Destination Southeast

The leading hosted-buyer event for top-level, pre-qualified meetings and incentive professionals looking to book business in the Southeast, will congregate with top hotels, CVBs, DMCs and venues from the Southeastern U.S. for highly productive days at the brand new, Margaritaville Resort Orlando, October 2-4, 2019.


Destination Southeast—Northstar's destination-specific hosted-buyer event—brings together the most highly-qualified meeting and incentive buyers with top destinations, hotels/resorts, cruise lines, attractions, DMCs, DMOs and tourism offices from the Southeastern states including: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia. Attendees participate in one-on-one pre-scheduled appointments, gain industry insights from our guest speakers and network with this exclusive group, all while enjoying the brand new Margaritaville Resort Orlando. This unique event is hosted by Northstar Meetings Group’s leading brands—Successful MeetingsMeetings & 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 the Southeast U.S. 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, accommodation, meals and planned activities.


Bruce Himelstein

Bruce Himelstein

Bruce Himelstein has effectively transformed some of the hospitality industry’s most prestigious brands, including Loews Hotels, Ritz-Carlton and Oceana Cruises. As the former chief marketing officer for Loews, he implemented strategic campaigns and launched key initiatives to employ innovative technologies. Previously, as corporate VP of sales and marketing for the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Co., he led the transformation of the luxury brand with his "Blow the Dust Off the Lion and Crown" campaign, which reinforced Ritz-Carlton’s prestigious appeal to longtime clientele while attracting a new generation of guests. His work for Ritz-Carlton was featured in Dr. Joseph Michelli’s New York Times bestseller The New Gold Standard.   Among many accolades, Bruce has been inducted into the American Marketing Association and was named “one of the 25 brightest minds in sales and marketing” by the Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association. A highly sought presenter, Himelstein delivers valuable insight to help organizations in any industry build and maintain a successful brand, develop a culture of service and harness talent to foster innovation. 

David Nico, Ph.D.

David Nico, Ph.D.

A peak-performance strategist, keynote speaker and certified wellness coach, David Nico, Ph.D., helps organizations integrate customized wellness solutions with current lifestyle-health principles, practices and products. He teaches corporate leaders healthful ways to live so they can model vitality, inspire vision and create a legacy. The author of Diet Diagnosis, David has been featured in Forbes, Business Insider, US News & World Report, Prevention, Reader's Digest, USA Today and other top media outlets. His work is endorsed by New York Times best-selling authors, distinguished professors and top marketplace leaders. David’s company, Dr. Healthnut, is on a mission to use the power of health education to transform lives. 

Ben Sauvage

Ben Sauvage

The founder and CEO of Connect DMC, a destination management company in the Dominican Republic and Mexico, Ben Sauvage brings 25 years of experience in delivering high-end, complex services to clients. He has a passion for creativity, attention to detail and sustainable practices. Named the 2019 SITE Member of the Year and recipient of an IMEX Green Award, Sauvage serves as president of SITE’s Florida/Caribbean chapter, is a member of the SITE and EIC sustainability committees, and holds the EIC Sustainable Event Professional certification.

Jane Scaletta

Jane Scaletta

Jane Scaletta, president of Orlando-based Dolfin Destinations, has worked in most travel and tourism disciplines over her 35-year career. While serving as executive director of the Cayman Islands Tourism Association, she became involved in efforts to protect the ecosystem of the Atlantic Ocean and instituted sustainable practices at one of the largest annual food and wine events in the Caribbean. Jane currently is the sustainability champion for the SITE Florida & Caribbean Chapter and serves on the SITE Sustainability Committee.

Wednesday, October 2

All Day

Planner Transportation sponsored by PRA

2:00pm 5:00pm

Sponsored by Daytona Beach CVB

Compass Rose Pre-Function Space
Maui Jim Fittings

Supplier Tabletop Set-up (Optional)
Compass Rose Ballroom
5:15pm 6:00pm
Planners: Property Tour of Margaritaville Resort
Meet in Main Lobby
6:00pm 8:00pm
Welcome Reception

Sponsored by Margaritaville Resort Orlando

Main Pool Deck

Thursday, October 3

7:45am 8:30am

Sponsored by Explore Asheville CVB

Seagrass Room
8:30am 9:30am

Innovation Is Not Optional: Survival Skills for Successful Brands


More Detail
by Bruce Himelstein
Speaker Brought to you by Goodman Speakers

Read more: How do established brands keep their edge, attract new market segments and grow market share? Innovation and marketing guru Bruce Himelstein will detail how he accomplished those objectives for iconic brands such as Ritz-Carlton and Loews Hotels. In this informative and thought-provoking presentation, Himelstein reveals the strategies used to reinvent and strengthen organizations, regardless of market conditions. By sharing examples of successes and failures, he provides practical advice and proven techniques for true brand innovation.


Participants will learn:

  • How to maintain a premium price for premium goods and services
  • How to capture and capitalize on disruption
  • How innovation can drive business performance no matter what the state of the market
  • Why data and trends are imperative to remaining relevant
  • How to harness an organization’s existing culture to work through disruption toward necessary change
Seagrass Room
9:45am 12:00pm
One-on-One Appointments
Compass Rose Ballroom
12:00pm 1:00pm

Sponsored by Myrtle Beach Area CVB

Seagrass Room
1:15pm 3:00pm
One-on-One Appointments
Compass Rose Ballroom
3:15pm – 4:15pm
Optional: Saving the Planet: How to Become a Sustainability Champion

Presented by Jane Scaletta, Dolfin Destinations; and Ben Sauvage, Connect DMC

Seagrass Room
Sustainable Meetings Presentation

Saving the Planet: How to Become a Sustainability Champion
Presented by:

More Detail
Jane Scaletta, Dolfin Destinations; and Ben Sauvage, Connect DMC
Environmental issues are at the forefront of today’s business, community and global concerns. By incorporating sustainability in the planning and execution of events, planners can deliver exceptional experiences that also help save our precious Earth. In this session, attendees will learn:

  • Why sustainability is so important for the future of our industry 
  • How event-management activities can have both a positive and negative impact on environmental, social and economic sectors
  • How planners can improve their sustainable impact. 


4:15pm 6:00pm
Free Time
6:30pm – 8:30pm
Dinner Reception

Sponsored by Omni Orlando Resort at Championsgate, Hello Florida & Experience

More Detail

Omni Orlando Resort at Championsgate

Friday, October 4

7:45am 8:30am

Sponsored by Experience Kissimmee

Seagrass Room
8:30am 9:30am

How to Fuel Your Meeting With High-Energy F&B 

Presented by: David

More Detail
Nico, Ph.D. 

What your attendees eat and drink during the course of a meeting or event can truly make all the difference in its success, according to David Nico, Ph.D.  A well-known corporate wellness coach and an expert in health science, David reveals how the right foods can help increase energy, stamina, concentration and the ability to absorb information — qualities that lead to more engaged attendees, enhanced learning, even better feedback.

In this session, you will learn:

  • The latest food-science news and breakthroughs that pertain directly to you and your attendees
  • Ways to identify and avoid the worst ingredients on menus
  • How to separate truth from myth about foods you commonly order
  • Ways sound nutrition can ultimately boost a company’s overall productivity, reduce sick days and improve the bottom line

Bonus: Attendees will enjoy sampling delicious, healthful dessert options created by David’s wife, Amia Nico, a gifted vocal artist/lyricist and proponent of sound nutrition.

Seagrass Room
9:45am 12:30pm
One-on-One Appointments
Compass Rose Ballroom
1:00pm 3:00pm

Sponsored by Reunion Resort

Reunion Resort
1:30pm 4:30pm
Free Time
4:30pm – 7:00pm
Closing Happy Hour

Sponsored by Jaleo at Disney Springs & Experience Kissimmee

Jaleo at Disney Springs





Those who are selected to attend will participate in:

  • Two productive days of pre-scheduled one-to-one meetings with key suppliers from the Southeastern U.S.
  • Insightful educational presentations from inspiring speakers
  • Great meals, receptions and numerous networking opportunities with other elite buyers and suppliers
  • Unique experiential activities showcasing Kissimmee as a premier meetings and incentive destination

To learn more why past buyers say this event is the best networking and education experience in the meetings and incentive industry, please contact Cindy Binder at [email protected].


Individual Package


  • Display table for one-on-one pre-scheduled appointments with heavily vetted buyers
  • Experiential networking activities, off-site functions and meals
  • All supplier expenses covered (excluding airfare & accommodations)
Enterprise Package


  • Includes event package at Destination Southeast
  • Ad in the September 2019 issues of Successful Meetings and M&C, plus matching advertorial
    • Half-page or full-page ad option



    Exhibitor Package Rates & Premium Sponsorship Opportunities

    For exhibitor package rates and premium sponsorship opportunities, please contact your business development director: 

    Pam Bucaro
    [email protected]

    Pete Ciriello
    (GA, KY, NC, SC, TN, VA, WV)
    [email protected]

    Kimberly Faulk
    (AL, FL, LA, MS)
    [email protected]



    2019 Exhibitors

    • Alpharetta Convention & Visitors Bureau
    • Athens CVB
    • Bakers Cay Resort Key Largo, Curio Collection by Hilton
    • Bowling Green Area Convention & Visitors Bureau
    • Caesars Entertainment
    • Chapel Hill/Orange County Visitors Bureau
    • Chattanooga CVB
    • Cobb Travel & Tourism
    • Crystal Coast Tourisim Development Authority
    • Daytona Beach Area CVB
    • Discover Dunwoody
    • Discover Durham
    • Discover the Palm Beaches
    • Eden Roc Miami Beach (AIC Hotel Group)
    • Embassy Suites by Hilton St. Augustine Beach Oceanfront Resort
    • eventPower
    • Experience Columbia SC
    • Experience Kissimmee
    • Explore Asheville Convention & Visitors Bureau
    • Explore Charleston
    • Explore Gwinnett Travel & Tourism/Infinite Energy Center
    • Florida Keys & Key West
    • Fort Myers, Sanibel & the Beaches
    • Gatlinburg Convention & Visitors Bureau
    • Greater Fort Lauderdale CVB
    • Goodman Speakers
    • Hard Rock Hotel Daytona Beach
    • Huntsville/Madison County CVB
    • Hutchinson Island Marriott Beach Resort & Marina
    • Jekyll Island Club Resort
    • JW Marriott Miami Turnberry Resort & Spa
    • JW Marriott Savannah Plant Riverside District
    • Kiawah Island Golf Resort
    • Kingston Resort
    • Margaritaville Resort Orlando
    • Marina Inn at Grande Dunes
    • Maui Jim Sunglasses
    • Memphis Tourism
    • Mission Inn Resort & Club
    • Myrtle Beach Convention Center
    • Naples Beach Hotel & Golf Club
    • Naples, Marco Island & the Everglades CVB
    • Ocean Properties Hotels, Resorts & Affiliates
    • Omni Orlando Resort at Championsgate
    • Playa Largo Resort & Spa
    • PRA Orlando
    • PSAV
    • Reunion Resort
    • Rosen Hotels & Resorts
    • Sandy Springs CVB
    • Smith & Wollensky Restaurant Group
    • St. Augustine, Ponte Vedra & The Beaches VCB
    • Sunstream Hotels
    • The Beaches of Ft. Myers & Sanibel
    • The Don CeSar
    • The Inn and Village Hotel on Biltmore Estate
    • The King and Prince Beach & Golf Resort
    • The Launch Group
    • The Seagate Hotel & Spa
    • The Shores Resort & Spa
    • Vinoy Resort & Golf Club St. Petersburg
    • Virginia Beach CVB
    • Visit Charlotte
    • Visit Greensboro
    • Visit Greenville SC
    • Visit Myrtle Beach
    • Visit Norfolk
    • Visit Orlando
    • Visit Raleigh
    • Visit Sarasota
    • Visit South Walton
    • Visit Tallahassee
    • Visit Tampa Bay
    • Visit St. Pete Clearwater CVB
    • Visit Virginia's Blue Ridge
    • Visit Winston-Salem
    • Wyndham Grand Clearwater Beach


    Click below to see the 2018 list


    Margaritaville Hotel Logo

    Escape to Paradise

    This is your little piece of paradise, your private oasis, where luxury and heart-pounding fun meet — beautifully. You’ll find lush grounds dotted with vacation cottages, a 184-room luxury hotel and cozy timeshares, all Margaritaville-inspired to delight at every turn.

    The amenities are equally spectacular — with a lagoon-style pool and soft sand beaches, a waterpark, a relaxing spa, fitness center, entertainment, shopping and dining, within walking distance. Your options are endless in this little piece of paradise.

    Margaritaville Resort Orlando
    8000 Fins Up Circle
    Kissimmee, FL 34747

    Hotel Website


    Buyers: We will make your reservations for you.

    Suppliers: Click on the following link to book your accommodations. Book Hotel


    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
    • Trade Show Planners
    • 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.



    "In two short days IPEC accomplished two very important goals for me - it provided an intimate forum where I could meet with suppliers I've been interested in meeting; and just as importantly, it enabled me to network and share best practices with respected colleagues who do just what I do all across the country."

    - Brett Sterenson, Hotel Lobbyists

    "IPEC is THE event for both novice and experienced independent planners. Everyone is open to express their concerns and posing questions without worrying about 'the other side' and suppliers are truly interested in our positions and challenges, ergo the round table discussions, which are insightful and we learn from each other as well as suppliers. Our discussion on the RFP process helped me to reformulate my own forms and I believe this will result in more usable proposals. Thank YOU."

    - Doris Mayer, Meetings Plus

    "I applaud Northstar for caring enough about Independent Planners that they designed a meeting just for us. We are critical to the industry and have different needs than the other niche Planner demographics."

    - Tess Vismale, iSocial Execution, Inc.



    Buyers Contact:

    Cindy Binder

    Director of Buyer Development

    [email protected]

    Suppliers Contact:

    Pam Bucaro


    [email protected]


    Pete Ciriello

    (GA, KY, NC, SC, TN, VA, WV)

    [email protected]


    Kimberly Faulk

    (AL, FL, LA, MS)

    [email protected]

    Event Logistics Contact:

    Christy Froehlich

    Event Manager/Consultant

    [email protected]