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Elite Meetings Alliance at The Ritz-Carlton, Naples Delivers Business, Education, and Networking Opportunities
Santa Barbara, Calif.: November 21, 2013—Elite Meetings International's (EMI's) November 2013 Elite Meetings Alliance (EMA), held at The Ritz-Carlton, Naples in Naples, Florida, enjoyed tremendous success. The event held November 10-12, brought together prescreened buyers, representatives of world-class hotels, and event sponsors for networking and one-on-one appointments in the newly renovated Ritz-Carlton, Naples.

EMI CEO Kelly Foy said, "Hosting our final EMA of 2013 at The Ritz-Carlton, Naples was a crowning event in an exciting year. The results were beyond our expectations among buyers and suppliers alike. And hosting it at The Ritz-Carlton, Naples, and experiencing its $60 million renovation and outstanding hospitality, was simply icing on the cake."

The Business
A survey taken at the event revealed that 100% of event planners and 93% of suppliers were confident they'd book business as a result of attending the event. "These numbers reflect the quality of introductions made at the event, and while these are initial results, we feel they reflect the fact that business is top-of-mind for the professionals in attendance," said Foy.

Tina Hennessy of Belden Inc. was one of the planners in attendance. When asked to describe the EMA experience, she said, "This was my second Elite Meetings Alliance, and I am convinced—now more than ever—that this program is by far the most productive and beneficial conference for both planners and hoteliers. It is a perfect mix of education, networking and fun."

For hotelier Darrien Herning of Reunion Resort, the event proved successful as well. She said, "As a first-time attendee of the Elite Meetings Alliance, I was thoroughly impressed. The registration was painless, clear communication was provided, and the one-on-one appointments put me in touch with many qualified leads. Overall, a professional, successful, and fun meeting."

The Education
Education sessions, eligible for 7.5 hours of CMP credit, covered topics ranging from leadership styles to event PR and group culinary experiences. In addition to her in-depth contracting workshop, attorney Lisa Sommer Devlin led a continuation of the panel discussion from the August 2013 EMA entitled "Contract Legal Issues vs. Business Negotiations." The panel tackled issues ranging from lowest rate clauses to attrition, resale credit, and cancellation. Another highlight: the lunchtime keynote address from Kenneth W. Gronbach, who discussed demography and the future of the US economy. To watch the educational sessions, click here.

The Experience
Great partners played a huge role in the event's success, beginning with The Ritz-Carlton, Naples and their in-house destination services and audiovisual teams. The hotel's food and beverage presentations and incredible decor contributed additional event highlights. From the elegant planner reception, to the tropical Everglades-style dinner—complete with alligators and a bobcat—to the "Best of the '70s" party, which transported guests from the hippie era into a full disco party with lighted dance floor, each evening showcased the creative versatility of The Ritz-Carlton, Naples. The Naples, Marco Island, Everglades CVB provided great support and served as a useful resource for attendees. Naples Transportation & Tours provided seamless group transport to both the airport and The Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort for Sunday's lunch.

Additionally the EMA integrated a number of corporate social responsibility programs into the event. Throughout the event, Clean the World collected soap to recycle and redistribute to communities in need, while Sunday night's Turkey Trot Kickoff provided Thanksgiving baskets to families through the Harry Chapin Food Bank. On Tuesday, in addition to taking an airboat tour of the Everglades, groups created rain barrels in conjunction with the organization Living Waters, to be donated to local charities. The effort offers an inexpensive way to harness rainwater to reuse on lawns, gardens, or for household purposes. To see images from the event, click here.

The Future
The first EMA of 2014 will take place January 26-28 at Bacara Resort & Spa in Santa Barbara, Calif. EMI's second event of 2014 will take place April 27-29 at the Fiesta Americana Grand Coral Beach Cancun in Cancun, Mexico, which will mark EMI's first-ever international Elite Meetings Alliance. We will end the year at Epic Miami, a Kimpton Hotel in Miami, FL, August 17-19, 2014. To learn more, visit

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. It centers on private, personalized business development meetings, continuing education breakout sessions for CMP credit, and unique networking activities. For more information, or to register for future events, visit

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, serves as a comprehensive and commission-free tool for sourcing luxury, upper-upscale, and upscale properties. EMI's software products include the SpeedRFP™ Network for finding venues and creating, submitting, and managing RFPs online (, and FaceTime™ Appointment Scheduler, which helps conference attendees identify synergies, manage appointments, and make direct connections with one another ( For additional information, please visit or call 805-730-1000 For more information on the EMA, email, or call (805) 879-4485.