Arthur McGauran, CITP, shares his perspective on SITE Global Conference as a Chapter Leader. In addition to playing a crucial role in helping shape the 2022 SITE Global Conference with Custom Ireland DMC, Arthur is also the 2022 SITE Ireland Chapter President.
I recall sitting in the Vancouver airport after the 2020 SITE Global Conference, reflecting on the fascinating sessions, inspirational speakers, and invigorating educational items, with one thing standing out more than anything for me: the sense of community.
Whenever I explain what I do to my friends and family or to anyone outside of the incentive travel industry, I realise what a unique line of work I am in. The first thing I normally have to do is explain what a ‘DMC’ is and what ‘MICE’ stands for, but as the conversations continue, I realise that we really are a different breed — particularly anyone involved in SITE (another acronym I often have to explain).
"In how many other industries can a group of competitors be part of the same organisation, consider themselves friends, regularly gather at networking and social events, and share best practices with each other? We truly are unique."
This was very much on display at the 2020 SITE Global Conference in Vancouver. First of all, SITE Ireland offered myself and two other members a scholarship to support our attendance at, and journey to, the conference. Since Ireland was going to be officially announced as the conference destination for the following year, Fáilte Ireland and SITE Ireland wanted to make sure a large Irish contingent could attend in Vancouver to help “paint the town green,” so to speak.
Of course, we also all had our notebooks out, identifying what types of sessions would work well in Ireland. I was looking at the conference not only from the perspective of the company I work with, but also as a Chapter Leader.
Three macro highlights I took from the 2020 event to enthusiastically bring to Dublin include:
- The networking opportunities — I was able to connect with business leads in both professional and social settings. The conference format allows us to make genuine connections with prospective clients to see who we are, along with how we work and intermingle as part of the greater incentive travel industry.
- Personal development — I truly received some great tips on how to make myself a much stronger individual. I was able to identify the best way for me to elevate my professional profile in an authentic manner, whilst also learning some excellent personal well-being and mental health advice.
- Chapter Development conversations — SITE Global Conference is designed in a way that allows each individual to meet with other international SITE members. I really enjoyed conversations with other Chapter Leaders and took home a list of practices and great ideas to implement with SITE Ireland.
I remember leaving Global Conference 2020 feeling enthused, inspired, and ready to roll up my sleeves to embrace the coming year as a SITE Ireland Chapter Leader. Even though we had to pause our plans for two years, that feeling I had in the Vancouver departure lounge still remains with me.
I hope to see you in Ireland.
President, SITE Ireland
General Manager, Custom Ireland
If you’re looking to connect in with your chapter at Global Conference, register now to join us in Dublin April 20-23. Specific chapter events taking place at this year’s event include Chapter Leader meetings, as well as the Chapter Excellence Awards that will be presented on the afternoon of Wednesday, April 20.