by Alex Palmer | October 30, 2017
Photo: Harpa Concert Hall & Conference Center (credit: Meet in Reykjavík)

Dozens of incentive buyers and suppliers will gather in one of the world's most buzzed-about destinations later this week as they meet for the second annual Global Incentive Summit (GIS). Hosted by Northstar Meetings Group (Incentive's parent company), in partnership with the Society for Incentive Travel Excellence (SITE), the gathering in Reykjavik, Iceland, will give attendees the opportunity to network, learn more about the business, and experience some of the destination's many attractions. 

GIS, running Nov. 1-4, connects qualified buyers who book international incentive programs with a few dozen exhibitors through a series of one-on-one meetings. Beyond the information they will learn in these face-to-face interactions, attendees will also gain insight from interactive lunchtime education sessions and a number of activities throughout the event. These range from a welcome reception at the Reykjavik city hall to a tour of the fishing village Stokkseyri (and potential Northern Lights spotting) and a trip to Iceland's famous Blue Lagoon. 

The selection of Iceland for this year's GIS was a logical choice considering the attention it's received from members of the incentive industry lately. Earlier this year, Iceland was one of nine "hot spots" highlighted as incentive destinations on planners' minds. In Incentive's recent Industry Roundtable, Maritz Travel Division Vice President of Sourcing and Supplier Relations Rhea Stagner singled out Iceland as a popular destination for groups: "Iceland is trendy, it's new, it's hip, it's different," she said. 

Sigurdur Valur Sigurdsson, director of marketing for Meet in Reykjavik, the city's convention bureau and a sponsor of the GIS, could not agree more. He emphasized the unique experiences and Instagram-ready landscapes that have helped make this a must-visit destination for many travelers. 

"Iceland's incentive offerings are world-class including visits to volcanoes, glaciers, hot springs, caves, jeep safaris, dog-sledding, and cultural, historical, and geological tours," says Sigurdsson. "The landscape is an adventure in itself, and a number of unbelievable activity tours are easily arranged. Iceland is an ideal playing ground for nature lovers, action enthusiasts, and thrill seekers."

Also contributing to its allure as a group-travel destination: its ideal location. Located midway between North America and Europe, it makes for a convenient meeting spot for international gatherings such as GIS, with a high number of direct flights going in and out of Keflavik International Airports, with new ones being added almost daily. It also offers a wide range of unusual and historic venues, such as the 99-room Hotel Borg, an art deco landmark where most of the GIS attendees will be staying; or the Harpa Concert Hall & Conference Center, with a striking colored-glass façade and plenty of flexible event space. Attendees to this year's GIS will be experience all this and more as they head to Iceland this week.

"In Reykjavík, you experience a safe, clean, and creative European city that will raise your spirits and widen your horizon," adds Sigurdsson. "And the Reykjavík experience and inspiration will travel with you back home."