Mapping the future of incentive travel

Expert Opinion
Mapping the future of incentive travel

SITE CEO Didier Scalliet (pictured below, far right) reflects on the organisation’s annual conference, and the Bangkok Manifesto which will shape the future of incentive travel.

 

At the SITE annual conference this year in Bangkok, we created The Bangkok Manifesto. It’s our 10 statements on the nature, purpose and direction of incentive travel for 2019. You can find it on our website.

I say “we” advisedly. This was NOT the work of a small elite group. It was a genuine crowd-sourced initiative that involved SITE and non-SITE members all focused on identifying a road map for incentive travel based on our aspirations and the realities of the unfolding market. Here’s how it came about:

A new SITE executive leadership team took the reins last year and the transition event was our Global Conference in Rome in January 2018 where the new team was struck by the star quality of the attendees – legends of the global incentive travel industry. We wondered how we could tap into that knowledge, channel it for the benefit of the entire industry, turn it into a vision document, a big statement… a manifesto.

We engaged Martin Sirk of Serendipity Consulting (former Executive Director of ICCA) as consultant/moderator and designed a methodology with Martin aimed at “crowdsourcing” the Manifesto with key SITE audiences.

In advance of a series of face to face workshops we distributed a briefing document defining the term Manifesto, giving examples of good ones and sharing a range of stimulating reading material to tease the thought buds.

The first workshop with SITE’s International Board of Directors, SITE Foundation’s Board of Trustees and the title sponsors of the initiative, Meet in Ireland worked for two hours together and produced 50 statements about the nature and purpose of incentive travel. A voting system then reduced the list to 30 statements which became the focus for another workshop. This group of 50 individuals including non-members of SITE, then added to and subtracted from the 30 statements to achieve 15 for presenting to the entire assembly during the closing session of the Global Conference.

Using audience engagement platform Sli.do, the 10 statements that you’ll find in the publication were then selected electronically by the assembly voting.

Views come from the entire incentive spectrum – DMC and DMO sectors, hospitality sector, third party planners and corporate end-users and you can pick up a copy of the Bangkok Manifesto at the SITE Booth at IMEX in Frankfurt next month.