By Kevin Iwamoto, Senior Consultant
One of the questions I get the most whenever I am at industry functions is my thoughts on industry consolidation. There are so many “what if” scenarios that could play out and you could easily drive yourself crazy wondering what the potential ramifications could lead to for your respective programs whether they be meetings/events or business travel related.
At this juncture, it’s anyone’s guess as to what the latest rounds of consolidation will bear for the meetings/events or corporate travel industries. If you go back to what we’ve learned from the travel management companies, airlines and other companies with their recent rounds of consolidation there are several commonalities.
So in summary what does this all mean to you? It means that the consolidation trends are not going away. You have to learn to pay attention to the “tea leaves” and plan for adjustments in your work, processes, policies and supplier partnerships. Consolidation in a marketplace that’s based on supply and demand like our industry really means changes in pricing expectations and disruption of existing business models which will in turn affect corporate budgets. It could impact your supplier choices and existing business process and policies. It could impact your program financials and models that are reliant on commissions are at risk if the top suppliers of the food chain reduce or eliminate commission levels and models.
The realities of our industry are that it will continue to change, evolve and consolidate. It’s not going away anytime soon, so you should factor it into your business strategic planning and give it a permanent consideration in your annual and future planning exercise or risk being caught with policies, programs and processes that are no longer relevant. The time to have a contingency plan B and even C are more relevant than ever!
This article originally appeared in Meetings & Conventions Magazine on June 20, 2016. For more information, click here.Back to all news