What the Cut? How Marriott’s Commission Cut Signals a Seismic Change for Event Planners

By now, you’ve likely heard the buzz about Marriott International’s planned commission cut. Beginning March 31, 2018, Marriott will reduce the commission it pays meeting planners for U.S. and Canadian bookings from 10 percent to seven percent.

The announcement is already having a big ripple effect throughout the meeting and event planning industry. 70 percent of travel agents say the cut will hurt their bottom line.

Third-party meeting and event planners aren’t immune either. Those planners who solely rely on commissions as a primary source of income will take a big hit. And especially if this initial change is just the first in a tiered rollout of further commission reductions, planners will need to find new ways to grow revenue and show their strategic value.

Shift Happens

While the industry might not agree with Marriott’s decision, when you look at it from their point-of-view, it’s a business decision to balance growing costs with revenue. And since Marriott is one of the biggest hotel companies in the world, industry experts predict other hoteliers will likely follow suit with their own commission cuts.

But beyond the topic of commissions, there are other new technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) and online sourcing tools on the horizon that could soon handle much of the routine, time-consuming event planning logistics issues too that have the potential to reduce planners’ income streams.

TBH, the writing is on the wall.

The meeting and event planning industry is on the edge of a series of seismic shifts that is forcing everyone to rethink how to provide value to clients.

How Planners Should Prepare for the Seismic Shift

Let’s collectively admit time spent on tasks like manual paper agenda updates doesn’t show any planners’ true value.

An event planner’s greatest value is organizing and creating engaging events

– not copying data from spreadsheets or shuffling printed papers.

The best way to prepare for the seismic shift? Embrace and learn to love event technology. Adopting event technology allows planners to:

  • Focus more on strategic skills like facilitating interactions and building relationships.
  • Reduce time spent on inefficient, repetitive tasks.
  • Ditch time-consuming paper updates in favor of easily accessible digital content that updates in real-time.
  • Quickly and easily handle registration, ticketing, invitations and check-in, and manage complex event logistics.
  • Enhance attendee interactivity and networking.   
  • Make the most of limited resources to efficiently manage any size event.
  • Streamline processes by integrating with CRM and an existing martech stack to eliminate duplicate silos of data.

The Marriott commission cut is like the canary in the mine – an early warning signal to the seismic changes the meeting and event industry is about to undergo.

Discover how event technology helps you focus on your greatest strategic value and be your wonderful planning self – no matter what industry changes may come.

Create interaction and Engagement of your eventEnhance the networking of your event

Watch the webinar, “New Technology for Impactful & Decisive Meetings”, to learn breakthrough technology trends every meeting planner should adopt to survive the seismic shift.

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