Incentive Live

The "must-attend" incentive, loyalty and motivation event welcomes you to Arizona! The biggest trends, the biggest influencers, the biggest spenders – all come together for three highly productive days at the Loews Ventana Canyon.

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


Incentive Live 2021 offers a fresh destination — Tucson — and a compelling agenda that makes this event a must-attend for industry professionals. In addition to one-on-one appointments with top incentive destinations, hotels/resorts, cruise lines, DMCs, DMOs, brand name merchandise, gift cards and tourism offices, Incentive Live presents leading industry experts providing the latest perspective on industry trends and best practices that will help take your incentive programs to the next level.  

Follow along on Instagram: #IncentiveLive

Follow along on LinkedIn: #IncentiveLive



Learn from, and be inspired by, our guest speakers, roundtable participants, and boardroom presenters who will provide targeted education specific to your needs as a meeting and incentive planner.



Connect with premier suppliers from around the world during pre-scheduled one-on-one business appointments and unique experiential activities.



All qualified buyers will be fully hosted by Northstar Meetings Group, including airfare and planned activities.

Julie Branstrom

Julie Branstrom

Owner/President, Vista Meetings & Incentives

Julie is a 28-year veteran in the hospitality industry. She has worked working as a director of sales for 5-star resorts, and a meeting planner with Chrysler. She now owns her own planning company, Vista Meetings & Incentives and serves on the SITE Mountain West board as the membership director.

Jeffrey Brenner

Jeffrey Brenner

Past board president, Incentive Manufacturers Rep Alliance; director, special markets, Seiko Watch of America

Brent DeRaad

Brent DeRaad

President & CEO. Visit Tucson

Brent DeRaad has served as president & CEO of Visit Tucson for nine years. DeRaad and the 30-member Visit Tucson staff are charged with selling, marketing and promoting metro Tucson as a meetings, leisure, film and sports destination to potential visitors throughout the world.

DeRaad currently serves as immediate-past board chair of the Arizona Lodging and Tourism Association and as board president of Destination Marketing Association of the West’s education and research foundation. He is also a board member of the Arizona Bowl and Tucson Conquistadores and serves on the  Arizona Governor’s Tourism Advisory Council.

Stephanie Harris

Stephanie Harris

President, Incentive Research Foundation

Stephanie Harris has helmed the Incentive Research Foundation since October 2019. Previously, she was executive with  American Express Meetings & Events, where she responsible for global marketing, thought leadership and event services strategy, including the design and management of the annual American Express Global Meetings Industry Forecast. Her industry experience also includes eight years as division vice president at Maritz, where she launched Travel Insight, an incentive travel research tool to determine participants' preferences.

Brad Hecht

Brad Hecht

Vice President, Travel, Motivation Excellence

Brad has global experience within the incentive travel industry in areas including operations, marketing, sales, finance and management. His current role at Motivation Excellence, involves worldwide responsibility for all facets of their travel division.  His career has spanned more than 35 years, during which he has been involved with meetings, incentives, car shows, several Super Bowls, the Olympics and major name/act productions. Brad also serves on the SITE International Board of Directors and is on the Executive Committee in the capacity of VP of Education and Certification globally.

Chris Herzberg

Chris Herzberg

‎Senior Business Development Director, ‎ITA Group

Chris currently leads sales efforts at ITA Group, a performance improvement firm focused on improving business results through people. ITA Group is dedicated to helping the world’s largest companies engage and motivate employees, channel partners and customers through integrated marketing strategies. His goal is to assist partners in identifying the gaps at their organization that prevent them from achieving their goals and objectives

David Kliman

David Kliman

President, The Kliman Group

David Kliman is founder and president of The Kliman Group, established in 2002, which specializes in creating and facilitating think tanks and performing in-depth research for DMO, conventions centers, hotels and other tourism organizations. The consultancy helps clients maximize profitability and market leadership through a strategic understanding of key stakeholder trends and best practices. 

David began his career at The Plaza Hotel in New York City, and went on to lead meeting and travel operations for Fireman’s Fund Insurance Company. Among many industry accolades, he was named among the Top 25 Inflencers of the Meetings Industry for his active role in developing solutions to the challenges of 2020. 

David Peckinpaugh

David Peckinpaugh

President, Maritz Global Events

A 30-plus year champion of the events industry, David provides strategic oversight of Maritz Global Events, while ensuring the organization consistently design and deliver exceptional experiences to clients and their guests.

His passion and advocacy on behalf of the events industry has earned David accolades and recognition from peers and organizations including MPI Rise Award’s Meetings Industry Leadership, the Joint Meetings Industry Council’s Unity Award, Incentive Travel Council’s Advocate of the Year award, one of Successful Meetings' 25 Most Influential People and induction into the Even Industry Councils Hall of Leaders.

David is an executive committee member of the Meetings Means Business Coalition and past Chairman of the PCMA Education Foundation. He also serves on the boards for both Pedal the Cause and for Chautauqua Institution. In addition, David is a certified meeting planner, certified incentive specialist and is an honorary master designer with Maritz Behavior Sciences and Innovation.

Stephanie Sorrells

Stephanie Sorrells

Senior Experience Designer, Creative Group

Stephanie Sorrells has more than 25 years of experience in the meetings and incentives business. First with her own company and now at meeting, incentive and recognition company Creative Group, she has a keen understanding of the business – from strategic experience creation to on-site execution for Fortune 100 customers. As an experience designer, she is passionate about creating immersive and authentic journeys for clients and their guests, weaving brand and corporate messaging throughout.

April 7

2:00pm – 5:00pm
Registration & Gifting Lounge
5:00pm – 6:00pm
Site tour of Loews Ventana Canyon (Planners only)
6:00pm – 8:00pm
Welcome Reception
Sponsored by Loews Ventana Canyon

April 8

Morning Yoga
7:00am – 8:00am
Breakfast on flow
GMID photo op!
8:30am 10:00am
Education: Global Meetings Industry Day Kickoff: A Celebration of the Return to Live Events

Moderator: David Blansfield, Executive Vice President & Group Publisher, Northstar Meetings Group

More Detail


  • Stephanie Harris, President of the Incentive Research Foundation
  • David Peckinpaugh, President of Maritz Global Events
  • David Kliman, Founder and President of The Kliman Group
  • Brent DeRaad, President & CEO of Visit Tucson

Incentive Live 2021: GMID Edition kicks off with a dynamic session celebrating the most important Global Meetings Industry Day to date. Industry leaders will share their thoughts on the past year and their insights into how the industry will forge ahead. The program will include special messages from Roger Dow of the U.S. Travel Association, Meetings Mean Business co-chair Fred Dixon and Jonathan Tisch, chairman and CEO, Loews Hotels. Participants’ questions are encouraged.
Participants will learn:

  • Efforts being made toward the recovery of meetings and events
  • How different industry segments and organizations are faring during the pandemic
  • The latest Northstar Meetings Group Pulse study and Incentive Pulse study findings 
10:00am – 10:30am
10:30am – 12:00pm
One-on-One Appointments (6)
12:00pm – 1:30pm
Lunch Break
1:30pm – 3:00pm
One-on-One Appointments (6)
3:15pm – 4:15pm
Concurrent Breakout (side) Sessions
More Detail

Gifting Trends
Speaker: Jeffrey Brenner, CPIM, Director of Special Markets, Seiko Watch of America; and Board Secretary, Incentive Marketing Association

Participants will learn about:

  • Virtual gifting 
  • Gifting bars 
  • Rewards for home-based teams

How to Hold a Travel Program Today

Speaker: Chris Herzberger, Senior Business Development Director, ‎ITA Group

Participants will learn:

  • Case studies of incentive trips that took place in 2020
  • Challenges faced and lessons learned
  • Best practices for future programs


How to Craft a Hybrid Incentive Program
Speaker: Stephanie Sorrells, Senior Experience Designer, Creative Group

Participants will learn:

  • Examples of how programs have been modified due to Covid-19
  • Challenges faced and lessons learned
  • Best practices for future programs
6:00pm – 9:00pm
"Taste of Tucson"

Sponsored by Visit Tucson

April 9

Nature Walk
7:00am – 8:15am
Breakfast on flow
8:15am – 9:20am
Education: Incentive Roundtable: 2021 Edition
Moderator: Lisa Grimaldi, Editor, Incentive

More Detail

Leading incentive professionals will share how they fared during the pandemic, their current business prospects and what they’ve learned in the past 13 months during this lively panel. During this interactive session, we’ll discuss if and when incentive programs will return to pre-2020 norms, how contracts have changed, what it’s like working with suppliers now, what keeps them up at night and more. Audience questions welcome!


  • Julie Branstrom, Owner/President, Vista Meetings & Incentives
  • Brad Hecht, Vice President, Travel, Motivation Excellence
  • Chris Herzberg, Senior Business Development Director, ‎ITA Group
  • David Peckinpaugh, President, Maritz Global Events
9:30am – 12:00pm
One-on-One Appointments (9) with a break from 10:45am - 11:00am
12:00pm – 1:30pm
Lunch & Margaritas
Discounted Activities
Departures begin


April 10

All Day



Those who are selected to attend will participate in:

  • Two productive days of pre-scheduled one-on-one meetings with global incentive suppliers including travel, brand name merchandise, and gift cards
  • Insightful educational presentations from inspiring speakers
  • Opening reception, great meals, and numerous networking opportunities with other elite buyers
  • Unique experiential activities showcasing Tucson as a premier meetings and incentive destination

    Follow along on Instagram: #IncentiveLive

    Follow along on LinkedIn: #IncentiveLive

For more information, contact, Cindy Binder at [email protected].

Individual Package

EXHIBITORS - Limited Availability (fee for additional suppliers)

  • One 6' table for pre-scheduled one-on-one appointments
  • Experiential networking activities, off-site functions and meals
  • All supplier expenses covered (excluding airfare, transfers & hotel)
Enterprise Package

SPONSORSHIPS - Limited Availability

Sponsorship packages are available, including receptions, education, keycards, room drops and much more.

Exhibitor Package Rates & Premium Sponsorship Opportunities

For exhibitor package rates and premium sponsorship opportunities, please contact Shalise DeMott.

Request Info Incentive Live

2021 Exhibitors

  • Alohilani Resort - Waikiki Beach
  • Amelia Island Conventions & Visitors Bureau
  • Aruba Convention Bureau
  • Atlantis Paradise Island
  • Caesars Entertainment
  • Cashel Travel
  • Club Med
  • Discover Coronado
  • Discover Puerto Rico
  • Dubai Business Events
  • Experience Scottsdale
  • Grand Fiesta Americana/Live Aqua Resort of MX and DR
  • Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau
  • Hurtigruten Expeditions
  • Inns of Aurora
  • Loews Ventana Canyon Resort
  • Los Cabos Tourism Board
  • Maui Jim Sunglasses
  • Melia Hotels International
  • Monterey County CVB
  • Ocean Properties Hotels, Resorts & Affiliates
  • PRA
  • PrePaid-USA
  • Resorts World Las Vegas
  • Seiko Watch of America LLC
  • The Don CeSar
  • The Vinoy St. Petersburg Resort & Golf Club
  • Visit Park City / Stein Eriksen Lodge Deer Valley
  • Visit St. Petersburg/Clearwater (VSPC)
  • Visit Tucson
  • Volan Technology
  • Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Pedregal

Click below to see past exhibitors 


A Sonoran Escape for all the Senses

Relax and recharge at Loews Ventana Canyon Resort, a top choice among Arizona luxury resorts. Whether you explore the best of Tucson or enjoy the stunning Catalina Mountain range, you can consider us your desert oasis.

Please click here to read about Loews' safety procedures and protocols.

Loews Ventana Canyon Resort
7000 N. Resort Drive
Tucson, AZ 85750

Hotel Website


Buyers: We will make your reservations for you.

Suppliers: You will receive information as the event approaches 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 
  • Sol Group, Kimberly Johnson
  • World Wide Travel 
  • NTA

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.


Buyers Contact:

Cindy Binder

Director of Buyer Development

[email protected]

Suppliers Contact:

Shalise DeMott

Vice President of Sales

[email protected]

Event Logistics Contact:

Angela Cox

Senior Director of Meetings & Events

[email protected]