The dictionary definition of “best” as an adjective is: “of the most excellent, effective, or desirable type or quality.” See also: greatest, foremost, leading, preeminent, premier, prime, supreme, unsurpassed, peerless, optimum, ideal, perfect. For event professionals, choosing the best property, supplier or partner means fewer last-minute surprises, more delight and less stress—all welcome outcomes.

But how do you know you are selecting the best location for your annual meeting or board retreat? Ask the experts—planners who have been there and experienced it for themselves. Smart Meetings readers can be brutally honest. They are not just telling us about the most amazing swimming pool or golf course; they are sharing feedback about the experience of working with the team, brainstorming innovative ideas and solving problems before anyone ever knew there was one.

We call this no-holds-barred list of 191 of the best of the best our Smart Stars winners. You will call it your go-to guide for ensuring that your next event exceeds your expectations and wows clients and attendees. This year, we expanded the categories to include airlines, CVBs, DMCs, casinos and best F&B—35 categories in all.

To make capitalizing on the knowledge of this wise planner crowd even easier, we dedicates a page of our website to a sortable list you can personalize, based on where you plan meetings and your individual goals. Looking for an environmentally friendly hotel in the Northwest? Is your CEO set on finding a stellar incentive hotel in Mexico? Sort, save and print. Easy. Plus, we have linked years of articles on these planner-favorite destinations for easy research from the comfort of your office.

Smart Meetings founder and CEO Marin Bright started this publication to share the wisdom of a community of dedicated event professionals for the benefit of the industry. This annual feature has become the embodiment of that “share what you know” mantra. We are honored to announce the names of these trusted partners and share their stories.

Now, go be your best brilliant selves.

JT Long, Content Chief, Smart Meetings