Current News

Check out the latest news from around the world by the industry's movers and shakers.

Current News

November 15, 2018
ACTE Montréal Global Summit Leads the Discussion on Bill C-45 and Canadian Business Travel

Get ready for ACTE Montréal Global Summit & Corporate Lodging Forum* 18 – 20 November 2018 at the Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth bringing together buyers and suppliers for collaboration, industry education, and networking.

“Bill C-45 and Canadian Business Travel:  What You Need to Know” plenary session on Tuesday, 20 November 8:45 - 9:45 will take a deep dive into the recent decriminalization of cannabis across Canada how this has sparked questions regarding exposure to legal risks posed to travellers and their companies when Canadian business travellers cross international borders. Ms. Arianne Bouchard, who practices in labour and employment law with the global firm of Dentons, will explain the potential threat to traveller security this legislation may cause and provide attendees with advice to communicate and use in policy—and to protect their companies and travellers. 

Speakers include:

  • Arianne Bouchard, Lawyer, Dentons Canada
  • Deanna Ois, Travel Services Manager, Canadian Forces Morale and Welfare Services

With buyer-only/supplier-only opportunities, the chance for extensive networking, and education sessions on corporate travel, over 300 industry professionals are expected to attend. 

*All times and programmes subject to change based on final Summit schedule.

November 13, 2018
Metro Toronto Convention Centre Launches New "Multi" Ad Campaign

TORONTO/CNW/ - The Metro Toronto Convention Centre (MTCC) announced today the launch of a new ad campaign "multi" created to tell the story of multiple reasons why the facility stands out as a top choice for meetings and event planners. The campaign reflects the centre's strong position in the business events marketplace and its unique location in the heart of a multicultural, thriving destination.

Developed by The Turn Lab, a Toronto-based marketing agency, the campaign represents a new, contemporary direction for the MTCC's advertising strategy. It was designed after months of research to motivate planners to want to know more, and to make an important connection between the facility and the multi-virtues of the world-class destination it is proud to call home.

The latest Watkins Research report on the needs and views of meeting planners recently recognized Toronto as one of the top-ranked meeting destinations in North America. The Centre's location, in the heart of Toronto's downtown, continues to be preferred by meeting planners from around the world.

"The campaign reflects the essence of Toronto, and everything the MTCC and the city has to offer; cultural richness, culinary diversity, unmatched hospitality and the boundless opportunities for business and events", said Christine Tse, Director of Marketing at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. "The multi campaign reflects the current Toronto vibe and positions the MTCC as the place to be".

"The multi campaign was the outcome of key insights that revealed an authentic connection between a multicultural and multidimensional city like Toronto and how its richness has both inspired and informed the first-class services at MTCC", said Howard Chang, co-founder at The Turn Lab.

About the Metro Toronto Convention Centre

The Metro Toronto Convention Centre is Canada's number one convention and trade show facility. Over the past 34 years, the Centre has hosted over 20,000 events and has added $6.3 billion in direct spending economic impact to the community. For further information, please visit

SOURCE Metro Toronto Convention Centre

For further information: Media enquiries: Melanie Wade, Social Media and Communications Specialist, Metro Toronto Convention Centre, T: (416) 585-8504, E:

November 08, 2018
Vancouver Among North America's Top Meeting & Convention Destinations

Vancouver, Canada--Vancouver has been ranked one of North America’s top meeting and convention destinations according to the 2018 Watkins Report Meeting and Convention Planners Survey.

Considered the most comprehensive and authoritative ranking in the industry, the biennial report is based on a survey of nearly 1,000 meeting and convention organizers in North America, evaluating the 40 most popular convention destinations in the US and Canada.

The Watkins Report covers topics concerning city and convention bureau perception, meeting requirements and key factors in making site decisions.

The honours awarded to Vancouver in the 2018 survey include:

  • #1 for Meeting Planner “Likely to Recommend”
  • #1 for Most Helpful Convention & Visitor Bureau / Destination Marketing Organization
  • #1 for Superior Convention Centre Services
  • #1 for Safe and Secure Destination to host a meeting
  • #1 for Great All-Around Convention City in Canada

In addition, Vancouver placed in the top 10 in the categories of:

  • Great All-Around Convention City in North America
  • Most Positive Overall Experience for Major Conventions
  • Easy Accessibility Within the City
  • Ease of Doing Business
  • Destinations with the Best Hotels

The Watkins Report findings were met with applause from Vancouver’s meetings and convention industry, which is currently experiencing one of the busiest convention years in its history, with 32 citywide meetings on the books and dozens more smaller meetings and events attracting out-of-town business travellers.

“The Watkins Report underscores Vancouver’s reputation as a premier global meetings destination” said Dave Gazley, vice president of Meeting & Convention Sales at Tourism Vancouver. “The recognition Tourism Vancouver and the Vancouver Convention Centre received for being the #1 ‘Most Helpful Convention and Visitor Bureau / Destination Marketing Organization’ and #1 for ‘Superior Convention Centre Services’ is particularly gratifying”

Claire Smith, vice president of Sales and Marketing at the Vancouver Convention Centre added: “The global business events industry is extremely competitive. To once again receive top rankings in the Watkins Report that represents the views of nearly 1,000 meeting planners is both humbling and inspiring. We are truly proud of these results that speak to the strength of our entire hospitality and events community, and the global appeal of the Vancouver Convention Centre and the destination.”

“This prestigious ranking once again highlights the unique appeal of the Vancouver Convention Centre on the world stage,” said Lisa Beare, Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture. “The highly competitive meetings and conventions industry is an important part of B.C.’s visitor economy. I’m proud of the team at the Vancouver Convention Centre, Tourism Vancouver and the hospitality community for this outstanding achievement, and their ongoing effort to make B.C. a better place for people to live, work and visit.”

Vancouver also consistently receives great feedback from meeting planner clients who bring groups to the destination.

Virgina-based Leslie Zeck, director of Meetings for the International & American Associations for Dental Research said of her recent Vancouver convention experience: “I cannot think of any other convention destination that checks all of the boxes like Vancouver does. After attending and planning meetings all across the globe, I can say that planning or attending a meeting in Vancouver just allows everyone to breathe easier. Booking this destination made me a believer. Vancouver as a destination is the formula for success.”

Alongside this recognition from Watkins Research Group, Vancouver has recently earned a number of other accolades, including top honours from STR’s DestinationMAP (Meeting Assessment Program), which named Vancouver the highest-rated business meeting site in North America; Skytrax’s award for number-one airport in North America (the ninth consecutive year Vancouver International Airport has received the award); and Canada Green Building Council’s recognition of the world’s first double LEED Platinum certified Convention Centre in Vancouver.

November 08, 2018
SITE Announces 2019 International Board of Directors and Foundation Trustees

Chicago, Illinois—Society for Incentive Travel Excellence (SITE) has announced a distinguished list of experienced and diverse global incentive travel leaders from 10 countries who will serve on the SITE International Board of Directors and SITE Foundation Board of Trustees effective 1 January 2019. 

“Continuity is planned and never by accident. It has truly been a joy to see such an extraordinary slate of candidates run for the SITE board. Each and every one of them deserves to be on the board and I wish we could have accommodated everyone that applied. I know SITE is in good hands for years to come and we have people ready to take on challenges in the future,” said Rajeev Kohli, CIS, CITP, SITE past-president and 2018 nominations chair.

Philip Eidsvold, CIS, CITP, senior director client services for One10, will serve as president of the SITE International Board of Directors. “The caliber of candidates that applied for the open positions on our International Board of Directors is testament to the strength, power and reach of SITE’s reputation as the voice in business events for incentive travel, the “I” in MICE.  I look forward to working proactively with our new and returning board members to strengthen SITE’s reach and reputation amongst members, the industry, the business world and society at large.”  

Serving with Mr. Eidsvold as officers and returning directors are:

  • Immediate Past President: Annamaria Ruffini, CIS, CITP, CMP, president and CEO Events In & Out S.R.L., Rome, Italy
  • President-Elect: Jennifer Glynn, CIS, CITP, managing partner, Meeting Encore Ltd & Intuitive Conferences + Events, Canada
  • Vice-President, Finance & Business Development: Aoife Delaney, CIS, director of sales and marketing, DMC Network, Ireland
  • Vice-President Education & Certification: Kevin Edmunds, CITP, vice-president sales, AIC Hotel Group, USA
  • Member-at-Large: Eda Özden Günyüz, CIS, CITP, director of business development, MEP Destination Business Solutions, Turkey
  • Daryl Keywood, CIS, managing director and ceo, Walthers DMC, South Africa
  • Ellie MacPherson, CITP, sr. vice-president, Strategic Meetings + Incentives, Canada
  • Anne-Marie Rogers, director meetings & incentives, Direct Travel, USA
  • Julia Trejo, CIS, CMP, DMCP, director of business development, Terramar – a DMC Network Company, Mexico
  • Alicia Yao, CIS, general manager, IME Consulting Co., Ltd., China
  • Carina Bauer, SITE Foundation President-Elect, ceo, IMEX Group & Regent Exhibitions, United Kingdom

Two new directors join the board in 2019:

  • El Kwang, CITP, ceo, Untangled Pte Ltd & Business Events Asia, Singapore
  • Rebecca Wright, CIS, director account operations, Creative Group, USA

John Iannini, CIS, CITP CTC, vice-president business travel meetings & events Americas, Melia Hotels International, is serving his second year as SITE Foundation President. “The SITE Foundation is pleased to welcome Amy Riley and Brad Hecht to the 2019 trustee roster. Their expertise in the incentive space helps to broaden our reach and strengthen our mission as we continue to create compelling content to inform business professionals of the bold results incentive travel produces, and provide industry insights and education to further the careers of incentive travel professionals.”

Serving with Mr. Iannini as officers and returning trustees are:

  • Immediate Past President: Rhea Stagner, CIS, CITP, division vice-president, sourcing and supplier relations, Maritz Travel – a Maritz Global Events Company, USA
  • President-Elect: Carina Bauer, ceo, IMEX Group & Regent Exhibitions, United Kingdom
  • Vice-President Finance: Terry Manion, executive vice-president, Meridican Incentive Consultants, Canada
  • Vice-President Fundraising & Events: Anne DiGregory, director global luxury sales, Marriott International Luxury Brands, USA
  • Vice-President Research & Content: Tina Weede, CIS, CITP, CRP, president and ceo, Peerless Performance, USA
  • Lynn Pavony, director of incentive sales, Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts, USA
  • Selina Sinclair, CITP, CMP, SMMC, global managing director, Pacific World, Singapore
  • Kevin Regan, MBA, global director charter and incentives, Azamara Club Cruises, USA
  • Hamish Reid, MICE consultant, Hills Balfour, Great Britain
  • Jimmy Romo, CITP, general manager specialty sales, Delta Airlines, USA
  • Dana Weaver, CIS, sr. manager marketing services, GROWMARK, USA
  • Chris Wheeler, executive director global incentive sales, sbe Group, USA
  • Jennifer Glynn, CIS, CITP, SITE president-elect, managing partner, Meeting Encore Ltd & Intuitive Conferences and Events, Canada

Two new trustees join the Foundation board in 2019:

  • Amy Riley, CEM, Senior Director of Business Sales, Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, USA
  • Brad Hecht, Vice President, Travel, Motivation Excellence, USA

“As the Foundation past president, it has been my honor to work with our nominating committee to find the right leaders to continue the successful momentum of the Foundation. Amy and Brad come to us as long time SITE members, very passionate about the industry as well as education and certifications for our members.  I know their passion and experience will be a wonderful asset to the Foundation,” commented Rhea Stagner, SITE Foundation nominations chair.

SITE acknowledges the immense contributions of departing board members and trustees:  Rajeev Kohli, CIS, CITP, joint managing director, Creative Travel Pvt., Jonathan Richards, CIS, CITP, Manager, Corporate Gifts, NW, Mexico & Europe, Maui Jim Sunglasses & Zeal Optics and Bonnie Boisner, CITP, formerly with One10. Rajeev, Jonathan and Bonnie all served with great dedication and distinction, helping to build SITE’s profile and reputation in their regions. 

Board members and Foundation Trustees will be formally introduced to members during the SITE Global Conference, 11-14 January in Bangkok, Thailand.

About SITE:
SITE, the Society for Incentive Travel Excellence is the only global organization dedicated to strengthening and supporting the incentive travel industry. We connect incentive travel to business results. For our members we provide professional development, certification and business connections. SITE members help companies maximize workforce output by creating and delivering incentive travel programs that inspire people to exceed expectations and transcend their goals. Our research proves the ROI for incentive travel, which is a powerful business tool that strengthens employee retention, improves performance and fosters a culture of thoughtful motivation and sustained success. Over the last 45 years, SITE has grown to over 2200 members in 84 countries with 29 local and regional chapters.

We also fund and conduct research through the SITE Foundation whose fundraising initiatives facilitate vital industry research, trend analysis, and educational program support for incentive travel professionals. Our multi-tiered approach builds awareness and strengthens the effectiveness of incentive travel. For more information, please visit

November 05, 2018
AV-CANADA Announces Expansion into U.S. Market with the launch of AV-AMERICA

Toronto, Canada—AV-CANADA is proud to be celebrating 25 years of business! “With drive, perseverance, and ongoing success come exciting growth opportunities. We are pleased to announce our new endeavor AV-AMERICA, headquartered in Orlando, Florida.”, said Danny Dobriansky, Co-President.

Heading the operation as Chief Operating Officer for AV-AMERICA, Kip Cade brings 25 years of experience in the United States AV business, guaranteeing the same quality and service standards that you have come to expect. “With this new venture, we have the opportunity to further expand the capabilities of AV-CANADA into new markets and leverage the established presence of our U.S. team. Together, we have the ability within our industry to deliver top-notch service to all of our clients throughout North America.”, said Kip Cade.

Also joining the AV-AMERICA team, we are pleased to introduce Rita Plaskett CMM, CMP who will head up our Business Development team. Rita will serve as Vice President of Business Development. She brings over 30 years of meetings experience including past Chair, MPI Global Foundation and member of the MPI International Board of Directors. Rita, currently sits on an MPI International Committee. We welcome her vast network of Global Industry peers.

In addition, we welcome Yolanda Clark as Managing Director of Marketing and Community Engagement. Yolanda, is widely recognized for her many years of public relations experience, community engagement within the Greater Orlando area and a strong network of industry peers across the state and country.

Please join us in congratulating our new team at AV-AMERICA! We are pleased to welcome them to our family of award winning services and professionals. Whether your next meeting or convention is in Canada or in the USA; we now have you covered. We will be pleased to supply you with our superior service and our inherited culture that is focused on your success. See more at our new website:

1655 Queensway East
Mississauga, ON L4X 2Z5

October 22, 2018
Introducing a Canadian Speaker Series for Canadians!

Featuring Inspiring Canadian Leaders as they Explore Today’s Most Relevant Topics

Toronto, ON—Transformational Viewpoints is a series of live speaker and networking events across Canada featuring influential and engaging Canadian leaders from a variety of fields, including best-selling authors, Olympic and professional athletes, community leaders, and influencers. These professionals will share their insights on today’s most topical items: leadership, blockchain, artificial intelligence, adversity, cannabis culture, health and wellness, and more, inspiring discovery and discussion among the audience. The Transformational Viewpoints roster of speakers will reflect cultural, geographic and gender equality.

Developed for businesses and entrepreneurs, these events offer both professional and personal learning and the opportunity to network with people who share common goals: seeking growth and knowledge. Presentations will take place concurrently in two or three intimate and comfortable stadium-style theatres. This means that attendees can customize their experience by selecting the speakers that are of most interest to them and their learning goals.

We guarantee the audience will leave with knowledge that will make them that much more interesting at the next cocktail party!

Tickets have been priced to offer exceptional value and access to individuals and businesses large and small. Group rates are available for team building and employee recognition programs. Prices for this full day professional opportunity of learning and networking start at $109 and include: light breakfast, coffee service, a healthy lunch and cinema style afternoon snacks!

In the spirit of making these events accessible to all, Transformational Viewpoints has partnered with Lyft to help you get to the first two events in Ontario; tickets for Mississauga and Hamilton include a $20 Lyft credit. Available when you purchase your ticket online.

Transformational Viewpoints kicks off in Ontario this November and continues through April 2019. Tickets are on sale now for November 15, 2018 at Cineplex Cinemas Mississauga and on November 29, 2018 at Cineplex Hamilton Mountain. The full list of dates, locations and confirmed speaker line-ups is available online at

For more information contact:

Carrie Jackson @ 416-323-7230 or email



About Transformational Viewpoints
Transformational Viewpoints was created by Newcap Events and Cineplex Meetings + divisions. Newcap Events is a division of Newcap Radio, one of Canada’s leading radio broadcasters with 101 broadcast licenses across Canada. The Company reaches millions of listeners each week through a variety of formats and is a recognized industry leader in radio programming, sales and networking. With uncompromised sightlines, comfortable seating, and 165 convenient locations across Canada, Cineplex theatres are ideally suited for creating a world-class presentation environment for speakers and audiences alike. All auditoriums are equipped with a digital projector and auditorium speakers enhancing attendees’ overall experience. Cineplex hosts over 8000 meetings and event per year and over 70 million visitors annually.

October 19, 2018
Group Germain Hotels receives Pinnacle's Company of the year Award - Le Germain Hotel Quebec among the best hotels in Canada

Montreal (Quebec)—Group Germain Hotels is proud to have been named Hotelier’s Company of the Year for 2018, by the prestigious Pinnacle Awards. Considered as the Oscars of the industry, the Pinnacle Awards presented by Kostuch Media, recognize excellence in the areas of leadership, initiative and business excellence.

This is the second Pinnacle Award for Group Germain Hotels, as it was awarded Regional Company of the year in 2011. Highlighting an exceptionally successful year for the company, this award recognizes the development and growth of Group Germain Hotels across Canada since its beginning thirty years ago. “This year’s winning companies are transforming and altering the foodservice and hospitality landscape one concept at a time, through creativity, innovation and entrepreneurialism,” says Rosanna Caira, editor and publisher, Kostuch Media Limited.

Pioneer of the Hotel Boutique concept in Canada, family-owned Group Germain Hotels has accomplished the incredible feat of opening five hotels within an 18-month period. Alt Hotel St-John’s (fall 2017), Le Germain Hotel Ottawa (spring 2018); Alt Hotel Calgary East Village (fall 2018) and Alt Hotel Saskatoon (early 2019) were added to the cross-country network. Additionally, Group Germain Hotels inaugurated its new hotel banner: Alt+ Hotel. Located in the trendy Quartier DIX30 in Brossard (Quebec), Alt+ is a loft-style boutique hotel featuring studio-inspired rooms.

“We are extremely proud of our accomplishments of the past 30 years, this recognition from the industry is especially touching” says Christiane Germain, co-president of Group Germain Hotels. “This award recognizes our company’s success, our efforts in training and integration as well as our involvement in local communities,” adds Jean-Yves Germain, co-president of Group Germain Hotels.

Le Germain Hotel Quebec ranked among the best hotels in Canada
Condé Nast Traveler magazine has unveiled the results of its 2018 Readers’ Choice Awards, ranking Le Germain Hotel Quebec 17th best hotel in Canada.

“It is a great honor to be part of the Condé Nast Traveler Awards, one of the most prestigious publications in the luxury travel industry,” says Christiane Germain, co-president of Group Germain Hotels. “To provide attentive service in the inviting environment of our boutique hotel is our daily priority,” adds Sarah Côté, general manager Le Germain Hotel Quebec. “We are delighted that our exceptional hospitality philosophy resonates with the readers and travelers.”

About Condé Nast Traveler readers’ Choice Awards
Almost 430,000 readers have submitted their reviews and comments on their recent travel experiences, including cities, islands, hotels, resorts, cruise ships, airlines and airports across the world. Complete results can be found on the web at:

About Group Germain Hotels
Group Germain Hotels is a Canadian family-run business that owns and operates Le Germain Hotels, Alt and Alt+ Hotels across Canada. Ranked as one of Canada’s best-managed companies, the company is known for its exceptional hospitality philosophy and the unique style that characterizes its hotels. Celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2018, the 1250-employee company aims to become the first independent hotel company to offer travelers a cross-Canada network of 20 hotels by 2020. Visit Groupe Germain.

About Le Germain Hôtels
Pioneer of the boutique hotel concept in Canada, Le Germain believes in the importance of staying small and intimate. Whether in Calgary, Toronto, Montreal, Quebec City, Charlevoix or Ottawa, we make sure our guests are welcomed warmly and enjoy attentive and personalized service throughout their stay. Our carefully designed rooms with their timeless charm complete the guest experience, an experience of elegance. Visit Le Germain Hotels.

October 18, 2018
Leading MICE Industry Associations Come Together to Make the Industry Stronger

Chicago, IL--While tourism has long been seen as a tool for economic development, more and more regions and cities around the globe are recognizing the vital part Meetings, Incentives, Conventions and Exhibitions (MICE) play on economic growth, with MICE delegates contributing as much as four times more per visit than leisure tourists. This knowledge is driving a demand for experienced MICE professionals worldwide.

In a constantly changing world and competitive landscape, MICE professionals need specialized, credible competencies and resources to help them learn, adapt and evolve to stay ahead of the game. That’s why the leading associations in the industry have joined forces to develop the best MICE workforce in emerging markets outside of the U.S. and Canada.

Bringing together the power of International Association of Exhibition and Events (IAEE), Meeting Professionals International (MPI) and Society for Incentive Travel Excellence (SITE), the Global MICE Collaborative provides professional resources on exhibitions, meeting and event planning and incentive travel to foster the development of the MICE profession—and MICE professionals—in these regions.

" Incentive Travel – the “I” in MICE - is the fastest growing segment of the MICE industry and SITE is the only global association focused exclusively on Incentive Travel,” commented SITE CEO Didier Scaillet, CIS, CITP.  “We are thrilled to join together with IAEE and MPI to provide MICE professionals in emerging destinations the resources and competencies they need to grow their MICE business." 

The Global MICE Collaborative is the only worldwide solution that accelerates MICE workforce development and destination awareness through competency-building, live events, research, consulting and access to a vibrant community of experienced professionals. Here’s how:

  • Through professional competencies, the Global MICE Collaborative will deliver unparalleled comprehensive education and certification to develop the workforce and advance the professionalism of the industry.
  • Through live events, the Global MICE Collaborative will bring MICE professionals together in experiences that inspire, energize and provide ongoing professional development and business exchanges.
  • Through peer-to-peer engagement the Global MICE Collaborative will be the world’s go-to community for MICE professionals, delivering relationship value at every stage of their careers.
  • Through destination consulting, the Global MICE Collaborative will provide consultation, market research and trade education that will enable tourism and destination marketing organizations, venue operators, event organizers and destinations to reach the highest level of success.
  • Through research and advocacy, the Global MICE Collaborative will bring awareness of the value of the MICE industry and propel the industry forward by delivering data-driven trend reporting and pan-industry initiatives.

Many cities and regions are investing in infrastructure to increase their appeal as a MICE destination. However, they often lack the know-how and human capital to deliver meetings, incentives, events and exhibitions to international standards. By engaging with the Global MICE Collaborative, destinations will benefit through increased awareness and heightened professionalism that will ultimately attract more MICE business.

To learn more about the Global MICE Collaborative go to 

About SITE:
SITE, the Society for Incentive Travel Excellence is the only global organization dedicated to strengthening and supporting the incentive travel industry. We connect incentive travel to business results. For our members we provide professional development, certification and business connections. SITE members help companies maximize workforce output by creating and delivering incentive travel programs that inspire people to exceed expectations and transcend their goals. Our research proves the ROI for incentive travel, which is a powerful business tool that strengthens employee retention, improves performance and fosters a culture of thoughtful motivation and sustained success. Over the last 45 years, SITE has grown to over 2000 members in 84 countries with 29 local and regional chapters.

We also fund and conduct research through the SITE Foundation whose fundraising initiatives facilitate vital industry research, trend analysis, and educational program support for incentive travel professionals. Our multi-tiered approach builds awareness and strengthens the effectiveness of incentive travel. For more information, please visit

October 15, 2018
New Report Explores Topic Of Commoditiztion Of The Live Events Industry
Live events professionals engaged in thoughtful conversation about facilitating positive change

Chicago – The International Live Events Association (ILEA) today announced a new report that explores the subject of commoditization of the live events industry: what it is, what it means for the industry and how to address it.

“Unifying the Live Events Industry: A Global Events Industry Report” is a follow-up to the day-and-a-half dialogue at the ILEA Global Event Forum, Aug. 15-16 in Denver, which invited 30 elite live event influencers from around the globe to discuss the opportunities and challenges facing today’s event industry.

The group engaged in thoughtful conversation on key topics in the live events industry. They defined what is great about the industry — its embrace of diversity, its ability to facilitate positive change, its economic impact — but also delved into the issues that keep them up at night: fears of safety and security, the difficulty of effectively communicating their value as professionals, and the expansion of digital and online communication, among others.

“As live events professionals, we design and deliver meaningful live experiences by harnessing the power of face-to-face interaction,” said Sara Grauf, CSEP, ILEA president. “The ILEA Global Event Forum is the beginning of an ongoing conversation about how ILEA and live events professionals, associations and other industry organizations can cultivate change and innovation for future industry growth.”

To download a complimentary copy of the report, visit

Giants Enterprises is a presenting sponsor of the 2018 Global Event Forum.

ILEA plans to host the 2019 Global Event Forum in Minneapolis in August 2019. Dates and information to be announced.

About the International Live Events Association (ILEA)

The International Live Events Association (ILEA), formerly known as ISES (International Special Event Society) is a global community of thousands of creative event professionals whose skills, expertise and experience power some of the most recognized and respected live events around the world. For creative events professionals who seek deeper connections with like-minded individuals, ILEA provides the education and collaborative networking opportunities that achieve creative event experiences. For more information, visit

October 12, 2018
SITE, FICP and IRF Release Landmark Study of the Incentive Travel Industry

Society for Incentive Travel Excellence (SITE), Incentive Research Foundation (IRF), and Financial and Insurance Conference Professionals (FICP) are proud to announce the release of the first joint study of the global incentive travel industry. Incentive Travel Industry Index Powered by SITE Index, IRF Outlook and FICP is a landmark for the industry, providing unprecedented, consolidated insights into the current state of incentive travel and where it is headed.

“Never before have three associations, all with a focus on incentive travel, come together to release a pan-industry study of the global incentive travel sector. It is the biggest research project ever conducted on incentive travel, by volume and geographical spread, and the results demonstrate unequivocally that our industry is continuing to thrive and grow,” said SITE CEO Didier Scaillet, CIS, CITP.

Conducted in association with J.D. Power, the study is a wide-ranging analysis of business conditions, attitudes and expectations impacting the incentive travel and motivational events industry worldwide. With over 1,000 respondents from more than 80 countries, it is the largest survey ever conducted of senior players in the incentive travel industry, doubling responses from past individual efforts and netting new insights based on combined questioning.

Survey respondents were balanced between incentive travel buyers and suppliers, with buyers representing incentive agencies and corporate users, while more than half of the sellers are DMCs. The majority are tenured industry professionals with an average of 17.3 years of experience - approximately half are located in the US with the other half outside the US.

“For 2018 we increased the number of corporate end-user respondents by a staggering 80 percent. Of these, 40 percent were from the financial and insurance industry, traditionally a big user of incentive travel, said Steve Bova, CAE, FICP executive director.

While the survey findings show that incentive travel is on the rise, growth isn’t happening unchecked. For instance, costs to operate an incentive travel program are going up.

“Although the findings show that incentive travel is growing, the reality is that there are counter-currents such as rising costs that may temper growth,” added IRF president, Melissa Van Dyke. “Over two-thirds of planners are taking steps to contain costs such as less expensive destinations or less expensive amenities. Fortunately, the nature of incentive travel programs allows companies to adjust them to reflect concerns with costs.”

Key highlights from the study include:

Budgets for 2018 are Up

  • Over half (54%) of buyers report an increase in budgets year over year with the median per person spend remaining stable at $4,000. Corporate users report a higher median spend ($4,550) versus incentive agencies ($3,500).

More Qualifiers than Ever

  • Sixty-five percent (65%) of buyers are increasing the number of incentive program qualifiers, fueled by company growth and optimism in the economy.

Incentives as a Builder of Workplace Culture

  • Sales and profitability remain the top reasons to run an incentive program, but more importance is being given to building relationships between management and employees, increasing productivity and employee engagement.
  • Almost 70% of buyers say their programs are effective at achieving business objectives. However, only a quarter always measure ROI/ROO, with more than 50% saying such measurements are not required.

Increase in Use of All Inclusive Destinations

  • All-inclusive destinations are on the rise particularly for incentive agencies as, for the fourth year in succession, buyers continue to seek cost reductions. Sellers are looking to add value through creativity, innovation, and partnerships.
  • North America, the Caribbean and Western Europe remain the most popular destinations for incentive travel, with destination appeal being the top criteria for
  • Selecting one destination over another followed by overall safety and value for money.
  • Fam trips and hosted buyer meetings are the primary sources buyers use to learn about a destination.

 Wellness is the New Golf

  • Wellness, including yoga, is now a top inclusion for incentive planners as CSR initiatives drop slightly in popularity.
  • Over two-thirds of corporate users include meetings in their incentive programs (heavily weighted towards finance sector); less than a third of incentive agencies do.

 This important research project would not have been possible without the support of the following sponsors:

  • Champion Level: Accor Hotels
  • Prime Level: Caesars Entertainment, MotivAction, Paradisus by Meliá
  • Principal Level: Eco Destination Management Services, Hilton, IMEX Group, Peerless Performance

The full study will be released at IMEX America during a Smart Monday session at 11:15 a.m. A panel of industry experts representing SITE, FICP and IRF will discuss the findings with Lori Cioffi, Senior Vice President/Chief Content Director, Northstar Meetings Group. The session will be streamed live on the SITE Facebook page.

About Financial & Insurance Conference Professionals (FICP)
FICP provides access to education, experience and resources targeting the needs of financial services and insurance meeting professionals across North America. These resources serve to help meeting professionals increase their success and strategic value. FICP maintains a balanced meeting professional to hospitality partner ratio, resulting in a unique business environment.