. IPEC | Northstar Meetings Group


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 three highly educational and productive days at The Don CeSar in St. Pete Beach, Florida, from January 26-28, 2020.


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. Attendees participate in one-on-one pre-scheduled appointments, gain industry insights from our guest speakers and network with this exclusive group—all while enjoying Florida's "Pink Palace," The Don CeSar located in St. Pete Beach. This unique event is hosted by Northstar Meetings Group’s leading brands —Successful Meetings, Meetings & Conventions, and Incentive Magazine—in partnership with Visit St. Pete/Clearwater Florida and The Don CeSar.            



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 Florida's legendary The Don CeSar.

John Ayo

John Ayo

John Ayo is a keynote speaker, naturopath and author who inspires and empowers professionals to stay energized, healthy and balanced while traveling.

Prior to forging a career in natural health, John spent almost 30 years in sales and sales training at IBM, where he achieved remarkable results as a seller and speaker. He led the team that closed the largest software deal in the history of IBM (of over $1B), earning several commendations. However, after two decades in Corporate America, John began to suffer stress-related health issues that couldn't be resolved via traditional methods.

This led him through a journey of discovery, with a determination to lessen stress and evoke a more balanced, grounded and healthier self. It also spawned a unique desire to help others lead more balanced, healthy lives. John has taught more than 4,000 people in 26 countries his secrets to better health on the road — and back at home. His book, Travel Balance, is based on his experiences and the wellness strategies he preaches to audiences worldwide.

John holds a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering, a Master's Degree in Business Administration (MBA) and a Doctorate in Naturopathy (ND).

Dianne Devitt

Dianne Devitt

Dianne Devitt is an industry visionary and personality with global experience as a producer, events director, author and speaker. She is an Adjunct Professor at New York University, and founder of The DND Group, Inc. Passionate about the power of creativity and live experiences, she is an expert on providing creative inspiration. As creator and producer of the first SenseUP! Summit, Devitt identified the focus on sensory communication and its importance and relevance in live communication. Her ColorUP! workshops focus on how to think creatively to impact business returns. She is the author of What Color is Your Event? The Art of Bringing People Together.

Eric Rozenberg

Eric Rozenberg

Eric Rozenberg, CMM, CMP, has helped thousands of independent planners and entrepreneurs grow and manage their businesses more effectively and efficiently. A former chairman of Meeting Professionals International, he has successfully run his own corporate events agency for 20 years, has lead projects in more than 50 countries worldwide and is the author of Meeting at C-Level: An Executive's Guide for Driving Strategy and Helping the Rest of Us Figure Out What the Boss Wants.

Sunday, January 26

3:30pm 5:30pm

Hosted by Daytona Beach CVB

Fifth Floor
3:30pm 5:30pm
Supplier Tabletop Set-up
Fifth Floor
Planners: Property Tour
Meet on Fifth Floor
6:30pm 8:30pm
Welcome Reception
Hosted by The Don CeSar

Rowe Pavilion

Monday, January 27

7:45am 8:30am
Hosted by The Don CeSar

Grand Pavilion
8:30am 9:30am

Creative Design Planning: An Experiential Workshop
Presenter: Dianne Devitt


More Detail
this inspirational, engaging and experiential keynote, participants will examine how the creative experience is essential to the events we plan and execute. This session will focus on our senses and how to build a more acute awareness for how they work. Don’t expect to sit down for too long; Dianne’s innovative approach to engaging and inspiring audiences will help us experience our world in living color and with vitality, and to translate that energy and creative spirit into meetings and events. 

Participants will learn to:

  • Tap into their creative energy
  • Incorporate all of the senses in meeting planning
  • Improve attendee engagement
  • Demonstrate better results
Grand Ballroom
9:50am 12:48pm
One-on-One Appointments
Fifth Floor
1:00pm 2:30pm
Lunch & Education
Grand Ballroom
2:30pm 3:30pm
Free Time
3:30pm 5:15pm
Happy Hour (Planners only)
Sirata Beach Resort
5:30pm 8:30pm
Reception / Dinner

Dinner Cruise Sponsored by Yacht StarShip

Tuesday, January 28

7:45am 8:30am

Grand Pavilion
8:30am 9:30am

What’s Your Point? Verbal Communication Skills for Buyers and Suppliers
Presented by

More Detail
John Ayo, Chief Balancing Officer, Travel Balance

Excellent communication skills are critical for business success. This highly interactive session will reveal best-practice advice to help you improve your messaging and presentation skills, whether in front of a crowd or during face-to-face discussions. You will learn the mechanics of preparation, how to shape the content and structure of your message, the importance of visuals in getting your point across, the art and science of verbal delivery, and ways to enhance your stage presence.

Participants will learn to:

  • Better prepare for important discussions or presentations
  • Practice using effective structure for the most compelling communication
  • Hone presentation-delivery skills — including verbal ability, stage presence and body language.
  • Work with presenters to create develop more engaging sessions
Grand Ballroom
9:50am 12:48pm
One-on-One Appointments
Fifth Floor
1:00pm 2:30pm
Lunch & Education

Working ON Your Business, Not Just IN Your Business
Presented by Eric Rozenberg, CMP,

More Detail
CMM, President & CEO, Event Business Formula

As entrepreneurs, meeting planners and third parties, we spend more time in the trenches, extinguishing fires and solving problems than strategically thinking about growing and managing our business. Learn to take a step back to define your business, setting a critical foundation for success and growth. Meetings expert and business consultant Eric Rozenberg will detail a simple and effective framework of six areas to consider, and concrete actions to implement immediately.

Participants will learn:

  • How to position yourself as a strategic partner vs. a logistics vendor
  • How to network and prospect with results
  • How to set up your fees and look at your finances
  • How to focus on what’s essential for you and your business


Grand Ballroom
2:30pm 3:30pm
Education (Planners only)

Pricing Your Services: A Workshop for Independent Planners
Presented by Dianne Devitt

More Detail
and Eric Rozenberg

It’s a simple concept: You provide a valuable service, and you expect to be compensated accordingly. But how do you assign a dollar amount to meeting and event planning? Our job functions continue to evolve and expand, but are we being paid more for doing more? How do you put a dollar value on event marketing or creative design? In this interactive workshop, we will discuss various pricing structures and how to demonstrate the value of your services to clients.

Participants will learn: 

  • Pros and cons of various pricing strategies
  • How to determine what your time is worth
  • How to protect yourself against “mission creep”
  • Ways to market your value to clients
Grand Ballroom
3:00pm 4:00pm
Free Time
Planners: Transportation to Renaissance Vinoy
Suppliers: Transportation to Renaissance Vinoy
5:30pm 7:00pm
Hospitality Happy Hour
Hosted by The Vinoy Renaissance St. Petersburg Resort and Golf Club
Explore Downtown St. Pete

Departures from The Vinoy Renaissance starting at 6:30pm




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
  • Unique experiential activities showcasing St. Pete Beach as a premier meetings and incentive destination  

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: Angie Kimmel at 636-273-5816 or [email protected].

Request Info IPEC




2020 Exhibitors

  • Boise Centre
  • Chapel Hill/Orange County Visitors Bureau
  • Fredericksburg CVB
  • Daytona Beach Area CVB
  • Explore Charleston
  • Hershey Resorts
  • Lincoln Nebraska CVB
  • Marin Convention & Visitors Bureau
  • Myrtle Beach Convention Center
  • Naples, Marco Island and the Everglades CVB
  • PSAV
  • San Diego Tourism Authority
  • Sirata Beach Resort
  • South San Francisco Conference Center
  • The Don CeSar
  • Vail Resorts
  • Vinoy Renaissance St. Petersburg Resort and Golf Club
  • Visit Albuquerque
  • Visit Berkeley
  • Visit Britain
  • Visit Carlsbad
  • Visit Charlotte
  • Visit Fairfax
  • Visit Norfolk
  • Visit Oxnard
  • Visit Park City
  • Visit Richardson
  • Visit San Antonio
  • Visit St. Petersburg / Clearwater
  • Visit Virginia's Blue Ridge
  • Yacht StarShip

Click below to see the 2019 list

Don CeSar Logo Large

The Legendary Pink Palace of St. Pete Beach

Opened in the heyday of the Gatsby Era in 1928, The Don CeSar has been welcoming travelers for nearly a century. From high society's playground to starring on the silver screen to being a Gulf Coast icon, The Don CeSar boasts a rich and glamorous history. Distinguished celebrities such as Clarence Darrow and F. Scott Fitzgerald have stayed at the Pink Palace on St. Pete Beach and even served in the Great War. With a sugar-fine beach, radiant sunsets, a world-class spa, and a vibrant food scene, you really can have it all. More than a landmark, The Don is epic style. Timeless. Majestic. Cool.

The Don CeSar
3400 Gulf Boulevard
St. Pete Beach, FL 33706

Hotel Website


Buyers: We will make your reservations for you.

Suppliers: Click here to book your accommodations.


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

Manager of Buyer Development

[email protected]

Suppliers Contact:

Angie Kimmel


[email protected]

Event Logistics Contact:

Christy Froehlich


[email protected]


Britt Schwendinger


[email protected]