The exclusive hosted-buyer educational conference for the highly sought audience of leading independent planners. 

Meet with the top hotels, CVBs, DMCs, and venues from across the country and around the globe during three highly educational and productive days at the Omni Louisville, Kentucky, from April 21-23, 2021.

Please click here for Northstar’s Enhanced Safety Protocols for Live Events


Hosted by Northstar Meetings Group, IPEC (Independent Planner Education Conference) is the exclusive event – the first and the best! – tailored to the unique needs of independent planners that are not associated with any 3rd party organizations. At IPEC the leading independent planners will meet face-to-face with top destinations, hotels/resorts, cruise lines, DMCs, DMOs and tourism offices from the U.S. and around the globe. Attendees participate in one-on-one pre-scheduled appointments, gain industry insights from our guest speakers and network with this exclusive group—at the Omni Louisville in Kentucky. This unique event is hosted by Northstar Meetings Group’s leading brands — Successful Meetings, Meetings & Conventions, and Incentive Magazine — in partnership with Louisville Tourism.          

Check out photos from IPEC 2020:

IPEC 2020
IPEC 2020
IPEC 2020
IPEC 2020


Follow along on Instagram: #IPEC

Follow along on LinkedIn: #IPEC



Learn from, and be inspired by, our guest speakers who will provide targeted education specific to independent planners.



Connect during pre-scheduled one-on-one business appointments and unique experiential activities.



Network during the exclusive activities showcasing Louisville.

Cleo Battle

Cleo Battle

Chief Operating Officer, Louisville Tourism

Cleo Battle is Chief Operating Officer for Louisville Tourism and will transition to President and CEO on July 1, 2021. Prior to coming to Louisville in 2013, he spent 17 years in leadership roles at the Richmond (Va.) Convention & Visitors Bureau. Cleo began his hospitality career in the hotel industry, working for Embassy Suites, Holiday Inn and Sheraton Hotels. He is a Denver native and a graduate of Denver's Metropolitan State University in Denver, with a BA in Hotel and Restaurant Management, and earned his MBA from Averett University in Virginia. Cleo is both a Certified Destination Management Executive (CDME) and Certified Association Sales Executive (CASE).

Pepper Dombroski

Pepper Dombroski

Director of Sales, The Broadmoor

Pepper Dombroski is Director of Sales at The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs, Colo.  An industry professional with more than 30 years of experience, Pepper has worked in the luxury hospitality market coast-to-coast, from New York City to Maui, Hawaii.  Pepper is a Board member for VisitCOS and an active member of FICP and ASAE.  She seeks opportunities to advance the dialogue surrounding in-person meetings, group incentive travel and the value of business travel.

Christy Froehlich

Christy Froehlich

Founder, Precision Planners

Christy Froehlich has spent the past 28 years working in multiple facets of the meeting planning industry, including full-service meeting management, destination management, and hotel-based catering, conference services and sales. Since founding Precision Planners in 2012, Christy and her business partner have worked with corporate, incentive and association clients to deliver excellence in strategic event design and execution for events all over the world. Christy has held the Certified Meeting Professional (CMP) designation since 2000. She specializes in sustainable meeting planning and is a member of the Green Meeting Industry Council (GMIC).

Mason Harris

Mason Harris

Speaker and writer

Mason Harris, a speaker, writer and business professional, is the middle child of Eastern European immigrants. He grew up in a working-class neighborhood in Queens and feels privileged to have been "born with a plastic spoon in my mouth." 

Mason learned early on that America is the land of opportunity, and that success has two critical components: education (formal or street) and chutzpah. As an entrepreneur he is fortunate to have had both "successes" and "lesser successes," also known as "failures," to learn from. 

Mason is the founder of several companies: Robin Technologies, Inc.; YouGotMeals; Chutzpah Media, and Table Tent Media. He has written two books: “The Chutzpah Advantage: Go Bigger. Be Bolder. Do Better,” and “Entrée Marketing: Six Critical Principles for the Overworked Restauranteur.” 

Jonathan T. Howe

Jonathan T. Howe

Howe & Hutton Ltd.

Jonathan T. Howe, Esq., is president and senior and founding partner of Howe & Hutton Ltd., headquartered in Chicago. The longtime legal expert and columnist for Meetings & Conventions, he has written hundreds of articles and papers on hospitality and meetings, and has spoken to organizations all over the world. He is also general counsel to Meeting Professionals International, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Association Committee of 100, the Sports & Fitness Industry Association and the International Live Events Association, as well as special advisor to the American Bar Association Standing Committee on Meetings and Travel. Howe was named the inaugural recipient of the Hospitality Industry Attorneys of the Year by the Academy of Hospitality Industry Attorneys. As an adjunct professor, he has taught courses in association management and hospitality industry law at Roosevelt and DePaul Universities.

Terry Jones

Terry Jones

Managing principal of ON Inc

Best known for founding Travelocity.com and serving as founding Chairman of Kayak.com, Terrell (Terry) Jones is a powerful voice in the world of entrepreneurship and disruptive technologies. He began his career as a travel agent, then spent 24 years at American Airlines in marketing and information technology, ultimately serving as chief information officer of American’s SABRE division. While at SABRE, he led a team of six working on a project that became Travelocity.com. 

Jones was CEO of Travelocity for seven years, transforming it to a public company with $3 billion in travel sales. He then co-founded Kayak.com, a company that yet again revolutionized how travel was purchased, and served as chairman until it was sold to Priceline for $1.8 billion in 2013. 

Today, Jones is the managing principal of ON Inc. a consultancy he founded to help companies in their transition to the digital economy. He is the author of the best-selling books ON Innovation and Disruption OFF, and holds several patents. 

Wednesday, April 21

3:00pm 5:30pm

3:00pm 5:30pm
Supplier Tabletop Set-up (optional)
Planners: Property Tour
6:15pm 8:15pm
Welcome Reception

Hosted by Omni Louisville

Thursday, April 22

8:00am 9:45am
Breakfast & Education: The Chutzpah Advantage: Eight Behaviors for Moving Forward in 2021
Presented by Mason Harris
More Detail

Many of the challenges from 2020 are still with us, along with a list of unknowns about how the live events business will play out in 2021. While much is beyond our control, our attitudes can help to drive business success. Speaker and author Mason Harris will identify eight critical behaviors that will give you a competitive advantage this year and beyond. Harris will outline a memorable model, based on his new book The Chutzpah Advantage, for individuals and organizations to differentiate themselves from other meeting and event professionals.
Participants will learn:

• Eight behaviors that will drive a successful rebound in 2021
• How to weigh risk vs. reward in business decisions
• Three types of solutions that will satisfy clients
• How to stay motivated and inspire your team to excel

10:00am 1:00pm
One-on-One Appointments
1:00pm 3:00pm
Lunch & Education: Are Covid Passports Next for Meetings?

Presenter: Terrell Jones

More Detail

Moderator: Loren G. Edelstein

For the travel industry to safely recover, will we be using digital health passports to prove our vaccination or testing status? What are the implications for meeting planners? Terry Jones, founder of Travelocity and founding chairman of Kayak.com, believes these passports could be the key to restarting travel and restoring confidence in meetings and events. Jones, who is working with governments and travel leaders to establish digital Covid records, will discuss this process and its implications for the meetings and events industry with Northstar’s Loren Edelstein. An extended Q&A period will be included in this participatory session. 

3:00pm 5:30pm
Free Time or Activity
More Detail

Here are some suggestions courtesy of Louisville Tourism:

FREE TIME on Museum Row
Shuttle transportation will begin from the Omni from 3:00pm – 5:00pm for Museum Row stops.
Muhammad Ali Center
Frazier History Museum
Louisville Slugger
Please go to the ticket desk at each museum and give your name.  Admission is complimentary for IPEC Guests.
FOR PLANNERS ONLY: Evan Williams Bourbon Experience
Limited tickets for 3:30pm & 4:30pm – MUST sign up at City Information Desk at the Omni.
Bourbon Tasting (tours unavailable) with Whiskey Jean and a visit to their gift shop.

Dinner at the Muhammad Ali Center

Friday, April 23

8:00am 9:45am
Breakfast & Education: Ask the Attorney: Legal Concerns for Covid-Era Meetings and Beyond
Presenter: Jonathan T. Howe, Esq.
More Detail

Moderator: Loren G. Edelstein
As in-person gatherings resume, so do new legal worries. Renowned industry attorney Jonathan T. Howe, Esq., will address timely topics of concern to meeting planners and suppliers, including health safety, security, cancellation terms, contract clauses, liability and more. Bring your own questions to this moderated Q&A session and group discussion.

Measurable learning objectives:

• Prepare for contract negotiations by understanding today’s business climate
• Revise contract clauses to be more relevant for Covid-era events
• Apply best practices to minimize health and safety risks – and avoid liability

10:00am 1:00pm
One-on-One Appointments
1:00pm 3:00pm
Lunch & Education: Planner-Supplier Partnerships Today
Moderator: Loren Edelstein, VP & Content Director, Northstar Meetings Group
More Detail


  • Cleo Battle, Chief Operating Officer, Louisville Tourism
  • Pepper Dombrowski, Director of Sales, The Broadmoor
  • Christy Froehlich, CMP, Principal and Owner, Precision Planners

Every segment of the meetings industry has faced unprecedented challenges over the past year. Now that we see relief on the horizon, what challenges remain, and how can meeting planners and suppliers support one another toward our common goal: sustained business recovery? In this moderated discussion, experts will discuss how their needs have changed and how we can move forward as true partners. Participants will be invited to ask questions and participate in this timely discussion.

Participants will learn:

  • The challenges and changing roles of destination marketers
  • New factors that come into play in negotiations for 2021 and beyond
  • The role of hotels and venues in planning Covid-safe meetings
  • The anticipated pace of business recovery 
3:00pm 5:15pm
Free Time or Activity
More Detail

Here are some suggestions courtesy of Louisville Tourism:

FREE TIME to Shop or Crash, Smash or Axe
Shuttle transportation will run from the Omni from 3:00pm – 5:00pm.
Butchertown Market – Boutique shopping experience with a variety of home goods, food items, accessories and much more at affordable prices.  IPEC Guests will receive a 10% discount on purchases.
OVERDRIVE – Adrenaline Pass two hours of racing simulators, axe throwing and a rage room to help relieve your 2020-21 stress!
Please sign up at the city information desk at the Omni to assist with venue planning.  Admission is complimentary for IPEC Guests.

Closing Happy Hour / Dinner at Churchill Downs

Saturday, April 24

Breakfast on own / at leisure
Departures throughout day




Those who are selected to attend will participate in:

  • Two productive days of pre-scheduled meetings with key suppliers from across the United States
  • Insightful educational presentations from inspiring speakers
  • Opening reception, great meals, and numerous networking opportunities with other elite buyers

Follow along on Instagram: #IPEC

Follow along on LinkedIn: #IPEC

To learn more, please contact Dana Kallman [email protected].


Individual Package

Event Only Package

  • Display table & appointments
  • All event activities
  • Buyer profiles via event app
Individual Package

Gold Package

  • Half-page ad
  • Display table & appointments
  • All event activities
  • Buyer profiles via event app
Platinum Package

Platinum Package

  • Full-page ad
  • Display table & appointments
  • All event activities
  • Buyer profiles via event app

Exhibitor Package Rates & Premium Sponsorship Opportunities

For exhibitor package rates and premium sponsorship opportunities, please contact your business development director or: Shalise DeMott at 561-251-9846 or [email protected].

Request Info IPEC




2021 Exhibitors

  • Amelia Island
  • Boise Centre
  • Caesars Entertainment
  • Chattanooga Tourism Co.
  • Club Med
  • Daytona Beach
  • Destination El Paso
  • Discover Denton
  • Experience Columbus
  • Experience Kissimmee
  • Experience Rochester MN
  • Explore Branson
  • Explore Charleston
  • Fredericksburg CVB
  • Grand Sierra
  • Guy Harvey Resort St. Augustine
  • Hard Rock Hotel Daytona Beach
  • Hilton Embassy Suites
  • Huntsville/Madison County Convention & Visitors Bureau
  • Long Beach Area Convention & Visitors Bureau
  • Louisville
  • Memphis Travel
  • Monterey County CVB
  • Ocean Center
  • Ocean Properties
  • Omni Louisville Hotel
  • Sedona Chamber of Commerce & Tourism Board
  • South Point Hotel Casino & Spa
  • St. Augustine/Ponte Vedra
  • The Broadmoor
  • Visit Albuquerque
  • Visit Central Florida
  • Visit Corpus Christi
  • Visit Dunwoody
  • Visit Fairfax
  • Visit Lubbock
  • Visit Oxnard
  • Visit Park City
  • Visit South Walton
  • Visit St. Pete Clearwater
  • Visit Virginia Beach
  • Volan Technology

Omni Louisville Web



Reflecting the past, present and future of our vibrant Kentucky town, Omni Louisville Hotel is the new cornerstone of downtown. Our location allows you to easily make your way to Main Street and indulge in Louisville's bourbon culture at many popular distilleries. Blending our historic surroundings with modern comforts, Omni Louisville Hotel reflects the essence of the city and invites you into an unforgettable stay.

400 S 2nd Street
Louisville, KY 40202

Hotel Website

Click here to view the Omni Safe and Clean Standards.


Advisory Notice Regarding Outside Solicitations

Please be advised that numerous companies have been emailing and calling our attendees attempting to book them into hotels for Northstar events.

Here are the companies and their representatives that we have been made aware of:

  • CBS International
  • Corporate Booking Services 
  • EHRS 
  • Exhibition Housing Services 
  • Global Housing Corporation 
  • World Wide Travel 

Be advised that these companies and individuals have no relationship with our events. Our attendees are encouraged to disregard any communication received from these companies or any others that are not affiliated with Northstar Meetings Group.



"In two short days IPEC accomplished two very important goals for me - it provided an intimate forum where I could meet with suppliers I've been interested in meeting; and just as importantly, it enabled me to network and share best practices with respected colleagues who do just what I do all across the country."

- Brett Sterenson, Hotel Lobbyists

"I applaud Northstar for caring enough about Independent Planners that they designed a meeting just for us. We are critical to the industry and have different needs than the other niche Planner demographics."

- Tess Vismale, iSocialExecution, Inc


Buyers Contact:

Dana Kallman

[email protected]

Suppliers Contact:

Shalise DeMott


[email protected]

Event Logistics Contact:

Beth Dean


[email protected]