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12/14/06
Elite Meetings International Introduces Tools & Resources to Revolutionize Meeting and Incentive Planning Process
New company unveils innovative hotel and resort endorsement program for planners
December 14, 2006 - (Santa Barbara, Calif.)—Elite Meetings International, an innovative company catering exclusively to corporate meeting and incentive planners, is transforming the way planners select function settings and amenities through the launch of several new products that showcase top hotels and resorts throughout North America. This endorsement program, which has paved the way for a website, annual publication, and corporate planner events, was created to aide planners as they search for the best in meeting and incentive properties. The end result is a “seal of approval,” similar to those provided by AAA, Mobil, and Zagat, tailored to meet the needs of discerning meeting and incentive planners.

“Meeting planners are the people who understand the importance of top-tier service and amenities for their clients,” says Elite Meetings International’s President Kelly Foy. “Elite Meetings was conceived specifically with planners in mind—to provide them with a place where they can easily access in-depth information on facilities and services at the best properties in North America, regardless if they are a chain, independent or part of consortium of hotels.”

“There’s nothing else like it out there for meeting planners right now,” continues Foy. “Through the use of our website and publication, planners will no longer have to sift through information on properties that have no viable recommendations or commentary. Elite Meetings International is focused on providing a forum as well as various resources and tools for planners seeking the best of the best in meeting and incentive offerings.”

Elite Meetings International is proud to unveil the following unique products:


The Elite Meetings Advisory Board and Elite Award

Comprised of nine distinguished members from the meeting, incentive, and hospitality industries, the Advisory Board’s primary job is to research and choose the finest properties across North America for conferences, events, and incentive retreats. The Elite Meetings Advisory Board members are Andy Anderson, Senior Vice President, Sales & Marketing, Destination Hotels & Resorts; Louise Barnes, Director, Corporate Events, VMware, Inc.; Hillary Bessiere, Manager, Americas Sales Events, Symantec Corporation; Mike Diamond, The Broadmoor (retired 2006); Kelly Foy, President & CEO, Elite Meetings International, LLC; Glenna Fulks, Site Procurement Manager, AO North America; Mable Jones, Director, Rewards & Recognition, AAA; Carol Lynch, Vice President, Global Sales – Group, Starwood Hotels & Resorts, and Susan Simmons, Corporate Meeting Planner, Advance Auto Parts.

A number of criteria factor into the Elite Meetings Advisory Board’s choices, including the arrival experience, accommodations, meeting and event facilities, activity options, overall dining experience, and most importantly, service. These handpicked properties receive the Elite Certified endorsement, which acknowledges their commitment to providing planners, and their clients, with the best experience possible. The process and criteria will continually be monitored and fine tuned by the Elite Meetings Advisory Board and its growing network of “surveyors” who will provide up-to-date reports to Elite Meetings International directly from the properties and events in real time.


The Elite Meetings Website

The Elite Meetings International team will unveil the fully functioning Elite Meetings website (www.elitemeetings.net) in February 2007. This site will be extremely valuable tool for meeting and incentive planners to use when searching for the best hotels at which to plan their events. The site will only display information on the Elite Certified properties, resulting in a peer-approved database that planners can use to search and submit RFP’s based on specific information such as room count, availability, meeting space, and on site activities, among many other criteria.


Elite Meetings Magazine

Elite Meetings magazine will launch in March 2007. The magazine will be distributed to over 40,000 qualified meeting and incentive planning professionals, and Fortune 1000 CEO’s. This opt-in publication features 100 of the hotels that have been endorsed by the Elite Meetings Advisory Board in each annual issue. The resulting articles will clearly detail all the vital information planners need when searching for group functions. Each of the 100 featured properties will have a 2-page article in the publication and a “Quick Facts” sidebar noting location, meeting space available, rooms on property, contact information, and amenities, as well as a guide to the meeting facilities and capacity. In addition a sophisticated search index will be provided to allow planners to quickly locate properties that match their specific needs in seconds.


The Elite Meetings Alliances

Elite Meetings International together with Stratus Performance Group, a full service corporate meeting and incentive planning company, will host two North American Elite Meetings Alliance events in 2007. The companies will jointly host the 3-day events bringing together 60 pre-qualified corporate planners and nearly 45 hotels and resorts endorsed by the Elite Meetings Advisory Board for one-on-one scheduled appointments and networking receptions. The Elite Meetings Alliances are regionally structured, with one event in the western region and one in the eastern region, so that meeting planners can attend the event and network with properties located in the specific area they intend to conduct events. The next Elite Meetings Alliance event is a western region event planned for March 2007 at the Sundance Resort in Utah, at which Elite Meetings International intends to launch the premiere issue of Elite Meetings Magazine.

Based in Santa Barbara, California, Elite Meetings International delivers smart and efficient solutions to the upper-echelon groups segment of the hospitality industry. Through its annual publication, Elite Meetings magazine; the Web site, www.EliteMeetings.net; and semiannual event, the Elite Meetings Alliance, the company connects top meeting and incentive planners with the best hotels and resorts in North America. For more information on Elite Meetings International, please call 805-730-1002. For media kit information, please visit www.elitemeetings.net/mediainfo.

Media Contact:
Elite Meetings International
Kelly Foy, CEO
805-730-1002
www.elitemeetings.net