by Sarah JF Braley | March 15, 2018
Jan. 24, 2018, marked a turning point for the meetings industry, with Marriott's announcement that commissions paid to third parties will be reduced from 10 to 7 percent, a move covered extensively by Meetings & Conventions. That action sparked strong reactions from planners and suppliers, who are struggling to answer some looming questions about the future of our business: Is the commission model dead (or dying)? Are current revenue models fundamentally flawed? What will this change mean for corporate meetings departments? Will other hotels follow suit - or up the ante to win market share? And is a 7 percent commission just an interim step on the road to zero?
SITE Northeast will provide an opportunity for discussion of this hot topic with a panel and discussion forum on Tuesday, March 20, at the Boston Park Plaza Hotel. Meetings & Convention's exclusive research on the industry's reaction will be presented by M&C editor in chief Loren Edelstein, who also will lead an insightful Q&A with a panel of industry experts:
 
• Renowned industry attorney Jonathan T. Howe, founding partner and president of Howe & Hutton Ltd.;
• David Landgraf, an experienced corporate planner who recently founded the independent planning firm Make It Happen Management; and
• Matt Davis, director of global accounts, New England, for Omni Hotels & Resorts.
 
Attendees will be encouraged to join the conversation, and the moderator ensures that it will remain a "civil discourse."
 
Among key topics to be addressed:
• How the meetings industry is reacting to this news;
• The immediate and longer-term impact on planners and suppliers;
• How the commission model is structured - and why it might be time for change, and
• Specific actions independent and corporate planners can take to offset lost income and better position their businesses for profitability.
 
Registration is $35 for planners, $60 for member suppliers and $70 for non-member suppliers. On-site parking is complimentary for attendees.