After having played a key role as Premier Sponsor of SITE NITE Europe at IMEX Frankfurt, the team of Ovation Global DMC had the pleasure to have a chat with Didier Scaillet, the Chief Excellence Officer (CEO) of SITE Global.
The MICE industry veteran with high-level experience with multi-national associations has been announced as new SITE Chief Excellence Officer (CEO) in January 2018.
After having engaged and served on various industry forums and organisations, Didier is now leading the association’s global management team.
Describe yourself in three words.
Innovative, hard-working, open-minded.
How did you get into the business/the role you’re in today?
I have been working in the Association Management for 25 years: AMC, MPI, CLIA and now SITE.
Did you have any mentors or people who deeply influenced your career?
Many actually. First and foremost: Robin Lokerman, who led me in the early days of my professional life. Many others afterwards: the Tondeurs (Roger and Seb), Ian Dockrill, Bruce MacMillan, Christine Duffy, Patrick Delaney, Eric Rozenberg…and I could go on…
Proudest moments in your career to date?
The global development of MPI, the creation of the Meetings and Business Events Competencies Standards, these last few months at the helm of SITE and the amazing team that I have working passionately with me
What is the best thing about working for your company/organisation?
The passion of the volunteer leaders! Just an amazing group of professionals, hugely supportive and caring. SITE has a very unique culture in that respect: I had not encountered it with any of the 10+ not-for-profit that I worked with in the past
What are the challenges faced by professionals from your industry today?
Pace of work: I only meet two types of people today. Either way too busy… or not busy at all. The pressure on professionals (across industries) is enormous and finding the right balance has never been more important.
Walk us through your “typical” day
There is not really a typical day as it all depends on where I am in the world! When in Brussels: early wake-up, usually around 6:00 am, quick check of e-mails to see if there is anything pressing, a couple of espressos or black tea with my better half – Sabine – around 7:00 am (would not miss that moment), the work with Asia until about 10:00 am, followed by Europe until 15.00 then Americas until… late. Yet, cooking for the family is also a ritual that I would not miss.
What do you think about when you’re alone in your car?
A lot about my recomposed family: my partner, my kids, hers… and our common projects.
What did you want to be when you were a kid?
Not very original: airplane pilot… but I am colour blind, so that dream went away fast. But I do fly a lot…
U2, Ibrahim Maalouf, Grand Corps Malade, Guns N’ Roses.
Barça (Més que un Club), Under Armour, Audi.
Tough question as I read a lot (two books a week on average); Last great reading: Le Champ de Bataille from Jerôme Collin.
Everywhere: I love travelling, meeting new cultures, exchanging different viewpoints… If I have to name a few: Brussels, Prague, San Francisco, Oman, Singapore… and my new home away from home: Chicago.
Thank you, Didier, for letting us know more about you! We wish you all the best!