The Incentive for Excellence

An Industry Blog on All Things SITE. Your one stop shop for chapter news, industry events, trends, and tips from the pros.

Sweden in Winter – The Perfect Destination

Stockholm, Sweden

Sweden in the winter is the perfect destination if you are looking for a cozy getaway. Winter in Sweden is mostly known for the Northern lights, skiing in the north, the ice hotel in Swedish Lapland and all that is associated with snow. But did you know that you can enjoy winter just as much in the capitol of Sweden, with or without snow?

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Q & A with Air Tahiti Nui


This year, we had the chance to sit down with Michael Shapiro, Director of Incentive & Cruise Sales with Air Tahiti Nui, to ask him a few questions!

SITE SoCal: Why do you support the SITE SoCal Holiday Event?
Michael Shapiro: Air Tahiti Nui has supported the SITE SoCal Holiday Event for many years. It is one of the best and most fun events of the year! We appreciate SITE SoCal for their support of our airline and destination.

SITE SoCal: Industry Tips (“how-tos” are always a big hit!)
Michael Shapiro: Let’s see… an industry tip. Many times Tuesday night, at midnight, is the best hour to book airline travel for the best rates.

SITE SoCal: Do you have any creative ideas for those of us in the incentive travel, meetings, and/or events industry?
Michael Shapiro: A great time to go to Tahiti is in July during the Heiva Festival. Thousands of dancers compete in Papeete, Bora Bora and all the island, for the prize of best dance troupe and best male & female dancers. It’s thrilling, exciting, and one is completely immersed in the tropical culture.

Air Tahiti Nui female dancers

SITE SoCal: What are some neat things to do or see in your city?
Michael Shapiro: In Paris, a few days a week, Maxim’s has a hidden and remarkable private museum, the 1900 Collection, showcasing the upper floors with the collections of unique and famous treasured pieces by owner, Pierre Cardin.

If you love The Phantom of the Opera, you will love the Opera Garnier After Hours tour of the most famous Opera House.

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The Incentive Experience of a Lifetime

The Incentive Experience of a Lifetime

Incentive travel: two words that roll off our tongues as easy as our own names and, many times, with little thought. I recently was given the opportunity to obtain the CIS (Certified Incentive Specialist) through the support of SITE SoCal and my company, JNR.

For those of you who are unfamiliar, CIS is an entry-level certification program facilitated by SITE to provide a greater understanding of the theory and practice of creative and effective Motivational Programs and Motivational Travel. It was a fun experience to go through this process with some of my favorite industry colleagues, but also enlightening to go “back to the basics” of Incentive Travel and remember why we are in this profession in the first place.

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3 Creative Ways to Make the Most of Your SITE Membership


Let’s start with reflecting on what kind of member you currently are: Are you a member who attends only one or two events a year? Or a member who attends all events but still isn’t seeing the ROI? Or one who attends all events and is involved on a committee or volunteer position?

In whatever way you are involved with SITE, are you making the most of your membership?

Whether you are new or have been with us for 20+ years, we all want to make sure we are making the most of our SITE experience. Having been a member myself for just over two years now, I can say that I’ve benefitted greatly and continue to see good things coming!

Attending my first luncheon 2½ years ago, I connected with a few familiar faces, but mostly new, and before I knew it I was involved on the Young Leaders committee. Now how did I get there? Simply by saying YES when the current VP of Young Leaders Jamie Lee Tiffany approached me and sparked my interest to get involved. 

Here are 3 things I’ve learned on my journey as a SITE SoCal member:

  1. Try to attend every SITE SoCal event. This is where you really get the value. It’s not going to happen attending just one or two events. You start to build on the relationships over time, showing up at each event and engaging with your colleagues, clients, and soon-to-be friends.

  2. Members-only perks. One of my favorite events was the Members Only Summer Soiree on Catalina Island in 2017. It amazes me that this organization offers an event that is FREE for members!

    It was amazing from the beginning. We cruised over on a boat, hopped off, explored the island, ate plenty of food, and sipped cocktails with the sunset with colleagues and friends.

    Don’t miss out on this opportunity this year! Mark your calendars for Thursday, June 7, 2018. Trust me… you don’t want to miss it. And if you know a planner to invite who might not be a member, you can invite them for just $35! 

    Now let’s be honest, meeting clients and ultimately doing business is the end game for a lot of us. And it DOES happen! Through attending as many events as possible, I have consistently started to make a handful of great relationships that have resulted in business transactions. Many can attest to this… just ask around.

    But it gets better… along the way, you will gain education through the innovative topics and speakers, continue to grow in your professional career, and gain some of your closest friends!

  3. Leadership opportunities. The leadership within SITE SoCal does an incredible job of creating many opportunities for you to get involved. Attend the Young Leaders programs and luncheons, volunteer on a committee, give back with community outreach opportunities, serve on the board, and so much more!

    Get a little bit outside of your comfort zone and see what a big impact it will make. Make it a point to meet at least 3 new people at each networking opportunity and before you know it you will be the one introducing your new industry friends to each other and maybe even soon serving on the board.

    At the end of the day it is up to YOU to create the most out of your membership. All of the opportunities are there, you just have to jump in and enjoy the ride!

Find out more here on all of the ways to get involved within the chapter!

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New Zealand: the ultimate incentive destination

New ZealandNew Zealand is a small country that is blessed with unique activities, state-of-the-art infrastructure, modern facilities and our world-renowned welcoming Kiwi hospitality. No matter where you are, you are never far away from a plethora of stunning natural landscapes; from glaciers to geothermal hot pools, vineyards to volcanoes, white sand beaches to lakes and rainforests to farmland.

One of the many great advantages of New Zealand is that these are all within easy reach. We don’t have the challenging travel times across cities that some other destinations face so you can combine many of these varied experiences and landscapes into one itinerary. It is easy for example to begin your day with a traditional Maori welcome at sunrise before a scenic heli to a remote mountain top for a champagne breakfast, a jetboat through native rainforest, lunch at a vineyard, followed by a round of golf in the afternoon surrounded by towering mountain peaks.

New ZealandNew Zealand is more accessible than ever, with around 180 direct flights a month on offer from Los Angeles, San Francisco, Hawaii and Houston with capacity expected to continue as demand for New Zealand continues to grow.

To find out more about why New Zealand is the ultimate incentive destination or if you would like to speak directly to our LA-based team, Alexa Bennett or Emma Bell, please visit

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