Global association for the incentives sector, SITE, followed on from its SITE NITE networking evening on 14 May in Frankfurt, with the launch of an incentive travel index.

Announcing the project, SITE Foundation president John Iannini said the new study would provide one central definitive point of information, “revealing key trends that will help them forecast, budget and develop marketing plans for the years ahead”.

The new study is a collaboration between SITE, Financial and Insurance Conference Professionals (FICP) and Incentive Research Foundation (IRF). It will be called the Incentive Travel Industry Index and be executed by J.D. Power and produced on an annual basis.

At a Frankfurt press conference at IMEX on 15 May, SITE CEO Didier Scaillet said incentive travel was “in a great place today”. He explained that incentive travel made up 6.1% of all business events in the US and accounted for 7% of total spend, making the sub sector the highest spender in business events.

“It is the fastest growing vertical segment in the industry,” Scaillet added, with 23% growth in seven years.

Scaillet also outlined the new SITE management structure and the 2020 Vision strategy for the next three years. The association has moved away from outsourcing to an Association Management Company (AMC) to a hybrid structure, with the CEO reporting directly to the board, but also using technology and some other solutions from the AMC.

“We have built a new management structure to support the organization and one that is able to drive the new vision,” he added.

Scaillet also told the press conference that incentives were not all about rewards, but about reducing turnover of staff and promoting loyalty. He gave the example of one corporate case study that show the use of incentives programmes had reduced staff turnover from 9.6% to 2.4%.