March 01, 2003
Meetings & Conventions: Incentive News

SITE’s Brenda Anderson The Society of Incentive & Travel Executives has canceled its annual education conference, scheduled to take place June 10-13 at the Meliá Caribe Tropical in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic.

The Chicago-based organization’s sole large event will be its annual international conference, to be held Dec. 3-7 in Reykjavik, Iceland.

“People have so many meetings to attend now and budgets are tight,” said SITE president William Vastine. “We had planned on changing [the meeting schedule] in 2004 but made the change sooner based on current industry needs.”

Other factors that contributed to the measure: A needs-assessment survey conducted last November revealed that 59 percent of SITE’s members could not tell the difference between the SITE University and the international conference, and 39 percent had attended only one University in three years.

SITE will continue to offer education at various industry events, including EIBTM (European Incentive & Business Travel & Meetings Exhibition) and IMEX (Worldwide Exhibition for Incentive Travel & Meetings & Events). The group also is planning to launch several one- to two-day regional education conferences later this year.

Brenda Anderson, SITE’s executive director, noted that the association is not alone in revising its meetings philosophy. “Any successful organization will take a strategic look at its programs and services to ensure they are meeting member needs for education and networking,” she said.

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