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Don’t bite the hand that feeds you

The recent announcement that the Marriott Group is planning to ‘slash’ commission given to agencies in the US & Canada has shocked many across the world.

Many Event Planners and agencies rely on commission as a vital profit stream. This stream helps to offset costs whilst keeping fees down to the client. It ensures we offer value to the client which in turns ensures the hotel is affordable.

Good commission that is paid on time builds relationships, builds respect and loyalty. Hotels coming into offices with a free ice cream, a sandwich lunch and a pen DOES NOT build loyalty! If hotel chains think that this is the way to build loyalty, then the value the hotel industry has for agents is very worrying!

It’s easy for a hotel chain to discredit commission when their salaries are being paid and event enquiries are being sent through. But, agencies and Meeting Planners are vital to a hotel and hotel chains business. Perhaps before slashing commission to agencies, hotels should consider their own costs? There is a saying…… Do not bite the hand that feeds you. And hotels are often biting us – yet we are the ones feeding the business!

Why would an agency use a hotel chain that actively discredits a Meeting Planner?

And when commission is being offered, it is vital this commission is paid in a timely manner. If a hotel wasn’t paid within their set timeline, then accounts would be quick to chase. Often a hotel’s terms and conditions state that the event will not operate without invoices paid. However, it seems OK for a hotel to sit on a commission invoice for months at a time before processing and when it is paid, often comes with a heavy transaction fee for processing.

Commission is very much a one way street and agencies and meeting planners deserve a lot more respect by hotels and hotel chains.

Source: LinkedIn (Stephen Morton-Prior, Clearwater Events UK)