IPEC 2023 Brings Independent Meeting Planners to Memphis

More than 200 buyers and suppliers participated in education, networking and more.

Beale Street in Memphis, Tenn. Photo Credit: Ketara Gadahn

Northstar Meetings Group's 11th annual Independent Planner Education Conference drew more than 200 hosted buyers and suppliers to the Peabody Hotel in Memphis, Tenn., Jan. 24-26. The annual event offers a rich education program targeting the specific needs of small-business owners. Following are the highlights from IPEC 2023. Photos by Ketara Gadahn, Studio Alani. (Visit Northstar's events calendar to register your interest in future programs.)

Day One

Delicious homemade ice cream from Kaye's Pints & Scoops, a local family business, was a welcome treat sponsored by Kalahari Resorts.

Memphis' historic Peabody Hotel hosted Northstar Meetings Group's 11th annual Independent Planner Education Conference.

The hotel was just around the corner from Beale Street, "Home of the Blues."

Duckmaster Kenon Walker shared the origin story of the famous Peabody ducks, who made a special cameo appearance at IPEC's opening reception.

Kevin White (pictured) and Tammy Koçkaya led the Independent Planner Business Bootcamp, a pre-event educational workshop.

The bootcamp, provided by Northstar Meetings Group and the Event Leadership Institute, facilitated peer-to-peer learning among small groups. (Pictured: Susan Brooks and Brett Sterenson)

Day Two

A session on pricing — which revealed a wide range of revenue models and rates — was a morning eye-opener.

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

About 200 participants, half buyers and half suppliers, discussed current and future business needs.

No trip to Memphis would be complete without a visit to Graceland, the former home of Elvis Presley and his family, where the history of his life and career are chronicled.

Flowers, signs and gifts paid tribute to Elvis' only child, Lisa Marie Presley, whose funeral was held days before our visit.

Participants enjoyed a spirited tour and tasting at Old Dominick Distillery, a Memphis staple for 150 years.

Attendees took a tour of the Renasant Convention Center, which just finished a $200 million modernization project.

Day two culminated in a lively disco-themed party at the Renasant Convention Center.

Day Three

Mindfulness expert Collin Henderson, provided by Paragon Speakers, showed off his moonwalk — and offered smart advice on how to be more thoughtful and intentional at work and in life.

Generous sponsors contributed to the success of Northstar's 11th annual Independent Planner Education Conference.