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08/30/11
At Elite Meetings Alliance, Business Leaders Show Meetings Industry on the Rebound
Industry leaders report upswing while buyers and suppliers do robust business during one-on-one appointments. Continuing education and professional development round out agenda at invitation-only event.
Santa Barbara, CA—August 2011—Meeting and event business is solidly rebounding according to attendees and speakers at the Summer 2011 Elite Meetings Alliance (EMA), a signature event of Elite Meetings International. In the industry keynote, Denise Coll, president, North America division, Starwood Hotels & Resorts, said some chains are already at pre-recession business levels with improvement continuing in average daily rate (ADR) and lead time. Those figures were supported by a survey showing 73% of EMA attendees expecting significant improvement to continue over the next six months. Representatives from 60 top hotels and 67 meeting professionals from around the country came together at the invitation-only event to make deals, attend CMP-credited educational sessions, and network with industry peers. The event took place August 13-15, 2011, at the Westin Boston Waterfront Hotel.

"The quality of the attendees continues to be the hallmark of the Elite Meetings Alliance," says Elite Meetings CEO Kelly Foy, who notes the growing popularity of appointment-based events. "More one-on-one events are popping up out there, but we're proud to say the buyers and suppliers at the EMA are the best you?ll meet anywhere."

Buyers at the Boston EMA reported an average of 53 events to source for the next 30 months, with events averaging 143 rooms per night. Suppliers in attendance independently met Elite Meetings' Platinum or Gold certification standards. "This format really facilitates deal-making," says Foy, noting that anonymous surveys showed 95% of attending buyers intend to do business with at least one of the attending suppliers.

Continuing education is high on the agenda at the Elite Meetings Alliance events. Joann Chmura, senior meeting planner for Gen Re, described the educational program as both "current and relevant." The line-up of presentations included Joshua Grimes, Esq., who spoke on current developments in legal contracts for meetings, and technology tracker Corbin Ball, who addressed the evolution of meetings technology.

Sessions were filled to capacity for presentations by Elite Meetings board facilitator David Kliman, leadership and management expert Michelle Crosby, and Daren Martin, who received attendee praise for his presentation on personal styles and the power to influence. Martin also emceed the event. "I was extremely impressed with all the events, the educational sessions, the speakers," said Susan Kemp of Booz Allen Hamilton. Presenter and industry audiovisual expert Midori Connolly, in partnership with Elite Meetings and Sonic Foundry, produced live broadcasts from the EMA, which are available to view at www.EliteMeetingsAlliance.com.

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. Features include private, personalized business development meetings; continuing education breakout sessions for CMP credit; and unique networking activities. The Summer 2011 EMA at The Westin Boston Waterfront Hotel marked the fourteenth Elite Meetings Alliance since the event's inception in 2006.

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 FaceTime™ Appointment Scheduler (www.FaceTimeScheduler.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 new 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 EMA, contact EMATeam@EliteMeetings.com, or call 805-879-3928.

Media Contact:
Bryce Johnson
Elite Meetings International
805-879-4491