. Destination California | Northstar Meetings Group

Destination California

The leading hosted-buyer event for elite meetings and incentive professionals looking to book business in California will congregate with California's top hotels, CVBs, DMCs and venues for three highly productive days in the City of Angels, April 2-4, 2019. 


Destination California—Northstar's destination-specific hosted-buyer event—enables attendees to experience firsthand the most desirable destinations, hotels and activities for successful meetings, while making invaluable business connections. This unique event is hosted by Northstar Meetings Group’s leading brands—Successful Meetings, Meetings & Conventions, and Incentive magazine.



Learn from, and be inspired by, our guest speakers who will provide targeted education specific to your needs as a meeting and incentive planner.



Connect with premier suppliers from across the state of California during pre-scheduled one-on-one business appointments and unique experiential activities.



All qualified buyers will be fully hosted by Northstar Meetings Group, including airfare, accommodations, meals and planned activities.

Joe English

Joe English

Joe English is an event designer and creative director with nearly 30 years’ experience in events and high-tech marketing. Joe worked on the client side of event marketing for the first 25 years of his career before transitioning to consulting for the past five years. Over the course of his career, he has worked with top consumer and technology brands to produce hundreds of events around the world. He spent 15 years at Intel Corporation working on events that included the Intel Extreme Masters esports championship series, the Consumer Electronics Show and the Intel Developer Forums. He has directed consumer sponsorship activations at events such as the Sundance Film Festival, China F1 Circuit race and Ironman Triathlon world championships. He started his company Event Futurist to help event professionals incorporate thinking about the future into the design and planning of events. Joe is well known in the world of event production, speaking, writing and appearing as an expert in many industry events every year.

Jennifer Keltner

Jennifer Keltner

Jennifer Keltner is the principle owner of Rescue.Party.Give, but she prefers her title of Executive Director of Freedom. A former manager of corporate meetings and travel for Toyota, in 2011 she began volunteer work for the International Justice Mission and has spent the ensuing years helping to bring awareness of human trafficking to the hospitality industry. Keltner has created events such as movie screenings, live art demonstrations and music to combat and fight this dire global problem. Her goal is to raise billions of dollars to help victims and end modern-day slavery by hosting (and teaching others how to host) special events with an aim to fighting human trafficking, creating tools that will help planners take quick action and helping clients purchase responsible gifts to help the cause. Her ultimate philosophy is simple: Love Thy Neighbor!

Arthur Sarkissian

Arthur Sarkissian

Arthur Sarkissian, Founder and CEO, Here and Now Consulting, graduated from the University of Western Sydney with a double major in business and hospitality management, Art joined Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, where he held multiple roles over the course of 12 years, including regional director positions in Australia, Fiji, New Zealand and the United States.   In 2013, he founded Here and Now Consulting LLC, based in Los Angeles, specializing in the design and facilitation of executive-development programs across numerous industries, including finance, hospitality, aviation, health care, retail, entertainment and sports. His mentoring programs for high-potential leaders have been used across the world.   Art has designed and facilitated more than 250 executive retreats and development programs with an emphasis on team dynamics and creating strategies to shift organizational cultures. His Convergence Executive Coaching experience helps high-level leaders unlock their potential, reduce their negative triggers and build highly effective teams using targeted tools and methodology.

Kristina Sachs

Kristina Sachs

Kristina Sachs was introduced to the plight of human trafficking in 2009, which led her to join the International Justice Mission in 2011 as an advocate volunteer. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., IJM is the world’s largest global antislavery organization. Locally, Kristina is a 10-year member of the Orange County Human Trafficking Task Force, founded in 2004 to be a catalyst for community involvement that focuses on education, support and prevention. With a passion to empower and liberate the oppressed, Kristina serves as a public speaker and educator, connecting churches, community organizations, marketplace professionals and individuals with opportunities and resources to engage in the antislavery movement. As a member of IJM’s SoCal Volunteer Leadership Team, she meets with policy makers and legislators on the state and national level both in Sacramento, Calif., and Washington, D.C., to urge their robust support in the fight against slavery…until all are free!

Tuesday, April 2

3:00pm 6:00pm

Maui Jim Sunglass Fittings & Supplier Load-In

California Grand Ballroom Foyer
Planner Site Tour
Meet in 2nd Floor Foyer
6:30pm 8:30pm
Welcome Reception

Co-hosted by The L.A. Grand Hotel Downtown and Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board

Ziran, 1st Floor

Wednesday, April 3

7:30am 8:00am
Opening Breakfast

Sponsored by Long Beach Convention & Visitors Bureau

Pacific Ballroom
8:00am 9:15am
Welcome & Educational Session

The Event Futurecast: How Live Events Will Evolve Over the Next 20

More Detail

Presented by Joe English

Everything we do in the live events industry will change over the next 20 years. In this intellectually stimulating session, you'll learn how technology and Big Data are rapidly and dramatically reshaping the way events are produced and managed - and how audiences are attracted and engaged. We'll explore the role of Big Data in finding the right attendees, and how that data will dictate participants' experience. This fascinating hour will give you a glimpse of the future - and a head start with ideas you can start implementing today. Participants will learn to:

  • Anticipate the large-scale changes ahead for live events
  • Understand the role of Big Data in attracting and retaining new audiences
  • Implement key changes that will position your meetings and events for future success
  • Unlearn what no longer works, and relearn strategies that will drive success

Pacific Ballroom
9:30am 12:15pm
One-on-One Appointments
California Grand Ballroom
12:15pm 2:00pm
Lunch & Educational Session

Human Trafficking and Meetings: Understanding the Realities

Presented by

More Detail
Jennifer Keltner, Rescue.Party.Give.org & Kristina Sachs, International Justice Mission
Moderator: Loren G. Edelstein, Northstar Meetings Group

Human trafficking is the second largest criminal industry, affecting more than 40 million victims and garnering an estimated $150 billion in illegal profits annually. No corner of the globe is untouched by this heinous crime. Where do meetings fit in? To understand the scope of the problem - and the industry's role in become part of the solution - Northstar's Loren Edelstein will facilitate a participatory Q&A with Jennifer Keltner, a former corporate meetings and travel manager who has made this cause her life's mission.

Learner Outcomes:

  • Understand the nuances of human trafficking, forced labor, land grab and other violations
  • Examine how the meetings industry is involved, and what actions we can take
  • Explore ways to add CSR elements to a meeting that support efforts to fight human trafficking
  • Educate your staff, stakeholders and meeting participants in ways to address and help mitigate this worldwide crisis

Jennifer is joined by Kristina Sachs, an advocate for justice and community educator in the field of modern-day slavery serving IJM, the largest global anti-slavery organization in the world.

Pacific Ballroom
2:15pm 3:30pm
One-on-One Appointments
California Grand Ballroom
3:30pm 5:00pm
Free Time
Transportation to Two Bit Circus
Meet in Lobby
5:30pm 7:30pm
Dinner Reception

Co-sponsored by Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board

Two Bit Circus

Thursday, April 4

8:00am 8:30am
Breakfast Sponsored by Visit Oakland
Pacific Ballroom
8:30am 9:45am
Educational Session

Motivation Deconstructed: How to Get It, Give It and Live It

Presented by

More Detail
Arthur Sarkissian

Each of us has a unique set of subconscious motivators that determine how we act, think and feel in any given situation. This workshop style session will examine what drives these impulses, and how that knowledge can help us to reach our fullest potential, gain insight as to what motivates others, and drive our teams to greater achievements.

Learner Outcomes:

  • Understand what motivates our behaviors and how this impacts others
  • Learn about the concepts of "Best Self" and "Shadow"
  • Identify how subconscious motivators impact our day-to-day interactions
  • Use the above knowledge to refine our business and personal relationships

Pacific Ballroom
10:00am 12:15pm
One-on-One Appointments (with break at 11:00)
California Grand Ballroom
Transportation to Hotel Figueroa & Activities
Meet in Lobby
12:45pm 2:15pm
Informal Luncheon & Site-Tour of Hotel Figueroa
Hotel Figueroa
2:30pm 5:30pm
Optional Afternoon Activities

Activities Include:

  • Beer Tasting Tour
  • L.A. Stories
More Detail
  • Global Meetings Industry Day Celebration

  • Advance registration required
    For those not on a tour

    Transportation to the Global Meetings Industry Day Celebration

    Meet in Lobby
    5:30pm 7:30pm
    Global Meetings Industry Day Celebration
    Rose Bowl



    Those who are selected to attend will participate in:

    • Two productive days of pre-scheduled meetings with key suppliers from California
    • Insightful educational presentations from inspiring speakers
    • Opening reception, great meals, and numerous networking opportunities with other elite buyers
    • Unique experiential activities showcasing Los Angeles as a premier meetings and incentive destination

    To learn more, please contact Dana Kallman at [email protected].


    " Great event! I booked more than 300 room nights within two weeks after its conclusion. And the opportunity to connect with so many targeted suppliers for the future business was invaluable. "

    - Association Planner

    " Attending meetings through Northstar Meetings Group affords me a vast opportunity to learn about multiple vendors and properties over 2 days. The social component of these meetings allow me to make lifelong friendships and stronger business partners. Every work day is better when working with friends and thanks to Northstar I work with friends. "

    - Corporate Planner

    " In one event, over a course of a few days, I received quite an education. I established new relationships during the one on one meetings, had an opportunity to network at fabulous venues, learned new things about the region, and had a ton of fun. "

    - Independent Meeting Planner



    Enterprise Package


    • Table at event
    • One-on-one pre-scheduled appointments with heavily vetted buyers
    • All networking events and activities


    Individual Package


    • Table at event
    • One-on-one pre-scheduled appointments with heavily vetted buyers
    • Full-page print ad
    • All networking events and activities


    Group Icon


    • Table at event
    • One-on-one pre-scheduled appointments with heavily vetted buyers
    • Half-page print ad
    • All networking events and activities


    Exhibitor Package Rates & Premium Sponsorship Opportunities

    For exhibitor package rates and premium sponsorship opportunities, please contact your business development director or:  Amanda Blanar Kelly at: [email protected].

    Request Info Destination California




    " You find some great gems of planners which is terrific! Thank you! "

    - Suzy Kay, Visit Santa Barbara

    " I love this event, much more personable in my opinion compared to other shows. "

    - Diana Buxton, Temecula Creek Inn

    " Destination CA is a wonderful event with high caliber planners and suppliers, as well as, perfectly timed appointments with networking. "

    - Rhanee Palma, Visit Oakland


    2019 Exhibitors

    • 360 Destination Group
    • Asilomar Conference Grounds
    • AT&T Park
    • Beach House Hotel Hermosa Beach
    • Belmond El Encanto Santa Barbara
    • Caesars Entertainment
    • Discover Torrance
    • ESS
    • Folktale Winery & Vineyards
    • Great Wolf Lodge
    • Greater Palm Springs CVB
    • Hard Rock Hotel San Diego
    • Hotel Corque
    • Hotel Maya - a Doubletree Hotel by Hilton
    • Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach
    • Kimpton Shorebreak Resort
    • L.A. Tourism Convention Board
    • Long Beach Convention & Visitors Bureau
    • Marin CVB
    • Maui Jim
    • Mission Inn Hotel & Spa
    • Monterey Bay Aquarium
    • Monterey Conference Center
    • Monterey County Convention & Visitors Bureau
    • North Lake Tahoe
    • Oxnard Convention & Visitors Bureau
    • Pasea Hotel & Spa
    • PSAV
    • Riverside Convention & Visitors Bureau
    • San Diego Tourism Authority
    • San Francisco Travel
    • San Mateo County CVB
    • Sonoma County Tourism
    • South San Francisco CC
    • Tenaya Lodge at Yosemite
    • The L.A. Grand Hotel Downtown
    • The Ranch at Laguna Beach
    • The Waterfront Beach Resort, A Hilton Hotel
    • Ventura Visitors & Convention Bureau
    • Visit Berkeley
    • Visit Carlsbad
    • Visit Dana Point
    • Visit Huntington Beach, Surf City USA
    • Visit Napa Valley
    • Visit Oakland
    • Visit Santa Barbara
    • Visit Visalia
    • Woodside Hotel Group

    Click below to see the 2018 list

    The LA Logo



    The LA Grand Hotel Downtown is located in the heart of downtown Los Angeles, close to many popular venues including the LA Live, Staples Center (home of the Lakers, Clippers, Kings and Sparks), the Microsoft Theater (home of the Grammy Awards) and the LA Convention Center. The hotel is also within walking distance to The Walt Disney Concert Hall, the Broad and MOCA Museums, Bunker Hill, the Music Center and Grand Park. The hotel is also just blocks away from some of LA's hottest restaurants, shopping and nightlife.

    The L.A Grand Hotel Downtown
    333 S Figueroa St
    Los Angeles, CA 90071

    Hotel Website


    Buyers: We will make your reservations for you.

    Suppliers: You will receive information as the event approaches to book your accommodations.


    Advisory Notice Regarding Outside Solicitations

    Please be advised that numerous companies have been emailing and calling our attendees attempting to book them into hotels for Northstar events.

    Here are the companies and their representatives that we have been made aware of:

    • CBS International
    • Corporate Booking Services 
    • EHRS 
    • Exhibition Housing Services 
    • Global Housing Corporation 
    • World Wide Travel 

    Be advised that these companies and individuals have no relationship with our events. Our attendees are encouraged to disregard any communication received from these companies or any others that are not affiliated with Northstar Meetings Group.


    Buyers Contact:

    Dana Kallman

    Manager of Buyer Development

    [email protected]

    Suppliers Contact:

    James Antaky

    Business Development Director

    [email protected]


    Sharon Freeark

    Business Development Director

    [email protected]


    Amanda Blanar Kelly

    Sales & Client Services Manager

    [email protected]

    Event Logistics Contact:

    Angela Cox

    Group Director, Meetings & Events

    [email protected]