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SpeedRFP™ Launches

Elite Meetings’ Free Online RFP Solution is Generating RFPs
and Gaining Rapid Support in the Planner Community –

– Destination Hotels & Resorts Becomes the First Hotel Brand
to Adopt SpeedRFP –

Santa Barbara, CA, April 27, 2010 – SpeedRFP (www.SpeedRFP.com) - a new product for creating, submitting and tracking RFPs online - has officially launched, generating RFPs for meetings planners and hotels in the U.S. and internationally. As it gains in adoption, planner input continues to be gathered to shape SpeedRFP into a game-changer for the industry in the months ahead.

Created and introduced by Elite Meetings International, Inc., the innovator in online solutions for the hotel and meeting industries, SpeedRFP is a completely portable and seamless RFP technology that is fully APEX-compliant. Any hotel can download the Community Edition at no charge, and it is free to meeting professionals, from whom it is already drawing enthusiastic support. 

Click Here to View SpeedRFP Video

SpeedRFP is being used as a primary online RFP solution by Destination Hotels & Resorts (www.DestinationMeetings.com); additional integrations will soon be announced by other leading hotel chains, independent hotels, CVBs, hotel consortiums, and other hotel guide websites. Online SpeedRFPs are also being submitted to hotels via www.AmexMeetingPlanner.com and www.EliteMeetings.com

Meeting professionals and hotels that are interested in becoming part of the emerging SpeedRFP community can learn more at www.SpeedRFP.com or by calling 1-805-730-1000.

Fast, Free and Easy - and Focused on the Meeting Professional

“We are delighted to announce the official launch of SpeedRFP,” said Kelly Foy, Chief Executive Officer of Santa Barbara-based Elite Meetings International.

He continued, “We announced the product at the 2009 Motivation Show just months ago, and the response, from meeting and hotel sales professionals, has been overwhelmingly positive.” Foy concluded, “As we emerge from Beta and implement SpeedRFP across hotel websites, branded and independent, we look forward to continuing to engage the planner community for input on how the product can be best and most efficiently used and leveraged.” 

Erika Davis, Senior Meetings & Events Specialist with Southeast Toyota Distributors, LLC, said, "I have used SpeedRFP on EliteMeetings.com, and I love it! The system is very user friendly, and I especially like the option to let business partners know how/when you would like to receive your responses.”

Davis concluded, “I hope every hotel website adopts SpeedRFP, as it would make the business lives of meeting planners everywhere so much easier."

Among SpeedRFP’s benefits for the meeting professional:

SpeedRFP is totally free.
SpeedRFP eliminates the need to rekey contact and RFP information into long, complex RFP forms.
SpeedRFP provides the freedom to submit RFPs to any SpeedRFP-enabled hotel, regardless of location or brand affiliation. 
SpeedRFP account information (user name/password) is the same for all EliteMeetings.com products – EliteMeetings.com, FaceTime, and SpeedRFP – an additional saver of time and cost.
SpeedRFP facilitates direct communication between buyer and seller.
SpeedRFP’s form complies with the Convention Industry Council’s (CIC) Accepted Practices Exchange (APEX) standards.
SpeedRFP creates a single account profile that is recognized and honored at any SpeedRFP-enabled site, dramatically reducing the time involved in creating and distributing multiple RFPs.
SpeedRFP permits management of all RFPs in one place on the web, regardless of which SpeedRFP-enabled site was used for submission – allowing the planner to make changes, resubmit, view proposals, compare proposals, negotiate details, and more.
SpeedRFP allows continuing dialogue documentation through SpeedRFP’s messaging system.
SpeedRFP is flexible — it can work as the sole RFP form or allows planners to attach their own RFP template/forms as desired.

Complete Portability . . .  and Benefits for Hotels

SpeedRFP is also the only online Request For Proposal (RFP) tool that is completely portable — it permits planners to take meeting, event, and incentive RFPs to any SpeedRFP-enabled site and submit RFPs in as few as three clicks. 

And because SpeedRFP is free and brand-neutral, its unique combination of features and benefits make it an RFP solution with the potential to generate the benefits of adoption and efficiency expected of a true industry-wide standard. 

Andy Anderson, Senior Vice President of Sales & Marketing for Destination Hotels & Resorts, said, “We are happy to be the first hotel company to ‘go live’ with SpeedRFP, which provides a great solution for hotels looking to maximize the time, resources and energies of their sales organizations.” He concluded, “We look forward to continuing to share the good news about the product with industry colleagues in the weeks ahead.”

SpeedRFP’s Community Edition is available for free to all hotels. Enterprise and Pro versions will be available to hotel chains and independent hotels for a low monthly subscription fee.

Among SpeedRFP’s benefits for hotel organizations: 

SpeedRFP allows seamless integration into a hotel or brand website with just a few lines of code. 
SpeedRFP provides functionality to supplement or replace existing RFP forms. 
SpeedRFP charges no commission or transaction fees for RFP submissions. 
SpeedRFP permits direct input into sales management systems. 
SpeedRFP provides a standardized format to enhance the quality of RFPs. 
SpeedRFP gives access to the SpeedRFP planner network. 
SpeedRFP forms can be posted on other sites, such as CVBs and web guides, for additional exposure and distribution.

Anticipating the Future: From Innovative Product to Potential Industry Standard

Foy noted that prior to SpeedRFP, existing online RFP systems did not prove popular among meeting professionals and have been challenging for hotel sales professionals to manage. 

He said, “The largest hotel chains receive only 20-30% of their RFPs through online forms. That means both planners and hotels continue to deal with unnecessary inconvenience, administrative cost, and inefficiencies. SpeedRFP was developed to bring as many of these professionals as possible into a community of users that benefit from quicker, easier, and more cost-effective transactions.”

Foy concluded that SpeedRFP was developed to overcome the tremendous barriers to adoption of online RFPs, by dramatically reducing the amount of data rekeying required of both buyer and seller; offering a form that adheres to APEX’s recognized industry standard;  and increasing the quality of RFPs and the subsequent communications by making it easy to exchange complete event information. 

SpeedRFP is a patent pending product and trademark of Elite Meetings International, Inc., which expects to make additional announcements in the weeks and months ahead.

About Elite Meetings International, Inc.
Based in Santa Barbara, Elite Meetings International, Inc. (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™ (www.FaceTimeScheduler.com), a widely used program for helping buyers and sellers – across any industry – 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.

About Destination Hotels & Resorts
Destination Hotels & Resorts is consistently rated one of the top 10 independent hospitality management companies in the United States with more than 30 luxury and upscale hotels, resorts and conference centers. The company has developed a variety of initiatives to better serve its communities, stakeholders and customers including Destination Earth, an environmental sustainability program, and the Destination Delivers guest loyalty program, which provides the best available offers to members. Destination operates properties in key metropolitan areas and resort markets including Washington, D.C., Denver, San Diego, Santa Fe, Aspen, Palm Springs, Houston and Lake Tahoe. Destination is a subsidiary of Los Angeles-based investment, development and management firm Lowe Enterprises.  For more information on the properties in the Destination Hotels & Resorts collection, please visit www.DestinationHotels.com

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Contact: 

Michael Frenkel, MFC PR
for SpeedRFP
michael@mfcpr.com
(201) 317-7035 (mobile)
 

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Also See: Elite Meetings Creates Two Tiers for Elite Certified Hotels, Which Will Soon Number More Than 1,400 on www.EliteMeetings.com; Elite Properties Are Now Categorized as Platinum and Gold, to Provide Even More Options and Information to Support Meeting Professionals / March 2010
FaceTime Appointment Scheduler is Now Available to Meeting Professionals, Suppliers, and Conference Organizers Worldwide; After Connecting Record Numbers of 'MeetDifferent' Attendees, Overwhelming Demand Spurs Elite Meetings to Release its FaceTime Scheduling Technology as a Universally Available Solution for Organizing Appointments at Meetings and Conferences / March 2010
Elite Meetings International (EMI) Holds its First Offshore Elite Meetings Alliance (EMA); Meeting Professionals and Hotels Come Together in Honolulu to do Business, Exchange Ideas / February 2010
Elite Meetings International (EMI) Adds Two Sales Directors and Promotes a Third; As EMI Increases its Suite of Products to Support Meeting Professionals and Hotels, it Bolsters its North American Sales Team / February 2010
Elite Meetings International Announces Mark Ley as Director of Marketing; Sales and Marketing Executive to Spearhead Building Communities and Social Networks Around EMI's Suite of Products, Services and Events / January 2010
Elite Meetings International Names Carol M. Lynch Director of Planner Communications; Seasoned Sales and Planner Relations Executive will Expand Program of Meeting Planner Outreach, as EMI Brings SpeedRFP, Other Innovations into 2010 / January 2010
Elite Meetings International to Present SpeedRFP™ at The  Travel Innovation Summit@The PhoCusWright Conference – Available in Q1 2010, SpeedRFP offers a Solution to the Inefficiencies and  Costs of Submitting Request For Proposals Online / November 2009
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