by Lisa A. Grimaldi | February 05, 2020

A celebration of the best incentive travel programs in the industry topped the packed agenda at the SITE 2020 Global Conference, which took place Jan. 24-27. The content-rich program, which attracted a record 640 attendees, featured more than 50 sessions, networking opportunities and activities that highlighted the best of the Canadian host city, Vancouver, B.C.

The Crystal Awards, which honor incentive firms for program design, marketing, corporate social responsibility and business results, were presented during a festive lunch at the JW Marriott Parq Vancouver. The 2020 winners are:

  • Excellence in Incentive Travel, North America: MFactor, for its cruise program to Vienna and Budapest aboard the Crystal Ravel
  • Most Impactful Effort Toward Corporate Social Responsibility as Part of an Incentive Program: Streamlinevents, Inc., for building an additional space for the Boys and Girls Club of Hawaii as part of an incentive program
  • Best Destination-Based Experiential Incentive Travel Program: Spectra in Scotland, for a 700-person trip to Scotland including a trip to Edinburgh Castle and Royal Yacht Britannia
  • Excellence in Incentive Travel, Latin America & Caribbean: Travelieer, for Immunotec Life's trip to Bogota for 1,050 winners
  • Excellence in Incentive Travel, Asia/Pacific: Travelieer, for a 15-night trip for 270 to Bangkok and Hanoi
  • Excellence in Incentive Travel: Odyssey International DMC, for the largest incentive to Ireland on record for a U.S.-based insurance company
  • Excellence in Incentive Travel, Africa/Middle East: Arabian Adventures MIE, for a luxurious trip to Dubai for top performers
  • Most Effective Incentive Marketing Campaign: Creative Group, for a bucket-list trip for winners of Alliance Laundry Huebsch to Peru, featuring Machu Picchu

The conference keynote speakers included Ben Nemtin, best-selling author and one of the creators and stars of the MTV series, "The Buried Life," and Joost Rigter, who had the entire audience don blindfolds to experience life out of their comfort zone.

The robust educational tracks offered a series of breakout sessions, including Designing and Innovating Incentive Travel Programs, Valuing Creativity in a Commoditized World and Event Industry Trends and Forecasts.

Throughout the event, attendees gave their input for the "The Vancouver Manifesto," the next-level edition of an ongoing consideration of the nature, purpose and direction of incentive travel. It follows the inaugural edition, "The Bangkok Manifesto," which was crowdsourced at the SITE 2019 Global Conference in Thailand.

The next SITE Global Conference will take place from Feb. 3-7, 2021, in Dublin, Ireland.