in today’s environment?
Bill: I wish I knew the magic ingredient. When I started in this business, success was all about building strong and personal relationships with key decision makers based on trust and credibility. Some of my most memorable moments were spent on site inspections with the chairman of a client company and his or her spouse developing lasting friendships. Today, with procurement controlling the process, relationship building is much more difficult. Realizing that the RFP process marginalizes your creative touch, it is important to find ways to make personal connections with decision-makers and influencers. The use of social media is key to building relationships. Creating personal connections through LinkedIn, Facebook or even Twitter helps you to break down barriers created by the procurement process. At the same time, you need to respect the boundaries and not do anything that would threaten your opportunity to participate in the RFP process.
Site Source: How can industry professionals gain the most from membership in Site?
Bill: Continuing education on the motivational events and incentive travel industry is very important to career success and Site membership provides the "bridge" to that education. A lot of learning institutions are offering courses in travel and hospitality yet very few provide education on the theory and practice of performance improvement. Site provides education and tools, such as the new, Certified Incentive Specialist (CIS) program, to help industry professionals build credibility and become a valuable and respected resource to their customers. The work that the Site International Foundation is doing is very impressive. Research, such as the Participant's Viewpoint Study, provides compelling proof of the link between motivational experiences and measurable business results.
Active participation in your local Site Chapter is also a great way to learn about the industry and network with industry experts. Over the past few years, the Site Texas Chapter has been able to attract many new members due to the success of its educational forums. The most popular sessions are those focused on the practical use of technology – not just theory, but teaching mechanics on how to use technology to market and sell your services.