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05/07/14
For Top Luxury Hotels and Meeting Planners, Availability is Tight, Demand is Up – and Creative, Disruptive Technology is the Key to Planning Successful Meetings in 2014 and Beyond
Elite Meetings International's April 2014 Elite Meetings Alliance at the Fiesta Americana Grand Coral Beach Cancun Resort & Spa Drives Deals, Anticipates Trends
Santa Barbara, CA - May 7, 2014 New technology and conducting business profitably and efficiently in an environment of high demand and tight budgets were hot topics at the April 2014 Elite Meetings Alliance (EMA). Elite Meetings International's (EMI's) three-day event, held at the Fiesta Americana Grand Coral Beach Cancun Resort & Spa, April 27-29, 2014, brought together prequalified corporate and association meeting professionals with luxury hotels from around the world.

More than 100 luxury hoteliers, meeting professionals and sponsors came together to conduct business, sample cutting-edge technologies, and share perspectives on the current and future meetings industry. EMI's first event outside the United States proved both successful and insightful, and Mexico's Fiesta Americana Grand Coral Beach Cancun Resort & Spa served as the ideal venue for the occasion.

Among participants surveyed at the conference, several key trends emerged:

  • More than 77% of planners surveyed said they are finding it more difficult to find availability for future meeting dates than a year ago.

  • At the same time, more than 80% of hoteliers said the 2014 group business outlook is better than last year, indicating a continuing increase in demand.

  • A stunning 96% of hoteliers and 96% of planners, said they would likely book business with a partner they met at the EMA.


EMI CEO Kelly Foy said, "The buzz at EMA is that group business continues to flourish. That means new pressure-although positive pressures-for meeting and hospitality professionals alike. More than ever before, it's clear there's an imperative to do business better, faster, and more efficiently. Elite Meetings is proud to be a driver of that process, both through our EMA events and our suite of cutting-edge technology solutions."

Keys to Success: Disruptive Technology, Personalized Contact and Creative Solutions

The topic of technology received a good deal of focus at the EMA. During Sunday's Event Technology Workshop, attendees broke into groups for in depth discussions around AV, eRFP systems, registration software, interactive event technology, and mobile applications. Elite Meetings provided a sneak peek of AttendeeHub, its newly enhanced appointment scheduling technology that helps conference attendees identify synergies, manage appointments and make direct connections with one another. The revamped technology, formerly known as FaceTime ™ Appointment Scheduler, will be launched in the coming weeks and showcased in Orlando at AIBTM, June 10-12, 2014. "We can't wait to introduce the meetings industry to this robust new technology." Foy said.

The importance of relationships as a key to success also echoed throughout the three-day event. The event's keynote speaker Tim Sanders, internet pioneer and best-selling author presented by The Speaker Agency, spoke about, "Relationship Power: How to Win Business & Influence People." According to Sanders, businesses can boost their sales significantly, drive productivity, and cut turnover in half by maintaining relationships inside the office and out.

"We deeply appreciate Tim's time and insights." concluded Foy. "His address hit the perfect notes for this audience. At Elite Meetings, we've believed from the beginning that relationships are the key to success for buyers and suppliers alike. The EMA's one-to-one interactions, coupled with EMI technologies designed to maximize productivity, are actively shaping the meetings industry."

An educational session by Eduardo Chaillo, CMP, CMM, owner of Global Meetings and Tourism, addressed the importance of teamwork and how to identify the best potential in all of your partners to ensure a successful event. In his session on reinvention, Daren Martin, touched on how relationships can inspire ingenuity and creative thinking. During Monday's panel discussion on planning meetings abroad, facilitated by Bruce MacMillan, the importance of relationships on a global scale was also discussed.

The EMA gave attendees many chances to build relationships with colleagues through a number of networking opportunities. Fiesta Americana Grand Coral Beach and PSAV wowed planners on Saturday night with the Gem Spa Dinner Experience including a Mayan Shaman blessing and water ballet. The Kickoff Sunday evening got off to an energetic start with Drums in Paradise followed by a spectacular Glowing Welcome Dinner by J&S Audio Visual. Monday evening's Theme Dinner: Galeria Mexicana, sponsored by PSAV and the Mexican Tourism Board, brought Mexico's stunning art history to life. On Tuesday afternoon, attendees had the opportunity to connect with local artisans and give back to the community by shopping at the Posadas Foundation Marketplace. Highly supportive local sponsors, including AeroMexico, J&S Audio Visual, PSAV, Tropical Incentives DMC, and Maritur DMC played critical roles in the event's success as well.

The format received high praise from Yardi marketing specialist Laura Atallah. She said, "Elite Meetings never fails to wow at the EMA. From the quality of the presenters, topics, and hoteliers, the incredible properties where the events are held and the amazing special events, the Elite Meetings Alliance has quickly become my go-to event of the year!"

About the Elite Meetings Alliance (EMA)
The EMA is a three-day, invitation-only event that brings together prequalified corporate and incentive planners with leaders in the luxury hotel industry to cultivate relationships and build business. Featured are private, personalized business development meetings, continuing educational breakout sessions for CMP credit, and unique networking activities. The next EMA will be held in Miami, Florida, August 17-19, 2014 at the EPIC Miami, A Kimpton hotel. For more information, visit www.EliteMeetingsalliance.com.

About Elite Meetings International
Based in Santa Barbara, California, 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, 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 AttendeeHub Appointment Scheduler (www.AttendeeHub.com), a sought-after program for helping conference attendees identify synergies, manage appointments and make direct connections with one another; and SpeedRFP (www.SpeedRFP.com), a time-saving product for creating, submitting, and managing RFPs online. For additional information, please visit www.EliteMeetings.com or call 805-730-1000.

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