Vice President, Business Development | DMC Network
T: +353 876874606
Earlier this week I was thrilled to join 50 other clients and colleagues at SITE’s Incentive Summit Europe (ISE). ISE took place this year in Geneva and Montreux, Switzerland — an incredible pair of destinations not just for incentive travel, but for events that run the full length and breadth of our industry.
From start to finish, we enjoyed a truly Swiss experience. The sounds of Switzerland swirled around us on the opening evening of ISE in Geneva, from yodelling, to the alphorn (alpine horn), to cowbells.
We then continued on to Montreux, taking in its surrounds along the way. We kept right on time with a hands-on watch-making session by Initium, delighted in several unforgettable culinary experiences (including a dinner tucked up mountainside at the Claude Nobs Chalet, the former home of the legendary Montreux Jazz Festival founder, and a final evening at Château de Chillon complete with magicians and a fire performer), soaked in the early spring sunshine at the terraced vineyards of Lavaux, and so much more in just a few short days.
Still, ISE attendees, be they event buyers or suppliers, are also proven champions of combining business with the pleasure of discovering a destination: with this year’s event delivering exactly that.
I took part in a session on the current state of incentive travel on the opening night of ISE, alongside fellow Past President of SITE David Sand and current President Kevin Edmunds. We discussed personal learnings from the pandemic, current client concerns, the strength of DMCs in 2022, and the value of association membership, with our panel providing a nice cross-section of backgrounds — and client, hotel and DMC perspectives all represented.
Our group also used the fantastic Swiss rail system for much of the program, with ISE a standout example of effectively and efficiently using public transportation when operating an incentive program.
Of course, not every destination is as blessed as Switzerland with its iconic transit timekeeping and ultra clean train carriages. Still, working with destination experts in any locale will help you find natural sustainability strengths you can then incorporate into your program.
Switzerland truly showcased the motivational power of incentive travel. Let’s connect if you’d like to chat more about the experience, incentive travel’s past and present states, or for an insider tip or two on bringing your next event to the Swiss Alps!