by Loren G. Edelstein | March 5, 2018

Loren G. Edelstein, editor in chief of Meetings & ConventionsAs a journalist to the core, I'm always sensitive to news that affects our industry, and this month's cover story on climate change (page 23) certainly applies on a broad, global scale. But Marriott's Jan. 24 announcement that it will cut third-party commissions from 10 to 7 percent is earthshaking to the meetings world in a more immediate way.

In my 25 years at M&C, I haven't seen a more impassioned reaction to any other industry development, particularly from independent planners, two-thirds of whom report that hotel commissions comprise 75 to 100 percent of their compensation (per this month's survey on the topic).

Within days of the announcement, independents had created a LinkedIn group called Meeting Planners Unite, now more than 900 members strong. And here at M&C, we've been writing daily about the many facets of this heated topic (visit our landing page for all of our coverage).

Not only did 441 people -- both planners and suppliers -- respond to our survey, hundreds included personal comments. The most prevalent echo these sentiments: "It is a clear signal that Marriott doesn't value group business!" and "They did zero homework and will need to reverse this arrogant position."

But others (although few) believe it's time for planners to rethink how they price their services: "Fee-based is the future for meetings. Adapt or perish."

Read what your peers are saying, and feel free to add your own opinions, at