From electrical engineer to account director with Creative Group, we interviewed Rebecca Wright about what drew her to the industry and her involvement with organizations such as SITE (Society for Incentive Travel Excellence). If one word comes to mind after the conversation with Rebecca, it’s “goals”. It’s easy for people to say they are goal-oriented but the strategy, follow-through, and measurement that Rebecca requires, proves she means business.
Rebecca accepted a full-ride scholarship and earned a degree in electrical engineering from the Milwaukee School of Engineering. She logically began her professional career in the electronics industry, where she was a product specialist for a $300 million company that produced relays, switches, and other electrical components. After mastering sales and business development roles for a manufacturer of industrial automation cameras, Rebecca became Director of Sales and Global Channel Management for a fiber optic lighting company. She always understood the importance of motivating and incentivizing her sales team and channel partners, but it became very clear to her that incentive travel was an effective way to do this after attending an Incentive Travel and Meetings Exposition. You can say this was her “aha” moment and true introduction into a new and exciting industry. After owning her own novelty boutique for a number of years, Rebecca became a travel consultant and later the director of sales for a luxury tour operator. To give you an idea of what is meant by “luxury”; the company once organized a three-year, multi-million dollar family trip from Australia to Geneva.
With her extensive knowledge of worldwide travel and creating experiences, along with her ability to lead teams, Rebecca is now an account director at Creative Group. Her background and experience are revered by her operations team and her impeccable customer service and process improvement skills are appreciated by her clients.
Rebecca is also involved with SITE Chicago and is currently the Director of Education and President Elect. She has also received her CIS (Certified Incentive Specialist) designation. SITE “bridges the gap between members and business leaders who seek improved performance through powerful experiences.” The CIS certification is a two-day training course that explains the intricacies of incentive travel and how to plan and organize exciting experiences and measure return on investment. Tying incentive travel to business results has proven to be more effective than cash rewards. In fact, according to SITE, “For every dollar spent in travel, businesses benefit from an average of $12.50 in increased revenue and $3.80 in new profits.” And although “people may say they prefer cash, non-cash rewards are two to three times more effective than cash awards.”
As Director of Education, Rebecca leads a committee that develops the content for all of SITE Chicago’s chapter events. They plan, source speakers, and market the content to current and prospective members. Here are two of the events Rebecca led:
“Storytelling: Your Most Powerful Sales Tool” – At first glance, this title appears geared toward “salespeople,” but what Rebecca and team wanted to convey, was that everyone is in sales! A multifaceted subject, storytelling can be applied in any situation that requires persuasion; such as applying for a job, advising a client, or building loyalty among consumers. Attendees were taught how to craft a compelling and emotional story. This closely aligns with the idea behind our i|xperience® model. The ability to construct an inspirational message and integrate it throughout a meeting, event, or incentive travel experience helps the audience create a stronger connection and remember how they felt in those moments.
“Mobile Apps – The Next BIG Thing for Incentive Travel” – We’ve been hearing about implementing mobile apps at meetings for years now. It’s been estimated that over half of all meeting attendees use mobile apps, but what about for incentive travel programs? The same benefits exist, and maybe even more so, when traveling internationally. App data can be accessed even when there’s no internet connection. Personalized agenda and the ability to share and comment on trip photos are just some of the perks of using a mobile app for incentive programs.
Rebecca has a lot more responsibility coming her way as President of SITE Chicago. Her goals? As a volunteer organization, everyone still has their day jobs. Attracting more members and committee involvement helps spread the work out and increases collaboration. She guides committees in creating action-oriented plans that are not unlike planning an incentive trip. Her mission is to closely align to SITE Global’s goals and translate them into intimate chapter settings. Rebecca is excited to represent Creative Group at the SITE Global Conference in November. The conference is taking place in Panama City, Panama – an emerging incentive travel destination.
Rebecca’s analytical background and passion for creating amazing experiences have positioned her to provide valuable insights to clients and internal team members alike. As she moves forward in strengthening her team, elevating the industry through her involvement in SITE and delivering successful programs to Creative Group clients, there’s no doubt Rebecca will fulfill many of her goals.