Business-building, networking, education and site visits blend seamlessly for a winning tradeshow combination

Formerly known as Spotlight, MARS & Companies has taken over the reins and is no stranger to successful trade shows. Their inaugural Accent East hosted in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina from November 6-10 is capturing a good amount of industry buzz. With less than 100 days until the first FAM departs, 31 buyers from 20 tour companies are registered. Joining them at the beach are 28 DMOs and suppliers. That’s an unheard of trade show buyer/seller ratio of 1:1. Registrations will be accepted until October 15, but the ratio will not exceed 2:1.

Myrtle Beach Boardwalk at Night

Myrtle Beach Boardwalk at Night

Buyers FAM Tour

Saturday, November 6: Tour operators should plan to arrive at Charleston International Airport by noon for a drive to downtown Florence, South Carolina to experience the South Carolina Pecan Festival. There are eight main music stages highlighted by a Grand Funk Railroad Concert and 250 exhibitors featuring arts & crafts and food. Tonight, enjoy a welcome dinner at a locals’ favorite restaurant.

Sunday, November 7: It’s only fitting to start your day with a delightful “All Things Pecan” breakfast. Then, it’s on to Brookgreen Gardens for an entertaining and informative presentation about the culture, food, language and history of the Gullah Geechee people. Tour the magnificent garden taking in its amazing statuary and beauty, then enjoy a great Lowcountry dinner before attending a live show at the Asher Theater.

Monday, November 8: Begin your day with a site tour of a group-friendly property. Enjoy lunch during a Lowcountry Boat Tour that presents the area’s natural beauty. Spend time in historic Georgetown and the museums that tell the area’s story – The Rice Museum, South Carolina Maritime Museum and The Kaminski House.

Buyers join DMOs and suppliers for a Welcome Reception at the rustic, wood clad Duplin Winery. Dinner tonight is at The Original Benjamin’s Calabash Seafood, a landmark on the Grand Strand since 1986.

Welcome Reception at DuplinWinery NorthMyrtleBeach copy

Welcome Reception at Duplin Winery North Myrtle Beach

Trade Show

Monday, November 8: DMOs and Suppliers should plan to arrive and check in at The Landmark Resort prior to the evening’s Welcome Reception at Duplin Winery and Dinner at The Original Calabash Seafood. Booth and table set-up should be completed prior to departure for the Welcome Reception and dinner.

Landmark Resort

Landmark Resort

Tuesday, November 9: The day begins with contributing speakers, including Alex McElroy an international speaker and leadership advisor with a firm belief that everyone has been created on purpose with a purpose. Plus, there will be a panel discussion IGNITE & EXCITE for the BIG COMEBACK. The tradeshow opens followed by a sponsored luncheon. The tradeshow continues and the day concludes with buyers, DMOs and suppliers uniting for an Itinerary Building Workshop. The day concludes with a sponsored reception and dinner.

Wednesday, November 10: The day begins with a Presentation of Itineraries followed by Best Practices Workshop and a Hot Topics Seminar.

Plan to attend and enjoy the beach along with great business opportunities. November in Myrtle Beach cannot be beat. For additional information call (540) 869-1864, or email Registration information can be found online at

Preparations and planning are underway for Accent Heartland and Accent West tradeshows. Call, or email to make certain you are on the list to receive details when available.

By Dave Bodle