Destination Southeast Delivers Deep Dives in Design and Serenity

Daytona Beach was the ideal setting for three days of business and networking among event planners and suppliers from 12 Southern states. 

destination southeast 2022 in pictures
Photo Credit: The Shores Resort & Spa, with its gorgeous setting on Daytona Beach, Fla., was the host property for Northstar’s Destination Southeast.

Daytona Beach, Fla., with its wide, pristine beaches, was an idyllic host destination for Northstar Meetings Group's annual Destination Southeast hosted-buyer event, which drew 180 attendees. Held Sept. 11-13 at The Shores Resort and Spa, the event included one-on-one meetings between suppliers and buyers, plentiful networking opportunities, education geared to helping event professional navigate current industry challenges, and a nostalgic night of ’80s music.

Among the highlights was the Event Design Lab, produced in partnership with the Event Leadership Institute and presented by Howard Givner and Kevin White. The course, which took place on the first day of the event, gave attendees a deep dive into creative and effective meeting design. The interactive, four-hour session delved into techniques for boosting engagement, creative seating, walking/talking sessions and more.

Givner also provided the second-day education, delivering a lively session on effective negotiation strategies for today’s challenging environment. He outlined five negotiating styles — competing, avoiding, collaborating, accommodating and compromising — and pointed out the pros and cons of each. A key takeaway, which Givner attributed to attorney John Foster: “Asking for something before you sign the contract is called negotiating. Asking for something after you’ve signed the contract is called begging.”

Addressing the need for everyone to focus on mental health and ease stress, wellness expert Kristine Iverson shared tips during the final education session for easing anxiety — including the act of humming to bring tranquility to agitated minds and relieve anger.

It was back to the ’80s for the closing party, which kicked off with cocktails at Ocean Center, followed by a night of boogying away at the Hard Rock Hotel Daytona Beach

The generous sponsors who helped make Destination Southeast a success include The Shores Resort and Spa and Daytona Beach Area Convention and Visitors Bureau; Explore Asheville; Visit St. Pete/Clearwater; Visit Orlando; Delta Air Lines; Seiko Watch of America; Discover Puerto Rico; Maui Jim Corporate Gifts; Essential Bodywear; pc/nametag; Madison Avenue and Aventri.

Destination Southeast 2023 will take place Aug. 13-15 at The Westin Cape Coral at Marina Village in Cape Coral, Fla. For more information on upcoming Northstar Meetings Group Events, please check our website.

Following are more highlights from Destination Southeast, from photographer Matt Klinger at MadPixPro Photography:

Day One

Planners were treated to a pair of stylish Maui Jim sunnies in the event’s gifting lounge. Other sponsored gifts were provided by Seiko Watch of America, Discover Puerto Rico and Essential Bodywear.

Howard Givner (right) facilitated a number of deep, interactive discussions during the Event Design Lab.

Attendees enjoyed sushi and other delectable dishes during the opening night reception at the Shores Resort & Spa.

Day Two

One-on-one meetings between buyers and suppliers were held in the hotel’s meeting rooms with spectacular views.

Attendees networked and sampled the wares of the Copper Bottom Craft Distillery.

We love the 80s! Guests donned neon, legwarmers and vintage Madonna looks for a dance party at the Hard Rock Hotel Daytona Beach.

Day Three

Wellness expert Kristine Iverson shared techniques for easing anxiety during the morning education session.

Planners met with suppliers from throughout the South during the buyer-supplier sessions.

A big thanks to our generous sponsors who helped make Destination Southeast a success!