Site presented its 2008 Crystal Awards — the highest of honor in the incentive industry — at its December conference in Montreux, Switzerland. The award, established in 1980, recognizes programs that are highly successful in achieving business objectives. What judges found this year was that many entrants faced the challenge of maintaining quality despite shrinking budgets, including one winner that changed its destination at the last minute from Egypt to Washington, D.C.

Most Effective Use of an Incentive Program for a Strategic Business Solution, Internal:

Extra Mile Company, Auckland, New Zealand, for Kordia, a TV network that wanted to improve morale and motivation and instill a strong corporate culture.

Most Effective Use of an Incentive Program for a Strategic Business Solution, External:

212F, Sydney, Australia, for HP Australia. This channel partner program followed one that had failed miserably the year before.

CiEvents, Sydney, Australia; Merscient, Toronto, Canada; and Fatfish Design, Melbourne, Australia, for an IBM Corp. channel program that ran across 88 countries in 10 languages.

Most Outstanding Incentive Travel Award Program — Up to 3 Nights, Fewer than 200 Participants:

Capitol Services, Church Falls, Va., for BMC Software. The challenge was to make an incentive trip to Washington, D.C, rewarding after changing the destination from Egypt.

Carlson Marketing, Minnetonka, Minn., for Qwest Communications. The incentive included a charitable event for the Warrior Foundation, which aids wounded soldiers.

Most Outstanding Incentive Travel Award Program — 4 or More Nights, Fewer than 200 Participants:

helloAfrica, Cape Town, South Africa, for Automobile Financial Services. The program included a speech by Nobel Peace Prize laureate, Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

Krzysztof Michniewicz, Incentive Concept Poland, Warsaw, Poland, for HDI Gerling Polska TU SA. The trip to Costa Rica focused on saving the rainforest.

Most Outstanding Incentive Travel Award Program — 4 or More Nights, More than 200 Participants:

MCI, Brussels, Belgium, and Geneva, for NUMICO. Morocco was chosen to inspire the 240 leaders from this nutrition company.

THA Group, Brussels, Belgium, for AXA Insurance's incentive trip to the uncommon destination of Senegal.

USMotivation, Atlanta, Ga., for Diebold Inc.'s Master's Circle trip to Cabo San Lucas. Most Outstanding Incentive Event — Up to $80,000:

Harith Wickrema, Harith Productions, Willow Grove, Pa., for “An Evening of Carioca Pride.”

Most Outstanding Incentive Event — More than $80,000:

Fourth Wall Events, New York, N.Y., for “Beatlemania.”

Ovation Ireland, Dublin, Ireland; and The Veritas Group, Sydney, Australia, for a high-end board meeting.

Sustainable Event:

MotivAction LLC, Minneapolis, for a bike-building event.

Dittman Incentive Marketing, New Brunswick, N.J., for “The Leadership Club.”

New Look, Leadership

Site (formerly known as the Society of Incentive & Travel Executives) has a fresh look and message.

The new logo (above), rolled out in December, is meant to reflect the tenets of the incentive industry: global connections, motivational experiences, business results. The new Site mission: “Unleashing human potential through extraordinary motivational experiences.”

In a letter to members, Site President Patrick Sullivan, president, PRA Destination Management, New York, also promised a new webinar for members and a redesigned Web site in early 2009.

Also changing is the leadership of the Site International Foundation, with Alison Summers, managing director of Site, assuming the responsibilities of iSite Executive Director Bob Vitagliano, who will remain on contract for a year as a project specialist.