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Photo Credit: SITE

On the piste again

Following its postponement in 2020 due to the pandemic, SITE’s Incentive Summit Americas (ISA) took place live and in-person last week, 8 – 11 April in Colorado. 80 incentive travel professionals gathered at the twin resort of Aspen Snowmass to connect, learn and discover how incentive travel programmes can be successfully delivered in line with public health protocols.

Developed specifically for the event by SITE in collaboration with event managers, Unbridled, all participants were obliged to sign up in advance to “SITE Safe”, our health security framework. Mask wearing and social distancing were observed at all educational and social events and all participants were given antigen tests on arrival and again prior to departure with 100% testing negative for Covid-19.

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Photo Credit: SITE

Commenting on the event, Tahira Endean, CMP, CED, DES, CITP, Head of Events, at SITE said: “Incentive travel experiences are like a Swiss watch – putting them together takes skill, precision and attention to detail. This is, even more, the case when public health protocols come into play. With event partners, Unbridled, and our wonderful host destinations, Aspen Snowmass, we developed our plan, a large part of which focused on health and risk management. But we wanted the extensive health security infrastructure to protect participants, not intimidate them. The feedback we received would indicate that we were successful!”

Rebecca Wright, CIS, CITP, interim Executive Director of SITE added: “With such pent up demand for quality incentive travel experiences, there was a palpable joy amongst participants as SITE returned to live, in-person events. Symbolically this event was crucial for us, but also for the industry at large. With ISA we have demonstrated unequivocally that it’s possible to stage incentive travel programs and motivational experiences safely, with due regard to public health restrictions and guidelines. In particular, I’d like to thank our hosts in Aspen and Snowmass, and our event partners, Unbridled, for working with us with such diligence, commitment and vision to make it happen”.

site_incentive_summit
Photo Credit: SITE

The program followed the usual structure for SITE’s incentive summits of networking, education and destination discovery. Hosted by Aspen Snowmass, Aspen Chamber Resort Association and Go Snowmass, the entire destination was behind the event with W, St Regis, Hotel Jerome, Little Nell, Limelight Aspen, Viceroy Snowmass and The Collective Snowmass all featuring and DMC support from RMC Aspen and Imprint Group – a DMC Network company. Award-winning author Ross Bernstein delivered a keynote on peak performance while an expert panel, generously sponsored by Kerzner International, addressed how we “unmask our future”.

Posting on LinkedIn after the event, Ross Bernstein said: “Kudos for putting on such a first-class event that was not only fun and elegant but safe and responsible. I mean providing rapid Covid tests for every single attendee as well as the entire hospitality staff? Unbelievable!”

ISA also featured a silent auction that raised over USD$16,000 for SITE Foundation’s important work on behalf of the incentive travel industry in research, content generation, education and advocacy.