The Marriott commission cut: ten percent down to seven.

Two stories dominate this issue of Business Events World and The Iceberg itself.

Marriott International is lowering the industry-standard ten percent commission paid to group intermediaries in the US and Canada. The move prompted outrage from meeting planners, many of whom rely on commission revenue. It may in time reshape the entire sector: globally as well if replicated elsewhere and by other chains. At Northstar’s Independent Planner Education Conference, a breakfast table card read “Hotel Commissions: WTF?” (meaning “What’s the future?”, we are assured).

In the UK the unpleasant topicality of sexual harassment reached the events industry after a newspaper exposé of the all-male Presidents Club Dinner. The organisation quickly disbanded, and some in the sector were called out for staying silent on the subject. A coming survey will soon present more unwelcome truths to digest and address.

More on these in both News and Opinions (click right). Also in News… the deadly Kabul terror attack at a conference hotel, GDPR non-compliance and Club Liverpool’s new Chair, Colin Sinclair. Manchester Town Hall is closing for a long refurb. In London the QEII Centre may shut to rehouse the House of Lords! CTICC 2 officially opens in Cape Town, and the MGM Grand Conference Center tops out in Vegas.

There’s a healthy outlook for the exhibition sector in UFI’s latest Global Exhibition Barometer. You’ll find the actual report in Research.

And there’s more on The Iceberg itself (click on View all News): Central Hall Westminster’s Green Tourism carbon calculator, Informa and UBM’s merger, and UK corporates still choosing Europe despite Brexit.

In Opinions as well (click right), association meetings and legacies, event greening, more Westminster bubbles, the Puerto Rico Convention Center during Hurricane Maria, and a word from PCMA’s new CEO Sherrif Karamat.

And in Features, the fourth in our video series on ICCA and BestCities Global Alliance’s “Incredible Impacts” grants covers the World Confederation for Physical Therapy. It’s a great video.

Finally, speaking of bad language, how wonderful to see African governments and tourism operators making humorous marketing use of President Trump’s derogatory remarks. “The wise build bridges and the foolish build dams”, says a Nigerian proverb.

Until the next time…

Robert Coren, Curator of The Iceberg


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