Celebrate is our word of the year! With our 20 years in existence, our strong, vibrant chapter and our outstandingly successful Holiday Event, we have a lot to be proud of and thankful for when it comes to our SITE SoCal community.
Education is an important element of what membership in SITE provides, and the Certified Incentive Specialist (CIS) designation provides a first step on the road to formalizing the on-the-job training that many of us have undertaken, including me. My first on-my-own incentive program for which I was responsible was in Montego Bay, Jamaica, and this was before days of email and mobile phones. I was given two weeks’ notice that I was going and this wasn’t long after I had started with the company. I mostly winged it (the program was a success) but I can’t help thinking that some advance formal education about incentive travel might have been helpful!
Just as a side note…
I joined the industry quite by chance – a friend of a friend asked me to look after their office for them – and the company turned out to be an incentive travel company, specializing in high end international programs. I was hooked. I had found my niche in the work world and the opportunities it has given me have been priceless. I consider myself very fortunate and SITE has been an important component in how my life and work in the industry evolved.
So, back to education…
With the creation of the CIS designation, SITE offers an opportunity for your incentive travel knowledge to be formalized and recognized throughout the industry. The CIS exam is offered at test sites around the world, at private events and shows such as IMEX Frankfurt, as well as online. SITE SoCal decided to set up its own customized CIS test site, taking advantage of the lower online exam rate but also providing an on-site exam preview session. For that we turned to Dana Weaver, CIS, a member of the SITE Board of Trustees and a Past President of SITE Chicago. With Dana on hand to review the material on site with participants, we are combining the convenience of online testing with the opportunity to benefit from his extensive experience within our industry, with SITE, and the testing process.
Our special member-only event is taking place on July 12th at the lovely Ranch at Laguna Beach, a National Geographic Unique Lodge of the World. We are grateful for the ongoing generous support of the Ranch, and in particular Don Chock, CMP, Director of Marketing and Operations and Patty Bell, Associate Director of Sales and Catering for working with us. An invitation to participate was sent out to our membership this week so we do hope you are able to join us and add some initials to your name! If you missed the email, you can find full details here.
The CIS is a great foundation step towards taking the recently-available Certified Incentive Travel Professional (CITP) which is the next designation up in the incentive world. The CITP is aimed at mid-to senior-level professionals, both supplier and buyers, working across the niche spectrum of incentive travel. Regardless of where you fit into the incentive world, these designations will help identify you as a bone fide incentive professional. Currently in redevelopment and following on from the CITP, there will be a Certified Incentive Travel Executive (CITE) designation available for highly-experienced, director-level professionals.
Thank you for being part of our very special community of SITE SoCal professionals – we appreciate each and every one of you. You help make our incentive world a better place!