SITE announced the winners of its 2020 Crystal Awards competition last week during its hybrid conference, which ran February 2-3.
Considered the “Oscars” of the incentive travel industry, this year’s program recognized eight companies that achieved true excellence in incentive travel. It also included a new category—Most Creative Solution Deployed at a Time of Crisis—to recognize “incentive travel professionals and their organizations who display uncommon levels of innovation, creativity and ingenuity in identifying solutions for the continuation, deployment and implementation of incentive travel awards at a time of crisis.”
“2020 was the 40th anniversary of the Crystal Awards. For four decades, SITE has championed excellence in the design, implementation and delivery of incentive travel programs. During that time, we have weathered many storms, always returning stronger than ever. While these may be challenging times for our industry, our value proposition is stronger than ever and soon we will travel freely again! These wonderful winners prove the extraordinary value of a well-planned and executed incentive travel program. We salute them all,” said Aoife Delaney, CIS, CITP, director of marketing and sales at the DMC Network and president, SITE.
Chair of Crystal Awards, Ellie MacPherson, CITP, senior vice-president, Canada Operations, Creative Group and member of SITE’s International Board of Directors, added: “Each year the Crystal Awards provide us with a timely reminder of the transformational power of incentive travel on qualifiers, their companies, the destinations where they travel to and on society at large. This year’s winners from Australia, Canada, Colombia, Israel, Mexico and the United States demonstrate the global impact of incentive travel and underline how incentive travel generates business results, strengthening financial ROI and reinforcing values and company culture.”
Key sponsor of the Crystal Awards, Carina Bauer, CEO, The IMEX Group and immediate past president, SITE Foundation stated: “The circumstances this year are significantly different from this time last year when we gathered in person in Vancouver for a very exciting Crystal Awards presentation. But the fundamentals have not changed at all and IMEX Group is delighted to step up, once again, to help SITE acknowledge excellence in incentive travel. This year, no less than any other year of our involvement with this program, I’m astonished by the creativity, innovation and logistical expertise with which incentive travel professionals all over the world help the corporate world to improve business performance, build workplace culture and fulfil CSR and sustainability objectives.”
And the winners are…
Best Destination-Based Experiential Travel Program – ODS Turkey, Turkey
“We are meticulous about every project we have the chance to operate on and we love to put our invisible corporate fingerprint on each,” said Hasan Dinc, managing director, ODS Turkey. “Tasteful and detail-oriented months’ of work were done between Phoenix Voyages and our ODS Turkey team. Accurate information supplied by the agent about the end client, combined with our rich know-how of the business and destination, produced pure success. We are happy to be informed that our agent strengthened its long-standing relationship with the end client as a result of our cooperation. As Buddha said, ‘Faithfulness is the best relationship.’ Being honoured with SITE Crystal Awards has been an excellent motivation for our chapter, members, and local industry community, as well; as we were trying to stress out the importance of global recognition, especially when going through troubled times”.
Excellence in Incentive Travel: Africa/Middle East – Eshet Incentives & Conferences, Israel
“It was a feat of near impossible odds,” said Xuan Nguyen, chairman, WSB, USA.
Most Creative Solution Deployed at a Time of Crisis – Creative Group, USA
“I was so proud of our internal associates and our client’s collaboration. The way they quickly pivoted to a new solution during a time of crisis was nothing short of amazing,” said Janet Traphagen, president of Creative Group USA.
Excellence in Incentive Travel: Asia Pacific – Moniker, Canada, Canada
“The Search for the Siamese Skull was arguably the most ambitious trip we’ve ever planned,” said Sean Hoff, managing partner, Moniker, Canada. “It involved everything from a surprise Flash Mob on a rooftop overlooking Bangkok’s skyline, to 3D printed and hand-painted buried treasures, and chartering speedboats to hidden islands off the coast of Koh Samui. We are thrilled to be recognized by the SITE Crystal Awards for the creativity and execution of this program—it was certainly a labour of love for us at Moniker and a special treat for us to plan!”
Excellence in Incentive Travel: Europe – The Conference Room, Australia
“When designing your reward, always ensure the guest experience is your key motivation,” said ColetteBaini, director, The Conference Room. “To know and understand your guest is integral to the success of your project. It must guide your every decision, ultimately ensuring the quality of your event. And with your guest experience in mind, consider effective and memorable storytellers.”
Excellence in Incentive Travel: Latin America & Caribbean – Colombia en Colores DMC, Colombia
“Being selected to execute this high-profile incentive group was a significant win for Colombia en Colores DMC and it definitely positioned Colombia as an incentive destination,” said Marc Glatigny, president, Colombia en Colores. “This demanding program challenged us to be creative and gave us the opportunity to be very innovative. The collaboration of our team with our partners allowed us to take this program to the next level, exceed our client’s expectations and deliver an unforgettable experience for the winners while leaving a lasting positive impact on our local community.”
Excellence in Incentive Travel: North America – Creative Group Canada, Canada
“We are honoured to be recognized with a prestigious SITE Crystal Award! Our team was committed to creating a unique and memorable experience that showcased the destination and achieved the objectives of our client partner. The success of this event is a testament to the power of incentive travel to help people thrive and impact business results,” said Karen Weegar, account executive, Creative Group, USA.
Most Impactful Effort Toward Corporate Social Responsibility as Part of an Incentive Program – Amstar DMC, Mexico
“We are extremely proud of the Amstar Jamaica team who put together a true community project with so many different people involved—from the school, the parish, Amstar, Premiere Tours, and of course, the wonderful people at DSG Ashley who left the best footprint where it was needed most,” said Michael Freedman, vice-president, Amstar DMC, Mexico.