Meeting Professionals and Hotels Chart Continued Recovery at the First Elite Meetings Alliance (EMA) for the Gold Collection, Paradise Point Resort, San Diego

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Deals get done, as hundreds of prearranged one-on-one appointments take place. Attendees say recovery is in full swing for meeting planners, will hit full stride for hotels in 2012 ... Las Vegas and Southern California emerge as true “hot spots” for meetings and events in 2011

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Dozens of corporate, association, and independent meeting professionals came together with more than forty upscale hotels, at the first Elite Meetings Alliance (EMA) for the Gold Collection, held at Paradise Point Resort in San Diego. The Gold Collection represents upscale hotels that serve meeting professionals who seek the highest quality meeting and incentive offerings in North America within challenged budgets. The EMA is a unique three-day event that brings together prequalified meeting professionals with leaders in the luxury hotel industry to conduct business, network, and learn.

Surveys taken among the exclusive hotel sales and meeting professionals who attended the event revealed a meetings industry recovery that is in full swing, with the hotel business not far behind:

More than 90% of the meeting planners in attendance said they will book “more events in 2011 than in 2010” – only 2% said they would book less.                            
The general optimism was mirrored among hotel sales professionals, more than 95% of whom expect a rise in group bookings in 2011 over 2010.                                        
Differences emerged in timeframes. Whereas close to half of the hotels surveyed saw 2012 as “the breakout year” in the recovery, planners indicated that right now they are booking more meetings to take place in 2011 than they are for 2012. Booking windows continue to be short.                                            
Among destinations, close to a third of all meeting professionals indicated that Las Vegas would be the “hot” city for meetings for the remainder of 2011; in a tie for second place was Southern California’s San Diego and Los Angeles, mentioned on close to 20% of the surveys.

In terms of the EMA event itself:

100% of meeting planners in attendance said they will book business with attending properties and resorts.
The average annual meetings/events budget for respondents equals $1,290,000.
100% of respondents would recommend the Elite Meetings Alliance to fellow meeting professionals.

“2011 looks to be the year the meetings industry recovery gets etched in stone,” said Kelly Foy, chief executive officer of Elite Meetings International (EMI). “Based upon the success rate of hotels in attendance at the Gold EMA, as well as the pervasive optimism among hotels and meeting planners, 2011-2012 looks like an emerging ‘sweet spot’ for both industries.”

Foy concluded, “We are grateful to EMA attendees, as well as the amazing staff at the wonderful Paradise Point Resort, for making this landmark EMA an event to remember.”

Combined with an ‘A-List’ of industry speakers and substantive educational sessions, the 2011 Gold EMA set the perfect tone for 2011 EMA events, with a roster of attendees that were diverse and broad reaching.

More than 100 top meeting professionals and Gold Collection hotel representatives attended the inaugural Gold EMA. In one-on-one pre-scheduled appointments, they conducted hundreds of face-to-face meetings to book business and create and reinforce business relationships, using EMI’s FaceTime™ Appointment Scheduler technology. Many also learned more about SpeedRFP, a new product for creating, submitting and tracking RFPs online, which is generating hundreds of RFPs for meetings planners and hotels in the U.S. and internationally.

Headlining the speakers at the 2011 Gold EMA, was Joe Terzi, President and CEO of the San Diego Convention & Visitors Bureau. Additional featured speakers addressed areas including motivation, social media, digital marketing, and event technology.

The next Elite Event is EMI’s Platinum Elite Meetings Alliance, scheduled for May 1-3, 2011, at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas. For more information, visit http://www.EliteMeetingsAlliance.com.

About Elite Meetings International
Elite Meetings International (EMI) provides integrated solutions to enhance the performance of meeting and hospitality professionals. EMI supports this community through a combination of innovative technology, direct sales support, customized marketing programs and face-to-face business-building events. Additionally, http://www.EliteMeetings.com serves as a commission-free RFP-generating tool and a comprehensive vehicle for sourcing luxury, upper-upscale and upscale properties. EMI’s other innovations include FaceTime™ Appointment Scheduler (http://www.FaceTimeScheduler.com), a sought after program for helping conference attendees identify synergies, manage appointments, and make direct connection with one another; and SpeedRFP™ (http://www.SpeedRFP.com), a new time-saving product for creating, submitting, and managing RFPs online. For additional information, please visit http://www.EliteMeetings.com or call 805-730-1000.

For more information on the Elite Meetings Alliance, contact EMATeam(at)EliteMeetings(dot)com or call (805) 879-4485.

About Paradise Point Resort
Whether for a key retreat or an important board meeting, business conference or festive company party, Paradise Point offers some of the largest executive meeting and banquet facilities in San Diego. A total of 32 stylishly appointed high-speed Internet-wired banquet rooms -- including the 10,064-square-foot Paradise Ballroom provide incomparable flexibility. Meeting rooms are equipped with state-of-the-art lighting, sound control displays and high-speed Internet access to meet your most stringent needs. The "Bali Modern" design concept draws from French Indonesian colors, textures and styling and mirrors the resort's tropical ambience. The motif is elegant, but balanced with playful themes, colors and lighting, throughout. In addition to the expansive indoor meeting space, Paradise Point offers outdoor function space, which includes a mile-long sandy white beach, four lawn venues and several pool-side patios that comprise 30,000 square feet of outdoor options. To assist with every event, a dedicated, highly trained Executive Meeting Specialist will be at your side, ready to help with anything you and your guests need—another aspect of the exemplary service you can always expect at Paradise Point.

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Michael Frenkel
Elite Meetings International
(212) 808-6556
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