Thursday Buzz: Marriott Cuts Commissions on Group Bookings

The hotel chain says reducing commissions will allow it to make greater investment in meeting products and services.  Also: Change up your internal meeting format to make your meetings more productive.

Third-party agencies that book hotel room blocks for associations and other groups learned Wednesday that Marriott will soon be paying reduced commissions on bookings at its hotels in North America and Canada.

The new commission rate for group intermediaries on contracts signed beginning March 31 will be 7 percent, down from 10 percent currently. Commissions on bookings at Marriott properties  in other countries will remain at 10 percent.

In a letter to customers, Tammy Routh, Marriott senior vice president for global sales, said the company was making the move because “Marriott’s group distribution costs are growing faster than our group revenue; these costs are limiting our ability to invest in meeting products, experiences, and innovation.” She said the new strategy “will result in a more sustainable way of partnering with intermediaries.”

The impact of the change across the meetings industry was not immediately clear. “In my view, Marriott is reacting to market forces and their ability to allocate resources where they believe they can achieve the most value,” said ASAE President and CEO John H. Graham IV, FASAE, CAE. “The impact on associations, third parties, housing bureaus, and the overall hospitality industry remain to be seen as the details of this decision become more clear.”

In a statement, Zane Kerby, president and CEO of the American Society of Travel Agents, said his group was “in the process of assessing the impact” of the new policy and would “discuss this change with Marriott, our agency and consortia members, and other stakeholders with an eye toward ensuring positive business outcomes for all involved.”

Revamp Team Meetings

Internal team meetings can get boring and repetitive quickly, and that repetition can lead them to become unproductive.

To combat ineffective meetings, Fast Company recommends a few different types of formats to shake things up.

Instead of a standard status meeting, hand over goal accountability to your team with a “goalfest” approach. Goalfest is the brainchild of design leader Joel Califa. In his first managerial position, he instituted a weekly meeting where his design team members would log into a shared Google spreadsheet to create and keep track of individual goals.

“By allowing his team to set their own goals publicly and hold themselves accountable, Califa, who now works at GitHub, found he could make sure the meeting belonged to them, rather than to him as their manager,” writes Jason Shen.

Other Links of Note

Are you unintentionally damaging member engagement? Smooth the Path shares a list of common user interface frustrations that may be annoying your members.

Generating consistent revenue is a goal of any organization. The Wild Apricot blog offers up several ways to grow earned income.

Sharing a photo on Twitter just got a little better. The platform has updated its photo auto-cropping tool so images will display the most eye-catching part of the photo in the feed, reports Gizmodo.

(tupungato/iStock Editorial/Getty Images Plus)

Raegan Johnson

By Raegan Johnson

Raegan Johnson is a contributor to Associations Now. MORE

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