The South Shore Convention and Visitors Authority and Radisson Hotel Star Plaza explained the benefits of hosting meetings and conventions along the South Shore during the annual Bring It Home Ambassador Breakfast, hosted at the Radisson Hotel Star Plaza on Tuesday, April 22.

The annual breakfast is part of the Bring It Home campaign, the South Shore CVA's campaign to encourage association and organization members to bring events home to the South Shore.

"The Bring It Home Ambassador Breakfast gives the South Shore CVA and Radisson Hotel the opportunity to touch base with association members and to see how we can work together," said Kristen Thomas, director of sales for the South Shore CVA. "When meeting with these individuals, we explain what the South Shore CVA and Radisson are able to do for conventions in the area."

According to Thomas, the South Shore CVA can assist meeting, convention and event planners with numerous services including transportation assistance, lodging, signage and welcome bags.

"We work closely with event and convention planners to ensure the success of their event," she said.

During the ambassador breakfast, Speros A. Batistatos, president and CEO of the South Shore CVA, discussed the economic impact of meetings and events hosted along the South Shore.

"In 2013, our Bring It Home Heroes helped generate more than $850,000 in estimated economic impact," stated Batistatos. Combined with all meetings and events, the South Shore CVA estimates that $2.9 million in economic impact was generated in 2013.

"When we are able to reach out to local officials and association members, we are educating them on how they can assist the South Shore CVA with creating economic impact that supports local businesses and creates jobs," Batistatos said.

Bernard Carter, Lake County prosecutor, spoke to other reception attendees about the importance of bringing events to the area as well as his experiences working with the South Shore CVA. Carter is a Bring It Home Hero who has assisted with bringing home Indiana Prosecuting Attorneys Council and Indiana Child Support Alliance conferences.

"The South Shore CVA has been very helpful with providing information, putting packages together and putting together an itinerary of things our guests can do when not in conference," explained Carter. "There is no limit to what guests can do in Lake County."

Carter went on to say that bringing events home to the South Shore is important because of its economic development potential.

"When people are here, spending money, our area flourishes," stated Carter.

Deann Patena, director of sales and marketing for Radisson Hotel Star Plaza, discussed the recent renovations to Radisson Hotel during the ambassador breakfast. Renovations included new guest room carpet, guest room mattresses and furniture as well as a corridor makeover, featuring new carpet, wall vinyl and lighting.

In addition to the fresh new look, Patena explained that Radisson guests and conference attendees can expect great customer service and flexible meeting space.

"We have something for everyone, whether they're visiting for pleasure or business," said Patena. Radisson Hotel Star Plaza features live entertainment, a comedy club, restaurants, bars and an on-site Starbucks.

"When you are here, we treat you like family. You don't get lost among a lot of other groups," she said.

For more information on the Bring It Home campaign, or to speak to a member of the South Shore CVA about bringing an event home to the South Shore, contact Kristen Thomas via email at