Event Design and Engagement Featured at Destination West

Northstar Meetings Group's latest event welcomed more than 120 planners and suppliers to the Sheraton Denver Downtown.

The Sheraton Denver Downtown Hotel hosted Northstar's Destination West event.
The Sheraton Denver Downtown Hotel hosted Northstar's Destination West event. Photo Credit: Robert Wilson of RC Photographic Productions

Northstar Meetings Group's Destination West event welcomed more than 120 meeting planners and suppliers for three days of networking and learning at the Sheraton Denver Downtown Hotel last week. Jazzing up event design was the focus of one of the education sessions held at the gathering, and the meeting also featured one-on-one hosted-buyer appointments, as well as a tour of the singular Meow Wolf experiential event space and an evening at Bigsby's Folly, an urban winery.

Calling for better production values at events in order to lure attendees' attention away from their phones, Liz Whittaker, vice president of creative service for Encore, took her session, "Designing to Engage," a bit meta: Whittaker inserted videos of herself into the presentation, surprising participants as she imparted extra information in the asides. Among her advice, Whittaker spoke about event communications as an "infinite narrative," as pre-event contact sets the stage, and the actual meeting is just one chapter in the ongoing story of your organization's brand. Post-event communications reinforce that chapter's messaging and keep it alive beyond the actual meeting.

Talking on a more personal level, speaker Janice Litvin's "Banish Burnout" session used personal stories and tips to show participants how they can identify and change their reactions to stress in order to keep burnout at bay. She suggested using the STOP method to handle difficult situations: Stop; Take a breath; Observe; and Proceed.

Northstar's generous sponsors helped make the event a success. Along with the Sheraton Denver Downtown Hotel, sponsors included Visit Denver, Destination CO-CTO, the Greater Ontario (Calif.) CVBVisit ChandlerVisit AuroraExplore Utah ValleyDiscover FlagstaffStovaPC/NametagMadison AvenueGroups360Delta, Encore and Meow Wolf.

The following photographs, by Robert Wilson of RC Photographic Productions, capture some highlights from the event. 

Check back on our NMG Events page soon to mark your interest in Destination West 2024. You can also view the full roster of upcoming Northstar events there to register your interest as a hosted buyer or supplier.

Day One

At registration, Destination Colorado gave buyers lovely wineglasses hand-painted with aspen trees in fall colors.

New friendships were created right away during the opening reception in the Sheraton's Parlur, a former restaurant turned into inventive event space.

Day Two

Northstar's David Blansfield spoke of industry trends during the morning session.

Speaker Janice Litvin got participants up and moving during her presentation on banishing burnout.

The group experienced a visit to the singular Meow Wolf Denver. This floor of this event room can be interactive, reacting to guests' steps.

Participants could mingle indoors or outdoors during an evening reception at Bigsby's Folly, an urban winery.

Day Three

Liz Whittaker of Encore gave an energetic presentation on how to grab participants' attention in a world where seconds-long videos rule.

The exhibit room was abuzz as hosted buyers and suppliers did business together in three rounds of appointments.