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We took a look last week at the factors that are leading Marriott and Hilton to cut commissions on group bookings.

This week, Skift contributor Robin Amster spoke to meeting planners and travel agents about their thoughts on this new challenge, and they aren’t happy. The quest for new revenue streams has begun, although it looks like these cuts will end up being less drastic than the airline commission cuts that devastated travel agents in the 1990s.

We’ve also got the latest on changes to Marriott’s loyalty program and a hot take on why business travel is so broken. Take a gander below.

If you have any feedback about the newsletter or news tips, feel free to reach out via email at or tweet me @sheivach.

— Andrew Sheivachman, Business Travel Editor

The Future of EvenTs and Meetings

Meeting Planners and Travel Agents Prepare for a Reinvention Amid Hotel Commission Cuts: Travel agents and meeting planners feel betrayed by Marriott’s — and now Hilton’s — move to cut commissions on group bookings. They’re grappling with ways to deal with the cuts, even as they fear more hotel companies may follow suit. It’s not personal, though; it’s strictly business.

Marriott Finally Reveals How It Will Combine All 3 of Its Loyalty Programs: How much do we want to bet that the new loyalty brand that debuts next year turns out to be Marriott Preferred Guest? Or better yet, just Marriott Rewards?

What the Scott Pruitt Scandal Tells Us About the Misery of Business Travel: Corporate travel policies are restrictive, and perhaps no organization is as restrictive as the U.S. government. The Scott Pruitt scandal is a good reminder that business travel is an important part of life wherever you happen to work. Everyone wants to live the good life, but few really can.

Around the Industry

Luxury Brands Look to Mansions for Events: As high-powered global brands look for ways to differentiate from competitors, event planners are looking to hold activations in more notable venues.

Using Virtual Reality to Create Empathy: Two scientists in Barcelona are using virtual reality technology to toy with the ways we create bonds with others. Body-swaps and Sigmund Freud play a role in their latest set of experiments.

Did Algorithms Really Destroy Personal Taste? As social media and smartphones have warped the consumption habits of people across the world, breaking away from homogeneity has become harder than ever before for brands.

How the Internet of Things Can Help People With Disabilities: Voice-control technology is allowing people who missed out on the vision-based digital revolution to access information and use digital tools in a more frictionless manner than ever before.

Brands Need to Take a Stand on Social and Political Issues: This thoughtful piece from Adweek takes a look at how the immediacy of social media is forcing brands to take a stand on issues instead of staying away from contentious discussions.


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

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Photo Credit: The Web Summit 2013. Meeting planners are gearing up for a new reality where alternative revenue streams are more important. William Murphy / Flickr