Hotel Online  Special Report


Elite Meetings Alliance Brings Together Top Meeting and
Hotel Professionals: Despite Challenging Times,
Strong Interest in Meetings Reported

SANTA BARBARA, CA, May11, 2009 — The Spring 2009 Elite Meetings Alliance, held May 3-5 at The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs, earned high praise from top meeting planning professionals and hoteliers in attendance, who reported strong interest in corporate and association meetings in markets around the U.S., Canada, and Mexico, in spite of current economic conditions.

The Elite Meeting Alliance, a semiannual event held by Elite Meetings International, is recognized for its balance of one-on-one business meetings, educational seminars, high-quality speakers and entertainers, and social gatherings that foster new relationships and build business.

The first of this year’s events brought together nearly 200 of the industry’s top planning professionals and representatives from Elite Certified hotels in the western U.S., Canada, the Caribbean, and Mexico. The next Elite Meetings Alliance will be held September 13-15, 2009, at Boca Beach Club at Boca Raton Resort & Club in Boca Raton, Florida.
Christie Hicks, senior vice president, global sales of Starwood Hotels & Resorts discusses recent developments in the hospitality industry.
Cate DeLaRosa, event director with Ameriprise Financial, discusses an upcoming event with Serena Wellman of The Carneros Inn.
"…the best event with one-on-one appointments I’ve ever attended…View video comments of Dan Keyser, director of sales and marketing for Rancho Las Palmas Resort & Spa.
Advancing the Meeting Industry Agenda

Elite Meetings International CEO Kelly Foy said, “Creating optimism in the face of these tough times is a great feeling. At a time when events have been unfairly painted as unnecessary, the response to this event has sent a strong signal that companies are still booking meetings and hotels are still eager to win their business."

In addition to pursuing its twofold corporate mission—providing innovative tools for planners in search of high-end properties for their meetings and incentive travel, and helping hoteliers reach this highly qualified audience—Elite Meetings is actively involved in Keep America Meeting and other industry-wide initiatives to educate the public on the importance of meetings in the broader American economy.

Highly respected speakers added strong informational content at the event. Christie Hicks, senior vice president, global sales for Starwood Hotels & Resorts addressed a packed room with a presentation covering the industry challenges posed by both perception and recession. Meetings technology expert, Corbin Ball, discussed technology trends in the meetings industry. Attorney Joshua L. Grimes discussed contract exigencies in an era characterized by issues ranging from recession, to economic restructuring to worldwide health issues. Master of Ceremonies, corporate emcee James P. Connolly, led the event, tempering discussion of serious issues with good humor and offbeat commentary. 

Bringing Meeting and Hotel Professionals Together

As at past Elite Meeting Alliance events, the bulk of the three-day conference was dedicated to one-on-one meetings between the attending hoteliers and corporate, association, and incentive professionals.

Dan Keyser, Director of Sales & Marketing from Rancho Las Palmas Resort & Spa said, "We ended up having more than a full schedule. I actually worked some on the side and had people waiting. Overall, we ended up with about 11 RFPs and leads with actual dates equal to about 5,500 rooms. And a lot of that was in the next 18 months."

Planners also praised the quality of business at the event. Senior Meeting Planner Jennifer Leto of Hess Corporation said, "I have met with several properties that I feel are a good fit. I met with a lot of resorts that I didn't even know existed—a couple of independent new properties that I may not have found had I not been here."

An evening at The Broadmoor’s Cheyenne Lodge on Monday night added valuable networking time.

Also unveiled at the Elite Meetings Alliance was the company's proprietary two-way appointment scheduler. Response for the scheduler was overwhelmingly positive, as it allowed planners to schedule meetings and hoteliers to request appointment with planners with whom they'd like to discuss business.

The next semiannual Elite Meetings Alliance will take place September 13-15, 2009, at Boca Beach Club at Boca Raton Resort & Club in Boca Raton, Florida. It will feature top properties from the eastern regions of Canada, the U.S., Mexico, and the Atlantic, plus corporate, association, and incentive planners ready to book business in these regions.


Elite Meetings International is based in Santa Barbara, California, and connects top meeting professionals with a hand-selected, independently evaluated group of upscale hotels and resorts throughout North America via their semiannual publication, Elite Meetings magazine and semiannual event, the Elite Meetings Alliance. Additionally, the company's Web site serves as a commission-free RFP-generating tool and a comprehensive vehicle for sourcing luxury properties. For additional information, please visit or call 805.730.1000.


Michael Frenkel 

  Elite Meetings International, Inc.
  Christine Lai

Also See: Goes Commission-Free / January 2009
Elite Meetings International Releases List of Five Top Renovated Resorts / September 2008
Elite Meetings International Announces Magazine Distribution Agreement with Hudson News at Major US Airports; Elite Meetings magazine to arrive on newsstands July 1 / June 2008
Elite Meetings International, Inc. debuts version 2.0; New site release packs powerful, time-saving tools for planners to search, locate, and negotiate directly with luxury hotels / June 2008
Group Business, Education, and Networking Headline the Spring 2008 Elite Meetings Alliance; Top hoteliers and meetings planners succeed in booking group business at the Elite Meetings Alliance hosted by Elite Meetings International / April 2008
Elite Meetings International Announces the Acquisition of; The purchase allows company to move forward on its long term vision / January 2008 Takes Bronze in the 51st Annual Adrian Awards; Official Award Presentation by HSMAI to be January 28, 2008 at New York City's Marriott Marquis / December 2007 to Launch First-Ever Online Community for the Luxury Meetings Market / November 2007
Elite Meetings International Welcomes Brad Pirman as CIO / October 2007
Group Business, Education and Networking Highlight the Fall 2007 Elite Meetings Alliance; Powerful Combination Delivers Successful Outcome / September 2007
Elite Meetings International Welcomes Susan Campbell to Top Editorial Post / August 2007
Elite Meetings International Opens Latin America & Caribbean Offices; Mauricio Aceves, Caroline Musy, and Renata Villa appointed to management team / July 2007
Elite Meetings International Announces Capital Investment from Jones Equity Partners; Company receives initial $2 million investment, backed by $5 million in revolving credit / July 2007
ELITE MEETINGS International Welcomes Thérèse Hilton as the Newest Member of the Team; The company states this is the first of many key hires in anticipation of exponential growth in 2007 and 2008 / June 2007
Elite Meetings International Launches New Magazine Showcasing North America's Top Hotels and Resorts for Meetings; Elite Meetings magazine, along with the newly launched Web site, are the ultimate resources for meeting and incentive planners / April 2007
Elite Meetings International Launches First-of-its-kind Website, Setting a New Standard for Meeting and Event Planning; Extensive database of North America's top resorts and hotels establishes a one-stop-shop for planning professionals / April 2007
Sundance Prepares for the Elite Meetings Alliance; Event unites top meeting and incentive planners with hotels and resorts for a one of a kind face-to-face business meeting experience / February 2007
Luxury Hoteliers and Corporate Planners Rave About the ELITE MEETINGS ALLIANCE; Next Alliance, Scheduled for March 19-21, 2007, at Utah's Sundance Resort / October 2006
Top-tier Incentive/meeting Planners and Hospitality Executives Join Elite Meetings Advisory Board; Magazine Featuring Best Properties to Launch in 2007 / October 2006
Top-tier Incentive/meeting Planners and Hospitality Executives Join Elite Meetings Advisory Board, Magazine to Launch in 2007 / September 2006
Top Corporate Meeting and Incentive Planner, Luxury Hotelier Gathering in September Has a Few Remaining Openings / August 2006
Hoteliers and Corporate Planners Give High Marks to Inaugural Elite Meetings Alliance; Next Alliance scheduled for September 10-12, 2006, at The Club at Hammock Beach in Florida / May 2006
Hoteliers and Corporate Planners Give High Marks to Inaugural Elite Meetings Alliance; Next Alliance scheduled for September 10-12, 2006, at The Club at Hammock Beach in Florida / May 2006


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