SITE Classic 2016: A Review of our Time in Palm Springs

As the 2016 President of the SITE Foundation, I am always excited to participate in strategic fundraising events for our industry. One such event is the SITE Classic, california_mervgriffin_02which represents the SITE Foundation’s largest annual fundraising effort. This year was exceptionally successful, thanks to our prestigious hosted buyers, our committed and generous sponsors (we can’t do it without you!) and the beautiful host resort, La Quinta Resort & Club. Couple that with our amazing Planning Team and all of our hard working volunteers, and you’ve got the committed talent to create a memory making experience.

It is no doubt that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts in this industry of ours and due to the talents that each person brings to a project, SITE Classic was especially successful this year. Together, we created an outstanding three-day event, surpassing our financial goal and continuing to make SITE Classic the event of the season!

From the beginning, SITE Classic has been about the industry coming together for a common goal: promoting industry research, education and networking through this fundraising event. I am proud to say that AlliedPRA has been a contributor to SITE Classic since its inception 10 years ago. This year alone we had representation from 8 of our offices, as well as our own Madelyn Marusa and Caren Bigelow, USMotivation headed the event as a co-chairs. Beth Daniel of Palm Springs served on the Local Host Committee, and AlliedPRA along with the Palm Springs CVB hosted the gorgeous opening night at the Merv Griffin Estate.

It is truly remarkable to see this event start as an idea our SITE Trustees had in Barcelona and it evolve to what it is today. This is due to the vision Madelyn had for the future of our industry and knowing the hard work necessary to make it happen. Creating a symbiosis between our offices, and Madelyn’s position as Co-chair has allowed AlliedPRA to make a name for itself as a key player in the Classic’s success. Each year, AlliedPRA finds a way of stamping our special brand of magic on the event. This year, for instance, we offered attendees unique opportunities during their time in Palm Springs with either a visit the exciting BMW Performance Center or the chance to take a cooking class at the Indio High School (the first time we used students as instructors, but certainly not the last!).

I left Palm Springs amazed at how far we have come in ten years’ time, and feeling an overwhelming sense of pride in The Classics’ growth and the role AlliedPRA has played in its continuing evolution. We need to frequently ask ourselves and evaluate how we can create a synergistic approach in our professional careers, whether it is through Special Events, fundraising, or collaborating with colleagues on industry committees or in your communities. One thing I can say for certain is that Madelyn and Caren, along with many other committed colleagues, created the successful blueprint for SITE Classic’s achievements by looking at this event as an opportunity to leave our mark on the Incentive Travel Industry.

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