by Josh Lieberman & Alison Golub | April 23, 2018
Northstar Meetings Group is proud to present the winners of our inaugural Stella Awards, which recognize organizations worldwide that deliver the greatest possible service to meetings and events professionals. The awards celebrate critical aspects of the event experience across 18 different categories among six regions, including food and beverage, professionalism of staff, technology innovations, green initiatives and more.
We will feature a weekly showcase of 2017 Stella Award winners from each category. This week we showcase convention and visitor bureaus/destination marketing organizations. Below is just a sampling of the Best CVB/DMO winners that stood out to the expert panel of judges overseen by the editors of Northstar Meetings Group's leading brands, Meetings & Conventions and Successful Meetings.    Finalists in each category were determined by industry professionals during an open voting period; you can view all winners and finalists here.

As we congratulate and celebrate our 2017 winners, nominations are open for the 2018 Stella Awards. We invite you to nominate deserving industry suppliers to be considered for next year's honors. 
 
BEST CVB/DMO
 
Meeting planning can be a daunting proposition -- but it doesn't have to be. That's when convention and visitor bureaus and destination management organizations enter the picture. CVBs and DMOs join forces with planners on everything from site inspections and pre-promotion to permits and special-event locations. Acting as an extension of a planner's team, CVBs and DMOs offer local knowledge and tailored services, often at no cost -- saving planners time and money. These Stella Award-winning organizations are your guides to great destinations, ensuring your event is seamless from start to finish.
 
Visit Baltimore
Winner, Best CVB/DMO (Northeast)
 
Baltimore is an immersive Mid-Atlantic destination that welcomed more than 25.2 million visitors in 2015, a 3 percent visitor gain over the previous year. As a DMO, Visit Baltimore works in collaboration with customers and partners to create unique opportunities for groups highlighting many aspects of the city, from the booming culinary scene to waterfront experiences, all within a walkable convention campus. Visit Baltimore is harnessing the city's transformational energy to create an elevated brand for Baltimore's entire region.
 
Visit Orlando

Winner, Best CVB/DMO (Southeast)
 
Providing the largest cluster of meeting hotels in the East, Orlando sets the standard in creating one-of-a-kind meetings and events with unmatched service and hospitality. As the largest DMO in the region, Visit Orlando offers the highest level of sales, service and planner support, with a range of innovative tools like virtual walk-throughs and drone fly-through videos. It's no wonder Orlando consistently ranks as a top meetings destination.
 
London & Partners

Winner, Best CVB/DMO (International and U.S. Territories)
 
London's official convention bureau not only assists event planners with their RFPs and planning, it also supports a network of MICE partners across the city (pictured above). London & Partners' teams visit venues and hotels regularly to keep knowledge of the city's offerings fresh and up-to-date. The service is entirely impartial -- there is no obligation to represent any partner in response to an inquiry. The result is a knowledgeable team, in both the U.S. and London, that recommends only the very best venue or service to suit a particular event.