Skift Take

Hilton following Marriott with a commission cut is no surprise, really. The writing is on the wall for a larger upheaval in meetings' distribution. The innovation of small upstarts will play an important role, as well.

Much to the chagrin of third-party meeting and event planners, it looks like commission cuts are going to spread across the industry.

Hilton Worldwide will cut commissions from the current 10 percent to 7 percent in October for North American hotels, following Marriott International’s lead. It’s likely Hyatt or Wyndham will follow suit next; hotel chains are looking to use their leverage during this travel boom to pay less to planners.

We also took a look this week at how online booking is slowly coming to the meetings sector, particularly for simple meetings that don’t require much planning.

Finally, I did some thinking on how the trends driving the growth of esports, or electronic sports, will be vital to the events industry going forward. Everyone should start paying attention now to avoid getting left behind.

Take a look below for more insights from across the industry.

If you have any feedback about the newsletter or news tips, feel free to reach out via email at [email protected] or tweet me @sheivach. If you still think esports is overhyped after reading my story, tell me why.

— Andrew Sheivachman, Business Travel Editor

The Future of EvenTs and Meetings

Online Booking Finally Becomes Reality for Meeting Planners: Figuring out where to hold a small meeting is becoming more like booking a flight or hotel online. As more of the giant hotel chains buy into this model, there is the potential for the wider distribution marketplace for meetings space to shift significantly.

Meeting Planners Need to Get Game for Esports: Nearly a billion people around the world will tune in to watch someone else play a video game this year. Digital events have become ingrained into the culture of millennials and Gen Z, and the sector is rapidly learning how to combine virtual entertainment with engaging real-life experiences. Event professionals need to pay attention to this evolution.

Hilton Follows Marriott on Commission Cuts in New Challenge for Meeting Planners: The floodgates are now open for the larger hotel chains operating in North America to lower their commission rates for meetings alongside Marriott and Hilton. At a time when meeting space is limited and expensive, a wider shift will likely lead to a wave of consolidation for third-party meeting planners as they become less profitable.

Around the Industry

Inside Amazon’s ‘Summer Camp for Geeks’: When Amazon throws a conference for its most accomplished employees, expect global thinkers, unique experiences, and a creepy giant robot dog.

Welcome to the Reputation Age: A deep look at how global culture is shifting away from the information age toward a world based on reputation and curation.

Fixing the Event Marketing Hiring Process: Event staffing is a difficult issue faced by planners. Trusted Herd is trying to provide a more useful marketplace than traditional methods for finding staffers.

Key Trends From SXSW: Tech backlash, hyper-sensory experiences, and robotics all made an impact on attendees at this year’s festival.


Skift Business Travel Editor Andrew Sheivachman [[email protected]] curates the Skift Meetings Innovation Report. Skift emails the newsletter every Wednesday.

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Tags: commissions, meetings, meetingsiq

Photo credit: A man spoons a crouton in this promotional photo for Hilton Worldwide's meetings program. Hilton's commission cuts will put further pressure on third-party meeting planners. Hilton Worldwide

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