Northstar's Destination Southeast Focuses on Empowerment and Engagement

The hosted-buyer event welcomed 170 attendees to Cape Coral, Fla.

Photo Credit: Robert Wilson, RC Photographic Productions

More than 170 meeting planners and suppliers gathered at the Westin Cape Coral at Marina Village Aug. 13-15 for Northstar Meetings Group’s hosted-buyer event, Destination Southeast. The annual event is designed to connect buyers with destinations, hotels and resorts, and DMCs from southeastern states, such as Florida, Georgia, Louisiana and Tennessee.

Education sessions were led by Ashley T. Brundage on the four-step process of empowerment, and Mark Kamp on reenergizing, reengaging and rebuilding rock-star teams.

The hosted-buyer event included lunches sponsored by Explore Asheville and Visit Fort Myers, and receptions sponsored by RP Funding Center and the Westin Cape Coral. Other sponsors were the Daytona Beach Area Convention and Visitors BureauVisit CharlotteGroups360SeikoLouisville TourismDestin Fort Walton Beach FloridaAwesome AlpharettaDelta Air LinesMaui JimStovaPc/nametagMadison Avenue, and the Opal Collection.

On the final day of the event, Northstar’s staff announced that Destination Southeast will be held next Aug. 18-20 at the Grand Hotel Golf Resort and Spa in Point Clear, Ala. Visit Northstar’s calendar to register your interest and to view more upcoming events.

Following are photo highlights from Destination Southeast, taken by Robert Wilson of RC Photographic Productions.

Day One

Destination Southeast was held at the Westin Cape Coral at Marina Village in Florida.

Gifting sponsors included Seiko and Maui Jim.

Attendees were treated to mint juleps at registration, courtesy of Louisville Tourism.

Shalise DeMott, vice president of sales for Northstar Meetings Group, addressed the crowd at the opening reception.

Attendees dressed to the theme in their best tropical attire.

The crowd enthusiastically played lawn games, such as giant Jenga and cornhole.

Day Two

Ashley T. Brundage, president and CEO of Empowering Differences, taught attendees about the four-step empowerment process.

Buyers and suppliers got down to business during one-on-one meetings.

The afternoon consisted of free time and optional activities, such as a dolphin sightseeing tour.

Other attendees toured the Wicked Dolphin Rum Distillery and sampled cocktails.

The evening reception was held at the Ranch Concert Hall and Saloon, cohosted by RP Funding Center.

Participants took a line-dancing lesson during the Western-themed evening.

Day Three

"Marvelless Mark" Kamp, CEO of Millenia Productions, spoke about how to reenergize, reengage and rebuild rock-star teams.

The highlight of the event came from some furry friends who were brought in by the Cape Coral Animal Shelter for a puppy break.