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  • MAD Event Management to create a Shanghai show with Shanghai Exhibition Co. Ltd., and run the UAS for Disaster Response Conference in April.
  • The SHOT Show will remain at the Sands Expo in Las Vegas through 2027. The event has been at the venue for nine years.
  • SMG/Cobo Center in Detroit redesigned its exhibitor and services online system to simplify ordering for in-house and vendor event services.
  • A small fire in a booth at the counterculture Champs Trade Show Feb. 20 forced the temporary evacuation of the Las Vegas Convention Center.
  • The L.A. Convention Center is growing fruits, vegetables, and flowers on its rooftop. The 9,500-sf garden includes a row of orange trees.
  • GES launched its Measurement & Insight platform to analyze brand impact, customer retention and other metrics beyond orders booked and ROI.
  • After two decades helming AIME, Reed Exhibitions is relinquishing control of the event to Austrialian-owned Talk2 Media & Events for 2019.
  • Messe Frankfurt acquired the Thailand Lighting Fair and Thailand Building Fair. Messe has been with the shows since they launched in 2015.

Marriott International Cuts Commissions on Group Bookings

Sandi Cain
, News Editor
January 29, 2018
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BETHESDA, Md. — Marriott International announced that it will cut commissions paid to third-party booking firms as of March 31. The cuts will reduce the commissions from 10% to 7% and apply to group business booked at all U.S. and Canadian properties.

The move will impact all but the four largest third-party companies that book group business with Marriott — the largest hotel company in the world. Marriott merged with Starwood Hotels & Resorts in late 2016, giving the combined company control of 30 hotel brands and more than 5,700 hotel properties worldwide. 

The third-party booking companies not affected by the cuts are Experient, HelmsBriscoe, ConferenceDirect and HPN Global, which have existing contracts with Marriott. There was no indication of whether the cuts would take effect at those companies once the existing contracts expire. 

In announcing the news, Marriott’s Senior Vice President of Global Sales Tammy Routh said that “costs for our North American hotels and owners are growing at a faster pace than group revenue, which impacts hotel profitability.” Marriott also said that it offers its own online training program for third-party providers called Meetings Excellence, and those that complete that program do receive discounts on group bookings. 

Marriott’s brands include Ritz-Carlton, Bulgari, St. Regis, JW Marriott, Westin, Sheraton, Gaylord, Aloft and Element in addition to all Marriott-branded properties. Some of these are attached to convention facilities, making them an attractive choice for trade show organizers in those locations.

One hotel consultant contacted for this story who asked not to be named said the move by Marriott reflected the company’s new industry leverage gained by last year’s merger with Starwood. “It may not be right, but it’s not a surprise (that) Marriott would use that leverage to reset the standard for hotel booking commissions,” he said. 

A group has formed in a show of resistance to the cuts. Called Meeting Planners Unite, the group has created a LinkedIn Group and Facebook page which has more than 80 members.

Reach Tammy Routh at (301) 380-3000 or

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