Peloton’s Emma Lovewell and Futurist Doug Lansky Headline NYC Event

Northstar's SMU International will bring more than 300 buyers and suppliers of global meetings and incentives to New York's Marriott Marquis.

Peloton Instructor and wellness coach Emma Lovewell

Travel trends and wellness are on the agenda for Northstar Meetings Group's 19th annual SMU International, a hosted-buyer event opening March 13 at the New York Marriott Marquis in the heart of New York City. The event will connect suppliers with buyers of cross-border gatherings at a time when international business is forecasted to reach its highest level since the pandemic began.

Travel futurist Doug Lanky
Travel futurist Doug Lanky

Travel and tourism expert Doug Lansky will discuss how current and future disruptors are reshaping the process and purpose of travel and gathering. A global explorer for the past 20 years and author of 10 travel-related books, he’ll share how travelers’ priorities have changed, disruptive forces to anticipate, and how destinations and suppliers can thrive in these altered realities.

Superstar Peloton instructor Emma Lovewell takes the stage on March 15, sharing a holistic approach to health and wellness that has inspired millions of followers. Her journey from model to dancer to fitness icon — with a bit of event planning along the way — is the subject of her forthcoming book, “Live Learn Love Well,” now available for pre-order.

Known for high-intensity yet low-pressure workouts, Lovewell’s virtual Peloton classes were a lifeline for fitness enthusiasts whose routines were disrupted during the pandemic. Fans now follow her travel blog and find healthy recipes, gardening advice, shopping tips and more on her website.

SMU participants will celebrate a surge in international travel

With more than 350 attendees registered, “this year's SMU International is shaping up to be the biggest and best ever,” said Shalise DeMott, vice president of sales for Northstar Meetings Group. The event connects meeting and incentive buyers to representatives from destinations, hotels, airlines and DMCs around the world. “This year we're showcasing a greater variety of the most exclusive meeting and incentive destinations than ever before,” DeMott added.

This is an exciting time of renewal for international travel business. According to the latest Northstar/Cvent Meetings Industry PULSE Survey, nearly 80 percent of respondents who organized international events before Covid are planning them now. Those surveyed also reported that the perception of hosting meetings in other countries is greater now than it was prepandemic.

"We couldn't be more excited for this year's SMU International," said David Blansfield, executive vice president and group publisher for Northstar. "Our company's core centers on the belief that travel connects us to new people, places and experiences around the world, and our mission is to facilitate that. No single event in our U.S. portfolio fulfills that mission better than SMU International."