Elite Meetings International Hits the Green with Fall EMA at Kingsmill Resort

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As Planners and Top Luxury Hotels Come Together to Book Business and Preview Paradigm Shifts that are Reshaping the Meetings Industry, EMI Prepares for the Busiest Season in the Company’s History.

The Fall EMA was a great success and continues the momentum for upcoming months, which will be the busiest in Elite’s history.

The Fall 2010 Elite Meetings Alliance (EMA) brought together top luxury hotels and meeting professionals from around the country, to make deals, sample cutting-edge new technology, and learn how the industry is continually being reshaped. Elite Meetings International’s EMA is a three-day event that brings together prequalified corporate and association meeting professionals with leaders in the luxury hotel industry.

Taking place at Kingsmill Resort in Williamsburg, VA, October 3-5 2010, the EMA included hundreds of prescheduled one-on-one meetings arranged via EMI’s FaceTime™ Appointment Scheduler, continuing education sessions for CMP credit, inside industry perspectives from keynote speaker Christine Duffy of Maritz Travel Company, and unique networking events.

“The Fall EMA was a great success and continues the momentum for upcoming months, which will be the busiest in Elite’s history,” said Kelly Foy, Chief Executive Officer of Elite Meetings. He concluded, “With top hotels and experienced planners in attendance; EMI’s SpeedRFP and FaceTime Appointment Scheduler creating a buzz; and inside perspectives from Christine Duffy, this EMA provided a glimpse into the company's evolution, and served as a launching pad to our future.”

Winds of Change and the Tools to Succeed

Christine Duffy, Maritz Travel Company’s President and Chief Executive Officer, shared a presentation with attendees that outlined not only the importance of face-to-face meetings for the success of corporate America, but also the steps that need to be taken to keep the industry’s value and interests front and center for government, business and in public opinion.

Duffy said, “It was a pleasure to address the Fall 2010 EMA, which brought together a diverse group of planners and hotels to discuss the challenges and opportunities that confront us all.” She concluded, “The ability to help businesses, the industry and government understand the value created by meetings, events and incentive travel programs held at premier destinations like those represented in the Elite Meetings collection, continues to be a focus for our industry. These programs significantly enhance employee engagement, contribute directly to improved business performance, and positively impact the local economies in which they’re held.”

Elite Meetings continues to evolve and an example of one innovation is SpeedRFP, a new product for creating, submitting and tracking Requests For Proposals (RFP) online, officially launched last spring. It is already generating RFPs for meetings planners and hotels in the U.S. and internationally. As it gains in adoption, planner input continues to be gathered to shape SpeedRFP into a game-changer for the industry. SpeedRFP is a completely portable and seamless RFP technology that is fully APEX-compliant. Any hotel can download the Community Edition at no charge, and it is free to meeting professionals, from whom it is already drawing enthusiastic support.

Within weeks, SpeedRFP will be fully integrated with MeetingBroker - a powerful, widely used online lead management and distribution solution. Through the integration, hospitality providers will be able to find and win more business by reducing RFP response times, increasing conversion rates, and ultimately lowering costs and generating greater value for both the supply and demand-side.

Michael Garrow, Vice President of Sales and Marketing, said, “We were thrilled to host this EMA and showcase Kingsmill’s unique brand of luxury hospitality, as Elite Meetings once again brought forth products and perspectives that are helping to drive business – both for hotels and meeting professionals.” He concluded, “From SpeedRFP to FaceTime and beyond, it’s clear that the professionals who came together this week will be driving farther, hitting more accurately, and shooting with greater efficiency than their competitors, as we all look ahead to a busy fall season.”

EMI’s FaceTime™ Appointment Scheduler technology is a proprietary streamlined program which helps buyers and sellers request, create, and manage appointments at meetings and conventions. Used widely at industry trade shows, including MPI’s 2010 MeetDifferent and World Education Congress as well as the ITME/Motivation Show in Chicago this week, FaceTime facilitated the confirmation of more than 600 face-to-face business meetings at the Fall 2010 EMA.

In addition to Christine Duffy, speakers at the Fall 2010 EMA included Motivational Keynote Speaker Judy Carter, whose corporate comedy imparted practical ways to turn problems into punch lines by using comedic techniques for stress reduction, conflict resolution and improved camaraderie.

As always, community responsibility was also on the agenda, as Elite made a donation to the United Way on behalf of all EMA attendees.

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. This year at Kingsmill Resort, attendees will enjoyed everything the resort property offers – 2,900 lush acres, more than 20,000 square feet of function space featuring the seven-room IACC-certified conference center, and an amazing array of culinary offerings that make the resort an ideal backdrop for history-making events, The Fall 2010 EMA marked the eleventh Elite Meetings Alliance since the event’s inception in 2006.

The first-ever GOLD EMA, exclusively for properties in EMI’s Gold Collection, will be held January 23-25, 2011, at Paradise Point Resort & Spa, San Diego.

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 FaceTime™ 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 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 EMA, contact EMATeam(at)EliteMeetings(dot)com, or call (805) 879-4485.

Contact:    
Michael Frenkel
for Elite Meetings International, Inc.
(212) 330-8120

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