April 30, 2021 | By Bronwen Largier

Hats off to the local chapter of the global Society for Incentive Travel Excellence (SITE) who really know how to pick a venue that elevates a networking event to something spectacular.

The first in-person networking event for the society in Australia this year was an intimate affair for between 30 and 40 on the breathtaking Gili Rooftop at Taronga Zoo on Sydney’s North Shore, with views back onto the harbour and bridge.

The event also exemplified our industry’s platform to educate and drive change, with considerable time during the evening given over to exploring the opportunity and need for sustainability for the business events industry.

“It took…a pandemic to actually have us witness the healing properties of slowing down the planet,” said SITE chapter leader Colette Baini of The Conference Room and Australia Conferences and Incentives, at the event.

Baini took the time to run through the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals with the assembled industry – “When you look at it, the consistent theme is just simply about finding respect for each other, for our land, for our environment” – and committed the Australia and New Zealand SITE chapter to address goal 15 – Life on Land – this year.

The chapter will focus on clean air and water, efficient energy, less waste, food and beverage consumption and how to help communities through an incentives lens.

“The global pandemic showed us that we are absolutely all connected and that if one part of the world is suffering, it will drastically impact the rest of us. So we – each of us here – can positively impact and alter the world for posterity.

“It’s our chance to give back a little to the planet,” she said.

Image: Oneill Photographics