The German philosopher, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe said, “Whatever you do or dream you can do — begin it. Boldness has genius and power and magic in it.”
As we begin 2016, we stop and ponder on all that happened in the year gone by and wonder what the year ahead holds for us. What we know for sure is that each year paves the way to new hopes and promises. I wish for 2016 to be a year of many happy beginnings for one and all.
I am very excited to be leading a board of brilliant professionals from around the world. The leadership you have elected to SITE and the Foundation have a renewed level of excitement and commitment and some creative ideas on how to achieve our 2016 goals.
Every year, the incoming President sets areas of focus for the association. I am conscious of the illustrious shoes I now fill, but am happy that much of the foundation for SITE’s future has been laid by the hard work of my predecessors over the past few years.
Creating serious strategic initiatives and plans is easy. Making them work is hard. We need to bring in best practices from the individual professional experiences of our board members. We need to be efficient, effective and profitable. We need to think out of the box.
The board has approved five areas of priority focus for 2016:
- Membership – SITE is about you. We will be increasing our engagement, be more communicative and ensure delivery of value. Membership growth and retention are critical to our success.
- Education – This has always been a cornerstone of SITE. We are taking the delivery of our curriculum global. Bringing back the CITE certification is also in the cards for this year.
- Sponsorship & Global Development – We are in 89 countries, but still have some ways to go to increase our presence in new and emerging markets. This year we are creating plans specific to the needs of each region of the world.
- Advocacy – Incentive Travel as a tool is not as self-explanatory all over the world as we think. As we grow, so does our need to strengthen alliances with strategic partners and other industry associations, as well as reach out to governments in regions where more advocacy is needed to propagate the positives of travel as a motivational tool.
- Financial Health – And finally, we need to strengthen our ability to generate revenue to fund our growth. A financially strong SITE will deliver results at levels never before seen.
We just held one of the best SITE Global Conferences in a long time. We brought back the word “incentive quality” into how we run our events and this year’s conference in Panama promises to top that. We are hosting Incentive Summit Americas in Snowmass, Colorado, USA in March and later in the year we will be holding an event in Europe. In a few weeks, the SITE Board and Foundation Trustees will be traveling to Slovenia for the 2016 Incentive Summit. Plans are also emerging for activities in South East Asia. Much is afoot. We are excited!
But our relationship cannot be one sided. SITE changed my life. It helped me become a better professional. It gave me amazing friendships. It showed me the world. It can do that for you, too. I need you to communicate with us. I want you to send your thoughts and your ideas on what SITE should do in your region or across the world. Our conversation has to be two-way. I, Kevin and the entire headquarters team is available to any member who wants to share, ask or just shoot the breeze.
Thank you for being a part of our amazing community! Together, let’s look forward to an amazing year ahead. Block your calendars now for our events across the world, and make sure you factor in the Global Conference this November in Panama. If you thought India was amazing, you haven’t seen anything yet.
Before I sign off, I bought myself a new GoPro for Christmas, so you’re going to see a lot more of me on video during the year. Here’s the first.
On behalf of the entire SITE & SITE Foundation boards and our headquarters team, we wish you and your loved ones a great and joyful 2016.
SITE President 2016