Are commissions charged by conference hotels fair play or pure rip-offs?


Commissions in the MICE industry can be tremendous. Due to the progressive digitalization of the inquiry and booking experience in event planning, the hotel industry is increasingly faced with the challenge of finding the best strategy for online marketing.

Especially in Germany, the conference business is flourishing like in no other country. Platforms and agencies just sprout out of the ground and many hoteliers are overwhelmed by the oversupply of intermediaries. In addition, a fixed commission is due on the brokered business.

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There are differences about the commission, but the fact is that the business that comes through intermediaries such as agencies and booking platforms cannot be dispensed with.

Many agents insist on a fixed commission of 10% or more, but there are other options. The Channel Manager MICE access, for example, leaves it to the individual hotels to determine the amount of the commission. So it is not the intermediary who decides how much commission he wants to receive. The hotelier determines how much commission is to be paid to the agent.

This interesting approach has a lot of potential and prevents hotels from being squeezed into a predetermined commission structure that they cannot or do not want to follow. By choosing the amount of the commission themselves, the hotels can influence their own offer and the entire online bid management process in their favour.

“During my training as a hotel specialist, I worked in the banquet office for some time. Even then, the commission structures of the intermediaries seemed too rigid and inflexible to me. It was therefore natural to implement this differently with MICE access and to ensure fair cooperation between hotel and broker,” explains Sven Bergerhausen, founder and CEO of MICE access.

Juergen Thomas Steinmetz has continuously worked in the travel and tourism industry since he was a teenager in Germany (1979), beginning as a travel agent up through today as a publisher of eTurboNews (eTN), one of the world’s most influential and most-read travel and tourism publications. He is also Chairman of ICTP. His experiences include working and collaborating with various national tourism offices and non-governmental organizations, as well as private and non-profit organizations, and in planning, implementing, and quality control of a range of travel and tourism-related activities and programs, including tourism policies and legislation. His major strengths include a vast knowledge of travel and tourism from the point of view of a successful private enterprise owner, superb networking skills, strong leadership, excellent communication skills, strong team player, attention to detail, dutiful respect for compliance in all regulated environments, and advisory skills in both political and non-political arenas with respect to tourism programs, policies, and legislation. He has a thorough knowledge of current industry practices and trends and is a computer and Internet junkie.