Hotel commission cuts over the course of the last year have increased the pressure on North American meeting planners.

We caught up with a few independent planners who are impacted by the change, and they are finding interesting ways to keep their businesses on the upswing. Check out the story below.

We also have some data on how business travel is becoming more expensive and the ways that hospitality professionals can focus on improving guest experience.

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

— Andrew Sheivachman, Senior Editor

The Future of Events and Meetings

Independent Meeting Planners Fight Back Against Commission Cuts: It’s been just over a year since Marriott made its move, the first in a wave of such measures. But instead of getting knocked down by the trend, independent meeting planners are finding ways to take control of their businesses.

Dining Gets More Expensive for Business Travelers: Meals and hotel stays are becoming a bigger cost for business travelers. Airfares have dropped, although this doesn’t help companies that dispatch their workers in cars for meetings in nearby cities.

How to Make Improving the Guest Experience a Joyful Task: Meeting guest experience requirements is too often a series of boring checklists. But improving the end-to-end experience can be a joyful, creative project that involves everyone from the general manager to the most junior staff. Here’s a way to think about it.

Around the Industry

Traveler Sentiment Tracking Gets Spotlight With Medallia’s Intent to Go Public: Customer-experience software companies Medallia, which is planning to go public this year, and Qualtrics, which SAP has just acquired for $8 billion, are receiving cash injections that should rev up their services. That’s significant news for travel businesses that depend heavily on positive customer sentiment but increasingly face customer survey fatigue.

Grand Hyatt New York Will Give Way to a New Hotel and Retail Space: Midtown Manhattan is rapidly changing, thanks to new zoning laws, and Trump might be feeling edged out. One of his first big projects is being torn down forever, and who knows — maybe he’ll get nostalgic. There will be taller buildings, and the Grand Central train station will get a facelift.

The Bahamas Launches Marketing Blitz After Fyre Festival Fiasco: The old adage is that there is no such thing as bad publicity. The Bahamas plans to turn the popular focus on the Fyre Festival debacle into a showcase for the beauty that led those scammers to select the destination in the first place.

Subscribe

Skift Senior Editor Andrew Sheivachman [as@skift.com] curates the Skift Meetings Innovation Report. Skift emails the newsletter every Wednesday.

Subscribe to the Skift Meetings Innovation Report

Photo Credit: More than 1,000 mayors, managers, community planners, and local officials and guests from throughout Michigan were expected to descend on Grand Rapids, Michigan, Sept. 20-22 for the joint 2018 Michigan Municipal League and Michigan Association of Planning convention. Michigan Municipal League / Flickr