The Society of Incentive & Travel Executives (SITE) is calling its recently implemented strategic plan a success, having this year increased its overall membership to an all-time high and set the tone for more to come in 2006.
“2005 was an extremely successful and productive year for SITE,” said Brenda Anderson, the organization’s CEO. “It was a banner year. A lot of hard work from our board of directors and volunteers really paid off.”
For the first time in SITE’s 32-year history, more than 2,000 incentive and travel executives representing more than 82 counties belong to the Chicago-based the organization. SITE recruited more than 500 new members and retained 87% of its members in 2005.
“People are really seeing the value [of the organization],” Anderson said. “They are understanding the benefit of being part of this global society.”
At SITE’s annual meeting, executives outlined the organization’s 2005 achievements and plans to build on its strategic plan for 2006. SITE’s president-elect Lex Granaada, who begins Jan. 1, said the organization plans to develop a number of new programs for 2006, including chapter online registration and incentive practitioners scholarships.
SITE unveiled its new strategic plan— organization’s first since the 1990s— April (P&I April 27). Over the next two years, SITE wants to increase awareness via regional offices, member value and promote business-to-business opportunities among members, future contributors and strategic alliances.
And starting next month, SITE will take a step closer toward one of its goals. The organization plans to open its first regional offices in Europe next month; a second regional office is set to open in Asia or Latin America mid-year, Anderson said.
To boost member value, SITE is ramping up its Young Leaders Program, which gives members under 35 who have been in the industry less than five years tools and tips to succeed. An educational conference is planned for the group in June.
“This is not an industry that is easy on newcomers,” Anderson said. “We just want to really bring up that next group of industry leaders and give them additional tools.”
Lastly, SITE plans to focus its efforts to promote additional business-to-business and networking opportunities for members. The organization has added an online resource directory, the SITE Finder Service, to help members connect with potential clients.
SITE’s members have backgrounds in the airline, cruise line, incentive house, hotel and resort, travel agency, restaurant and tourist organization industries. The organization was founded in 1973.