The conference and host city Orlando, Florida, USA, delivered on their promises of warm, sunny weather, extraordinary evening events and unprecedented educational sessions. Ms. Feyhan Kaprali (left) represented Tekser Tourism & Travel at the Site Global Conference 2013.
At the Annual General Meeting of Members, Site President David Sand and Site Chief Staff Officer Kevin Hinton shared the outcomes of Site’s “Painted Picture” strategic planning process, which envisions where the association will be by 2016.
“This conference is a sure step forward toward making Site the ultimate voice of the incentive travel and motivational events industry,” said Sand. “We are focused and determined to keep improving our membership proposition as we grow the influence of the incentive industry globally.”
Following destination tours, global networking and an incredible welcome reception on Saturday, the opening ceremony kicked off Sunday with a rousing march from a local high school band. A procession of Site members carrying flags from the 40 countries represented at the conference illustrated the global nature of the incentive world and Site’s membership. In honor of Site’s 40 years, the opening session recognized the 23 Site Past Presidents in attendance, and Hinton led a panel discussion about Site’s past and future with Site Founding President Anne Wold-Graham and Past Presidents Padraic Gilligan (2008) and Carolyn Dow (2001).
The conference’s rich educational offerings included two new certificate programs – Incentive Project Management and Cruising and Incentives – and learning sessions on industry trends, technology, business ethics and social media, presented by leading industry professionals from around the world. The well-attended sessions received high marks for the quality of content and diversity of speakers.
The Site Global Conference was also an opportunity for Site to recognize the best of motivational experiences over the past year. With the presentation of the 2013 Site Crystal Awards at a luncheon hosted by IMEX Group, Site celebrated 10 extraordinary motivational programs designed by companies from China, India, Spain, Namibia, the Netherlands and the United States. The Site Crystal Award serves as a benchmark for programs and is regarded as the highest honor in the motivational events and incentive travel industry.
“As the first global conference in my new role here at Site, I was extraordinarily pleased with the excitement that was palpable throughout this experience. We realized a 40 percent growth in attendance over last year’s conference and the buzz at this event was unmistakably positive – a reflection of the destination of Orlando and a recovering incentive industry as well as quality education,” shared Hinton. “The Site global community is strong, and clearly getting stronger. I’m excited about what is ahead in 2014.”
The conference looked ahead to next year with a luncheon hosted by Rotterdam, where delegates previewed the “Orchestra of Emotions” industry professionals will experience at the Site Global Conference 2014, 14-17 November. Decked out in orange suits, representatives from Rotterdam Marketing entertained the audience with fun facts about the Netherlands, highlighted by a special appearance and song from the celebrity Mr. Holland.