Following the recent SITE Global Conference in Dublin, Chris Parnham, SITE GB President & managing director at Absolute Corporate Events, shares his thoughts on why the incentives industry needs an international makeover to better attract young talent….
Last month I, along with over 400 other incentive specialists, attended the SITE Global Conference in Dublin. A year overdue, there was a crackle of excitement at each and every session. With no masks, no social distancing, and little evidence of COVID at all, everyone was keen to meet, learn, listen, chat and party.
2022 is my first full year as GB President, having stepped up in July last year, and my first Global Conference.
During the varied and packed agenda of plenary presentations, panels and discussion-based sessions, one issue resonated, repeatedly. We have a resourcing crisis, with shortages of talent across all sectors and all countries.
Our industry has a problem retaining exceptional young people and at recruiting new talent. At a tech-event a few weeks earlier I felt ancient amongst a sea of 20 somethings. However, I felt totally at home at SITE Global, among an audience of mostly 40 and 50 somethings. Good for me, but not good for our industry and its future.
Many young ambitious people have left our industry, citing that it doesn’t offer them the security, the opportunities, or the salaries they can find elsewhere. COVID did nothing to help this view, as it proved how fragile our industry is.
In the UK, we had already been hit with this people crisis, just before COVID, as we lost a huge proportion of our European workers post-Brexit. COVID then caused UK workers to leave our industry for different reasons.
So, I’m sure we are agreed on the problem, but what is the solution?
I think the events and incentives industry needs an international makeover. A campaign, that we can all lead, to show new prospective talent that we can offer exciting and rewarding careers, with money-can’t buy moments and experiences.
We all know that the line between work and life is blurred and is expected to blur even further. We also know that people crave experiences, more than things. Well… we can work with that.
Working in international incentives opens up a world that is closed to most other people. Long-haul and frequent international travel, access to the most beautiful luxurious hotels and venues, the sampling of world-class delicacies, the witnessing of breath-taking entertainment, a wealth of Instagram moments and not only without personal cost, but with upgrades and VIP treatment.
And to sales directors, MDs, FDs and event planners, nothing is sure to improve the performance of your star employees and the retention of your best people than an international incentive programme. ROI shows that a good incentive programme impacts the bottom line and improves profitability more than any other positive investment.
Let’s kick off this campaign across all our combined communication channels, using these two very clear messages to new talent.
Nothing rewards and retains talent better than a great incentive programme.
You might not become a millionaire working with us, but you sure can live like one.