. 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 26-29, 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).

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

7:30am 8:30am
Hosted by The Don CeSar

Grand Pavilion
8:30am 9:30am
Grand Ballroom
9:50am 12:03pm
One-on-One Appointments
Fifth Floor
12:10pm 2:00pm
Lunch & Education
Grand Ballroom
2:20pm 3:50pm
One-on-One Appointments
Fifth Floor
3:50pm 6:00pm
Free Time / CSR Activity
6:00pm 9:00pm
Reception / Dinner

Tuesday, January 28

7:45am 8:30am

Grand Pavilion
8:30am 9:30am
Grand Ballroom
9:50am 12:03pm
One-on-One Appointments
Fifth Floor
12:10pm 2:00pm
Lunch & Education

What's Your Point? Verbal Communication Skills for Buyers and

More Detail

Presented by John Ayo

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.

Grand Ballroom
2:00pm 4:00pm
Free Time
5:00pm 6:30pm
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

Wednesday, January 29

All Day
Breakfast On Own & Departures Throughout the 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
  • 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

  • Daytona Beach Area CVB
  • Don CeSar
  • 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
  • South San Francisco Conference Center
  • Vail Resorts
  • Vinoy Renaissance St. Petersburg Resort and Golf Club
  • Visit Berkeley
  • Visit Britain
  • Visit Carlsbad
  • Visit Fairfax
  • Visit Norfolk
  • Visit Park City
  • Visit St. Petersburg / Clearwater
  • Visit Virginia's Blue Ridge

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]