Last year, we posted articles overviewing Part 1 and Part 2 of the Vancouver Manifesto. Respectively, we heard from Benoit Sauvage and El Kwang about what the action points of :

  1. Social Responsibility | Sustainability
  2. Culture | Relationships | Teamwork

meant to them.

This week, we’re diving into the third and final point of the Vancouver Manifesto

3. Economic Growth | Innovation.

A Refresher – What is the Vancouver Manifesto?

Two years ago, SITE set out on a journey to understand the nature, purpose and direction of incentive travel. The results of the first leg of that journey became the Bangkok Manifesto — a “big think” that shared “What’s next?” in 10 aspirational statements. The second leg of that journey moved from the broad ideas of the Bangkok Manifesto to deliver actionable approaches for every part of the industry. This is the Vancouver Manifesto.

Point 3: Economic Growth and Innovation

Incentive travel contributes significantly to economic growth; partnerships within and between organizations; and innovative thinking, by both participants and the organizations that create the programs.

The Vancouver Manifesto

There is no doubt that Incentive programmes generate business and economic value – both where the companies are operating, as well as where the programmes take place, so it’s important for the industry to be recognised for this economic contribution.

As such, sub-actions under the action of Economic Growth and Innovation include:

  1. Create secure, anonymous platform for sharing client results
  2. Obtain testimonials from client “champions”.
  3. Identify & assist communicators within SITE community
  4. Collate all methodologies for measuring impact.
  5. Develop two advocacy approaches – Business+Tourism.

An Inside Perspective on Economic Growth and Innovation

SITE asked Dana Weaver, CIS, CITP, Senior Manager, Marketing Services, GROWMARK, Inc. what Action Point 3 means to him, focusing particularly on Innovation, given the year that we’ve all had!

“As times change and challenges pop up without notice, innovation is the key to delivering a meaningful, memorable, and motivational experience.”

Dana Weaver

Dana believes that by their very nature, incentive travel professionals are innovators. Looking to his own company he says that most eligible qualifiers at GROWMARK do not want the same destination, same agenda, same format year after year.  So in order to deliver an incredible experience, they have to create a totally new one every year, with the mantra “out with the old (last year’s agenda) in with the new”. 

Below, Dana gives 5 tips on how to convert a challenge into an opportunity for innovation.

5 tips on how to convert a challenge to an opportunity for innovation:

  1. Focus on your core mission. I had to switch from planning a motivational experience at a destination to planning a motivational experience without travel.  Seems easy, but when you are wired to reward with group incentive travel and switch to an alternative reward, the only thing remaining the same is your mission; for me it’s to unleash the sales and marketing potential of GROWMARK’s management and sales people with extraordinary motivational experiences. 
  2. Concentrate on your audience needs. Eligible qualifiers for an incentive program want to know what the reward is if they cannot travel.  Stay focused on their needs. 
  3. Keep up-to-date with your environment.  Know what is likely and not likely to happen.  For me, my SITE family was a resource of unmatched value to stay in touch with reality.
  4. Control the controllable.  I never worry about the things out of my control, I just have a plan for the unexpected. I call it experience and solid trust with my sounding board, my colleague of 13 years, who also draws on experience.
  5. Stay creative and agile.  Anything is possible when change happens suddenly.  

Written by Dana Weaver, CIS, CITP, Senior Manager, Marketing Services, GROWMARK, Inc.

For more information, you can download the Vancouver Manifesto here.

For more articles on Motivate, please see our repository here, covering topics like SustainabilityWellnessCase StudiesIndustry Member InterviewsCovid-19 related change, and many more general words of wisdom!