Elite Meetings Alliance Breaks Attendance Record as Meetings Come Back in a Big Way

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Attending buyers report $60 million to spend on meetings in the near term; come for one-on-ones with exceptional hotel suppliers as well as career development. Suppliers call it "the most productive event."

(We’re) closing about $240K in business for 2012 from one client alone. This is, by far, the most productive sales event I have attended in my 13-year sales and marketing career.

The Spring 2011 Elite Meetings Alliance (EMA), the best-attended event in Elite Meetings International’s history, brought together representatives from top luxury hotels and meeting professionals from around the country to make deals, attend CMP-credited educational seminars, and network in exhilarating venues. The three-day event took place at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, May 1-3, 2011, and included nearly 1,200 appointments scheduled on the FaceTime Appointment Scheduler.

The more than ninety meeting professionals attending reported budgets averaging $630,000 in business to place at the event, with 93% of them indicating in the post-event survey that they will book business with hotels they met at the EMA. Elite Meetings CEO Kelly Foy was pleased with the outcome. “I think the record turnout and enthusiastic participation from all involved is a revealing barometer of the business climate at the event. We’re happy to provide a vehicle for this quality of interaction."

Praise for the event came in from suppliers and buyers alike. Kris Umstattd of Hyatt Grand Champions Resort, Villas, and Spa characterized it as a “great event, worth every penny.” He went on to say, “(We’re) already working on closing about $240K in business for 2012 from one client alone. This is, by far, the most productive sales event I have attended in my 13-year sales and marketing career. The appointments are fantastic and I always leave with new business.”

On the buyer side, Cate DeLaRosa of Ameriprise Financial said, “The networking and one-on-ones were fantastic and of the 16 meeting I had, I will very likely book with five of them in the future.”

Enhancing the careers of meeting planners and hoteliers is also a primary focus of every EMA. Sessions for CMP credits included a session led jointly by Meetings Analytics Founder Kimberly Meyer and Senior Global Meeting & Event Services Manager Carolyn Pund, from Cisco Systems. Their highly interactive program focused on adding value to their organizations. A second educational session by Michelle Crosby, entitled Managing vs. Leading, highlighted the qualities and differences between managers and true leaders. Keynote speeches by John Vanderslice of Hilton Worldwide and Deborah Sexton of the Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA), and a lively session on the art of the cocktail by Tony Abou-Ganim rounded out the lineup.

Networking opportunities at the EMA took on a decidedly rock ‘n’ roll point of view. Some 60 EMA attendees participated in Rock ‘n’ Roll Fantasy Camp, in which individuals team up with six legendary musicians to write and perform songs on stage. George Allen, Director of Sales for Estancia La Jolla Hotel & Spa, said this of the camp: “I always appreciate everything you do for us from a business perspective. The Alliance event is still the best of its kind. This past week, though, was incredible for me, having the opportunity to check off one of the top five items on my bucket list. The Fantasy Camp was without question, one of the coolest things I have ever done.”

Another chance to network came during Tiger Jam XIII, on April 30, a concert with John Meyer and Keith Urban to raise funds for the Tiger Woods Foundation. Nearly 80 meeting planners and hoteliers took part in the concert.

The event’s theme, “It’s About Time” served to highlight the many time-saving resources for meeting planners that Elite Meetings International focuses on, including SpeedRFP, the FaceTime Appointment Scheduler, Gold and Platinum editions of Elite Meetings magazine, and EliteMeetings.com.

As always, community responsibility was also on the agenda, as Elite auctioned off two signed guitars donated by the Rock ‘n’ Roll Fantasy Camp. Proceeds from the sale will go to the Tiger Woods Foundation.

About the Elite Meetings Alliance (EMA)
The EMA is a three-day, invitation-only event that brings together prequalified corporate and association planners with leaders in the luxury hotel industry to cultivate relationships and build business. Featured are private, personalized business development meetings, continuing education breakout sessions for CMP credit, and unique networking activities. The Spring 2011 EMA at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas marked the thirteenth Elite Meetings Alliance since the event's inception in 2006. The next event will be held at The Westin Boston Waterfront this summer, August 14-16, 2011.

About Elite Meetings International
Based in Santa Barbara, 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 innovations include FaceTimeTM Appointment Scheduler (http://www.FaceTimeScheduler.com) a sought after program for helping conference attendees identify synergies, manage appointments and make direct connections with one another; and SpeedRFPTM (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 EMA, contact EMATeam(at)EliteMeetings(dot)com, or call (805) 879-4485.

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