The Vancouver Manifesto

Expert Opinion
The Vancouver Manifesto

SITE Chief Excellence Officer Didier Scaillet shares some of the themes discussed by a record number of delegates at the association’s recent Global Conference in Canada


Beginning with The Bangkok Manifesto at last year’s SITE Global Conference, each year we uncover the trends, themes and topics that are important, impactful and relevant for incentive travel professionals.

The Vancouver Manifesto is this year’s treatise on the nature, purpose and direction of incentive travel.

Not only did we have a stellar turnout for our 2020 Global Conference in Vancouver (24-27 January) – 640 attendees to be precise – we accomplished so much during our annual educational and networking event.

Last year’s Bangkok Manifesto successfully created the 10 statements on the nature, purpose and direction of incentive travel, and thus made way for this year’s revised and updated Vancouver Manifesto.

Sponsored by Meet in Ireland, we created the Bangkok Manifesto following a series of workshops with SITE’s international Board of Directors, trustees of the SITE Foundation and a cohort of global experts in the field of incentive travel. The final 10 statements of the Bangkok Manifesto were then crowdsourced with the full conference assembly using Slido, the online, audience engagement platform.

The Vancouver Manifesto will be the core reference point for incentive travel professionals throughout 2020.

Our SITE 2020 President Jenn Glynn said it best: “This Manifesto will be the go-to piece for our members that articulates the true purpose of incentive travel and demonstrates its value in today’s business world.”

With the Manifesto, we not only reach our membership and our industry, but the mainstream business world, as well.

In workshops during the conference, SITE’s Chief Marketing Officer, Pádraic Gilligan, along with facilitator Martin Sirk, wanted to move the Manifesto from idea to action.

“Because of the groundswell of viewpoints and involvement from all our attendees, we now have a series of action points our members can use throughout the year,” said Gilligan.

Our additions and amendments for this year’s Manifesto were also crowdsourced at the closing session, giving our attendees (and another 2,000 on livestream) the opportunity to contribute their two cents as to what they felt was important for this year’s Manifesto.

Three amendments were added to include three important topics: Sustainability, Corporate Culture and Economic Growth.

Sustainability has been a topic SITE has embraced, to show how the incentive industry is ready to incorporate sustainable practices into its incentive travel proposals and contracts to clients.

On the theme of corporate culture, the idea is, with one voice, we share success stories of incentive travel programmes and how they positively affect a company’s corporate culture, as well as their bottom line.

As far as Economic Growth, the goal is to produce evidence of the economic value generated for destinations that host incentive travel programmes – even in second and third tier cities around the world. 

We feel the Vancouver Manifesto will have a big impact for members this year. Companies are becoming more and more reflective about their purpose – why they exist, what they stand for and, crucially, what value they create beyond mere revenue generation. These statements will be beneficial when our members have conversations with corporations, CEOs and HR departments on how incentive travel can benefit their companies. The Manifesto will also allow them to have a broader understanding of incentive travel, as well.

Stuart Wood is a news reporter across the Mash Media editorial portfolio. He writes for CMW alongside sister publications Conference News, Exhibition News, Access All Areas and Exhibition World.

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