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04/19/13
Elite Meetings Alliance at Hotel del Coronado Delivered Record Appointments, Enthusiastic Teamwork and Outstanding Business Results
Santa Barbara, Calif.: April 19, 2013—Elite Meetings International's (EMI's) April 2013 Elite Meetings Alliance (EMA) at the Hotel del Coronado on April 7–9, reached new heights in terms of productivity and satisfaction for attending parties. The event, which brought together 100 prescreened buyers and representatives of 63 world-class hotels, along with 15 partners, included 1,449 prescheduled appointments, plus hundreds of additional contacts made during networking events.

EMI CEO Kelly Foy said, "Throughout the event and in the days since, suppliers have remarked that this was the most effective event they've attended in the meetings industry. The direct buyers were highly qualified, the hotels represented were exceptionally high quality, and our partners ensured that all parties made the most of every moment."

The Business
The record number of one-on-one appointments between planners and hoteliers show a high rate of return for attendees. Of the 78 suppliers in attendance, more than 95% reported they'd book business as a direct result of the show, while a similar number of planners indicated an intention of booking business with those they met. "These numbers amaze me, and it's equally impressive how seamlessly these teams worked together to deliver a flawless EMA," said Foy.

Tina Hennessy of Belden Inc. was one of the planners in attendance. When asked to describe her first EMA experience, she said, "I felt your event was organized and executed with extreme perfection. I was able to make contacts, both from the hotelier's side and buyer's side. Your team truly makes every effort for everyone to make the most of their valuable time together."

The EMA also created an opportunity to assemble 21 members of the Elite Meetings Advisory Board. Topics of discussion included the rapid growth of the industry-leading RFP solution, SpeedRFP (averaging 106 new buyers a day), and the upcoming SpeedRFP Network, a new distribution channel for SpeedRFP users, set to launch in Q2 of 2013.

The Education
Education sessions eligible for 6 hours of CMP credit, covered topics ranging from special food & beverage needs, to social and mobile technology, to soul-stirring event design. EMI Vice President, Sales & Marketing John Washko led a panel discussion on the topic of lead spam. A poll taken at the start of the session, attended by approximately 160 meeting planners and hoteliers, indicated that 60% of meeting planners were unaware of the issue prior to the session, a statistic that underscored the importance of the subject. Another highlight: the lunchtime keynote address on leadership from F-14 Tomcat fighter pilot Carey Lohrenz, presented by Speak Inc., who connected the dots between the safe dispatch and return of planes on an aircraft carrier and the teamwork necessary to execute an event. To watch the educational sessions, click here.

The Experience
Great partners played a huge role in the event's success, beginning with the Hotel del Coronado. Guests universally lauded the hotel's food and beverage presentations, with group dining menus that resulted in culinary masterpieces orchestrated by Executive Chef John Shelton and his team. Behind the scenes, Clean the World collected soap during the event to recycle for communities in need. Themed and CSR events, sponsored by Access Destination Services, Allied PRA, Destination Concepts Inc., and Platinum Pro Inc., showcased the beachfront setting and military heritage of San Diego. The pre-event Planner Reception (Platinum Pro) dazzled guests from the start with breathtaking decor and a fireworks show. The opening night's Stars, Stripes & Strategy competition (Access), which built care packages for military families, culminated in a spectacular entrance by four Navy Seals, who skydived into the evening's beach party. The EMA gave a nod to The Del's celebrated movie history with a "Some Like it Hot!" theme party (Destination Concepts) and After Party (Platinum Pro) on Monday night. On Tuesday afternoon, participants toured MCAS Miramar (Allied PRA), where they visited the flight line and assembled wheelchairs for disabled veterans and teddy bears for the children of deployed military personnel. To see images from the event, click here.

The Future
Two more EMAs will be held in 2013. The next takes place August 18-20 at Park Hyatt Beaver Creek Resort and Spa in Beaver Creek, Colorado. The final EMA of 2013 will take place November 10-12 at The Ritz-Carlton, Naples in Naples, Florida. To learn more, visit 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. 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 www.EliteMeetingsAlliance.com.

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, www.EliteMeetings.com serves as a comprehensive and commission-free tool for sourcing luxury, upper-upscale, and upscale properties. EMI's software products include SpeedRFP™ Universal RFP System for creating, submitting, and managing RFPs online (www.SpeedRFP.com), and FaceTime™ Appointment Scheduler which helps conference attendees identify synergies, manage appointments, and make direct connections with one another (www.FaceTimeScheduler.com). For additional information, please visit www.EliteMeetings.com or call 805-730-1000

For more information on the EMA, email EMATeam@EliteMeetings.com, or call (805) 879-4485.