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by Loren G. Edelstein | June 29, 2017

Loren Edelstein, editor in chief of Meetings & Conventions magazineThe polls are open again, but this election should be pain-free. We at Northstar Meetings Group, parent of Meetings & Conventions, Successful Meetings, Incentive and Meeting News, have bundled our long-renowned industry awards programs -- M&C's Gold Awards and SM's Pinnacle Awards -- together into one new and improved contest: The Stella Awards.

Because we know that planners trust their peers more than any other source for supplier recommendations, The Stellas put some statistical science behind that fact, aggregating the industry's collective voice about the hotels, convention centers, conference centers, airlines, cruise lines, DMO/CVBs and DMCs that consistently deliver quality service to meeting and event professionals.

The nominees include hundreds of suppliers in 18 categories and six geographic regions. Voting opened on June 19, and in the first 36 hours more than 1,000 of your votes were cast. Did you weigh in? Go to stella-awards.com and tell us which contestants shine above the rest for overall excellence, superb food and beverage, professionalism of staff, technology innovations, and other critical aspects of artfully run meetings and events. And hurry: The voting period ends on July 24.

After the finalists in each category are determined by you and your peers, Stella Award winners will be selected by an expert panel of judges appointed by the content teams of M&C and Successful Meetings. Winners will be announced during IMEX America in October.

Thank you for taking a moment to recognize the hard-earned excellence of your most trusted supplier partners. Go Stellas!