Planner Testimonials


Before Connect in Salt Lake, I didn’t even have Clarity on my radar or know anything about them. During our 6 minute “speed date”, there was an instant mission alignment. You can bet that 6 months later when we were issuing our RFP for a production company that I sent it to Clarity. Instead of just selecting them from 7 well-known competitors and some former providers, we went with Clarity for the production contract and it also rolled into an additional AV contract that we were planning originally to go to bid for. All in all Clarity will receive about $1 million in business from our 6 minute date at Connect."

  —Valerie Trudeau, Girl Scouts of the USA


I really enjoyed my experience at Connect Southwest. I met some great suppliers who have my best interests at heart and are working with me to find my best options. I also learned a lot in the educational sessions. Thank you!"

  —Twlyer Jenkins, Strategic Events Solutions


Highest quality marketplace appointments I've ever had, made great connections that I will use. Well organized event that allowed us to truly connect!"

  —Nicole Bennett, Perry Consulting ~ Meeting & Event Planning


Attending Connect SW was invaluable. The many resort representatives who are there are priceless. You can get so much information in all one place and in a short time. A must attend for planners."

  —Mary DeSpain, Destination CLEs


Really great networking event and so great to not only meet new potential venues but to see old colleagues again too!"

  —Leslie Rakar, ConferenceDirect


I like Connect trade shows. They are more intimate, I always enjoy the speakers and the subjects covered."

  —Anna Gladstone, See America Travel, Inc.


If you have limited time and resources this is the show to come to for Arizona venues."



Connect Southwest was a very educational and extremely beneficial product gathering experience. We had plenty of time to meet with the Supplies and learn about their properties as well as learn about the destination and hotel the event took place. I found this to be a very productive few days and the information I learned will be used for booking meetings in the future. I found the Connect Staff to be very informative and easy to consult with throughout the whole process from beginning to end. It was a GREAT FEW DAYS!"

  —Mary Louise Hall, Helms Briscoe


An awesome experience!"

  —Arlene Skinner, American Foundation for Donation & Transplantation


Great show as always. The Four Seasons did an outstanding job. Location is a challenge/tough part of DC to get to."

  —Stephan Gerhardt, HelmsBriscoe


I thoroughly enjoyed my first experience with Connect DC. The educational offerings as well as the networking opportunities were extremely helpful to me as an independent planner. The marketplace appointments were exceptional. I made great contacts with the suppliers and I am already planning a couple of site visits for my programs. Way to go, Connect!"

  —Angela Weathersby, AWE Global Meetings, LLC


Out of many benefits of Connect DC, one that I would like to emphasize is an opportunity to discuss the topic of needs and challenges of contract negotiations with suppliers in person and learn their point of view and understand the restrictions and pressure that they are under."

  —Lana Corrigan, Defense Leadership Forum


This was my first time attending Connect DC. It was an excellent meeting, and I made so many new connections. Really enjoyed the networking as well. It is my plan to attend Connect DC in 2020 if held again, and I advised my colleagues how beneficial and worthwhile this meeting was."

  —Sandie Holley, FACE2FACE Meetings & Incentives


Chris Ruf went above and beyond to make sure my experience was seamless. His follow through was really heartfelt & he even answered me after hours!"

  —Amy Cimber, ConferenceDirect


Great way to Connect"

  —Amy Blesi, HelmsBriscoe


I truly enjoyed my first Connect conference! I was blown away by the friendly, inclusive atmosphere from attendees. I made new friends and future business connections!"

  —Lori Lange, HelmsBriscoe


For a buyer, this event is the best use of time and money."

  —Mattie Yallaly, Perficient, Inc.


Great show, loved the format!"

  —Keith Erickson, Vulcan Inc.


Connect marketplace meetings were fast-paced and intense...I loved it! Great way to ensure no time is wasted wandering around looking for a potential connection... You brought them straight to me!"

  —Amber Lee, MediaKind


I really enjoyed attending Connect Diversity and the opportunity to see industry friends and to make many new connections at the Show. Connect delivers Industry connections to its attendees."

  —Michael Mulcahy, Hotel Source Assist



  —Laurie Smith, ConferencePROS at University of Oklahoma


Being able to see the PRESIDENT!"

  —Saundra McNeese, NAWCG


I learned so much and made contacts for upcoming meetings."

  —Wanda Butler, Active and Retired Firefighters


I never believed the Necessity of Connect until I experienced it for myself! The benefits of attending this conference and the Market appointments, connections and education will be invaluable when helping my clients, book, plan and prepare for future meetings! Every event/meeting planner needs this experience to fully offer their clients the Best of Them!"

  —Bajeyah Eaddy, Bajeyah Eaddy & Associates, LLC


Connect Diversity is where every Planner on any level should one day find themselves! The knowledge from presenters, networking, and most of all the convenience of having every appointment at your fingertips in one place was all that a planner could ask for. My clients appreciated me gaining more knowledge, speaking with CVBs that we were already looking to meet, as well as bringing back valuable experiences that will shape our organization as we continue to host events around the world."

  —Bajeyah Eaddy, Bajeyah Eaddy & Associates LLC


Connect never fails to attain the most amazing speakers! I am grateful to be on the Diversity train and look forward to 2021!"

  —LaDonna Henderson, EducationPlus


This was my first Connect Diversity conference and it was a wonderful experience. I met some great colleagues and I think they will lead to a number of booked conferences for my organization."

  —Blaine Vella, WPATH


Great opportunity to connect with USA Suppliers"

  —Manuel Jimenez, E-Vacations, Corp.


I felt that it was very organized. The networking was excellent. To have President Obama as the keynote speaker was fantastic. I had the privilege of being able to take a picture with him which is the height of my life. The educational sessions started on time which was appreciated. Communication throughout the conference was on point. I am looking forward to attending future events."

  —Aleacia Huy, Chi Eta Phi Sorority Inc


So excited to be invited. Made great contacts and bonus hearing President Obama."

  —Wanda Butler, Active and retired firefighter


Connect Chicago allowed me to meet new industry professionals, become updated on trends and have my questions answered immediately regarding venues in various locations."

  —Kara Ferguson, American Society of Anesthesiologists


I made some great new contacts from destinations that I was unfamiliar with and met others I've worked with in the past. The event is always compact and an efficient use of my time."

  —John Bohde, RMC Meetings & Events


The Connect Chicago event involved state of the art educational sessions, appointments with quality hoteliers and CVBs and the opportunity to network with others planners all in a well orchestrated informal format."

  —Jerry Rosenthal, ConferenceDirect


Connect does an awesome job planning and presenting professional events that provide planners and suppliers opportunities to network and learn from each other."

  —Patricia Rice, NAHUC


Connect Chicago was wonderful. It's very exciting to learn about what Chicago has to offer away from downtown. I have lots to share with my clients!"

  —Barbie McKennie, Gift of Hope Organ & Tissue Donor Network


The staff of Connect did such a splendid job in planning the events surrounding the Chicago Meetings Connect affair in Oakbrook. The networking was absolutely enjoyable and the trips to explore the various hotels and the surrounding locations for entertainment was commendable. Thanks Connect for such a thorough education on what Oakbrook has to offer for my upcoming meetings and events!"

  —Theodora King, Independent Planner


Great way to Connect"

  —Amy Blesi, HelmsBriscoe


This show was very well organized and an excellent use of my time. I made meaningful connections with suppliers that I definitely plan on conducting business with in the future."

  —Sonja Haddad, Conferencedirect


A great place to meet and Network with people in the industry and great educational track."

  —Delton Ellis, Global United Fellowship and Keepers Travel


As always Connect Faith has positioned our organization to be productive for the next year."

  —William Murphy Jr, William Murphy Ministries


Appreciate all the hard work that went into having this event."

  —Andrew Hirsty, Penn Global Marketing


Attending a conference during COVID had me a little nervous but we all needed to get out and start talking about how we as planners and the hospitality industry can rebuild our businesses. The Connect Show was well planned, sensitive to attendees needs and concerns and made sure everyone’s safety was a priority. My supplier meetings were beneficial and it was important to hear the current plans for increasing hotel business and hear and see the creative ideas to make meetings work! I went to Connect to Learn and came back with a sense that we will all be okay!"

  —Karin Hanson, Karin Hanson Events


Connect 2020 was the perfect place to provide reassurance that it’s safe to meet in public again while also being a hub to meet suppliers and associations all at the same time. Recommend to all in the event industry to attend."

  —Andrew Roby, Andrew Roby Events


Connect always delivers relevant content and top suppliers. I attend mainly to meet with destinations/hotels, and I always leave with more information to help me in my job."

  —Joelle Ward, ConferenceDirect


Connect always exceeds expectations. They are truly a leader in our Industry!"

  —Helene Bledsoe, HelmsBriscoe


Connect brings together great resources for both informative and network opportunities."

  —Tracy Coleman, TLC Consulting, LLC


Connect continues to grow and improve in positive ways. For the most part the virtual trade show functioned pretty well and I’m sure glitches will be smoothed out. There are always some key industry suppliers that I will do business with eventually and opportunities for networking are excellent."

  —Steven Griffith, HPN Global


Connect did a great job making the event happen under very challenging circumstances. They dealt with changes with grace and excellent communication. So grateful to get to meet in person. The venue was perfect for the event and the staff was so willing to serve. The minor inconvenience of health screenings and temperature checks kept everyone safe and able to plan to "reimagine 2020 to make 2021 a year of plenty." Thank-you."

  —Diane Kephart, Maximum Impact


Connect did an amazing job showing the industry it IS possible to hold safe meetings, six feet apart. The appointments were very beneficial and the trade show was very safely thought out. Congrats to the Connect staff and see you next year!"

  —Emily Hartstone, Magellan Management, Inc.


Connect is a relevant and much needed forum in this industry. The educational sessions which are a plus address the current status and challenges that are happening worldwide in this business. Each event is original in its presentation thus I recommend that you never miss attending if possible."

  —Jeris Smith, A Place to Remember Travel and Tours


Connect is leading the charge for our industry to safely and responsibly reopen. The event was thoughtfully planned and well executed. I applaud the team for making the decision to host a pivotal event for our industry."

  —Kate Patay, Patay Consulting & SEARCH Foundation


Connect is my favorite Trade Show, and this one in October 2020 was fantastic! It felt like coming home. They really care about their attendees health, well-being, and success. It was phenomenal!! Everyone had a great time while wearing masks and respecting guidelines. We connected with old friends and made new ones. It was a great event in every aspect!! Very well orchestrated and the communication before and during was much appreciated. Kudos to Connect for a very safe and very successful event!"

  —Rebecca Shaffer, HelmsBriscoe


Connect is the most progressive and innovative group of convention airs out there! They invented professional conventions that attract top level professionals that deliver results. They have helped Travelinfo2Go growth tremendously. They introduced us to the right people in the travel industry and were gone. Thank you all at Connect for a job well done! Best regards."

  —Jann Parker. CEO, Travelinfo2Go.


Connect Marketplace hit it out of the park this year in Orlando! WOW! From pre meeting receiving safety travel items to, arrival at the hotel, where staff were behind plexiglass with masks. I felt completely safe and excited to attend. Every detail had been thought out to keep guests safe during the conference... including having to select 3 venues! Rapid Covid testing on site available, temperature checks daily and flavored hand sanitizer with fun printed masks at your disposal. Great planning, great show! I will attend each event I am invited to. Thank you Chris Collinson and team."

  —Yvette Campbell, CMP, Meetings Made Easy


Connect Marketplace is the place for planners. Years worth of connections are made in minutes, and our association’s future feels more secure due to the connections made and lessons learned at Connect."

  —Matthew Nance, Mattison Corporation


Connect was well organized and preparation and actual operation addressed safety as a priority."

  —Steven Griffith, HPN Global


Great way to network & keep updated with education!"

  —Amy Blesi, HelmsBriscoe


I always benefit from the relationships and appointments. I think the conference was more beneficial when it was called Rejuvenate. The conference has changed over the last several years. It is still important to me and I will continue to come. It does not have the feel of a religious meeting conference anymore and seems to be distancing itself from Christian values and embracing the culture of the day."

  —Terry Fowler, International Pentecostal Holiness Church


I always learn something new every year - a new hotel to consider, vendor to partner with or planner to network with in the future. A must attend event!"

  —J Victoria Cartwright, NAFTZ


I appreciate the variety of suppliers and planners that participate, including a diverse network."

  —Martin Espinoza, United Fray


I have attended Connect several times, and I learn so much each time. Please keep on doing what you are doing!"

  —Joseph McFadden, The Line Dance Connection


Connect FL was very informative and felt very safe this year and loved the hotel (Royal Pacific and their staff)."

  —Stephanie Gutierrez, HelmsBriscoe


Connect Florida was a great event to learn more about what is offered in Florida. The Connect staff and suppliers were extremely knowledgeable and helpful!"

  —Wendy Norfleet, Norfleet Integrated Solutions


Connect Florida was great this year. Being in the pandemic, I was leery of attending a conference- not knowing what safety procedures and protocols, if any would be implemented. But the hotel and Connect were great in communicating and showing that they were providing a safe environment. The education and appointments were great- it was wonderful to meet in person!"

  —Christine Poole, ConferenceDirect


Great job during these challenging times"

  —Debby DuBose, Conference Solutions International


I always like the smaller one-on-one shows where you have time to sit down and talk to suppliers. Especially the fact that we can stay at our table and do not have to rush to the next appointment is an advantage."

  —Joost de Meyer, First Incentive Travel


I enjoyed the conference.Connect did a great job of keeping everyone socially distanced and safe. Thank you for making my first in-person show of 2020 a huge success."

  —Kathi Bretcko, ILDA


Since Covid-19 has affected each of us tremendously, I wanted to see how Connect would implement the measures needed to put on a safe conference. I was impressed with the consistent acknowledgement of wearing face masks and using hand sanitizer throughout the show. They proved that you CAN put on a safe event by following strict guidelines."

  —Shirli Goodman, Alacrity /Nexxus Solutions Group


This was my first time with Connect Florida and it was awesome! I was able to connect and network with numerous people."

  —Erma Sams, Essence Events


This was my very first Connect event and it was awesome from the beginning to the end. I can not wait until the next event. After leaving the event I went telling everyone I knew(well not everyone....but almost) how wonderful it was! I look forward to attending other Connect events."



Well organized! Great way to speak directly to hotel representatives!"

  —Beverly Hastings, Florida Endocrine Association


What a great show, good content and marketplace meetings are good to establish a connection for future business"

  —Charles Garcia, C. Garcia Meetings