Event Planning, Commissions and Red Tape

Last week's blog focused on the Ontario Court of Appeal Ruling that effectively wipes out income from hotel or transportation company business for all event planners except the few who can fork out almost $20,000 to be come registered with the Travel Industry Council of Ontario. Ontario is not the only jurisdiction where event planners are finding their earning potential reduced.

Travel Industry Today sounded the alarm about the new regulations that the US Department of Transportation is considering making it mandatory for travel agents who receive commissions from airlines to disclose the amount to clients. If this goes through, it will only be a matter of time before this also applies to event planners and commissions from hotels and resorts.

TELL ALL: Should agents disclose commissions

If the US Department of Transportation proceeds with its proposed regulation, the decision will be taken out of the hands of individual businesses. As one comment on the blog indicated, disclosing commissions is one way for event planners to guarantee that they will be nickeled and dimed to death and face pressure to reduce their fees.

money cut in halfA while back The New York Times carried an article about event planners seeing their income from commissions cut in half and hotels resisting paying commissions to event planners: Twice the Work, Half the Pay: Event Planners Lose Commissions as Meetings Shrink. Event and meeting planners have faced tremendous pressure since the economic downturn. More red tape and barriers to earning a reasonable income will ensure that more event planning businesses go under.

As the Travel Industry Today article put it:

What the regulators need to watch while they are busy regulating, is that they don’t regulate the industry right out of business.

Photo Credit: Images_of_Money

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