Within the next few years, the small-meetings market is expected to shift toward online automated transactions in much the same way that the transient travel market has over the past decade. After all, online booking for transient travel has been a resounding success. Self-booking tools are estimated to lower transaction fees by 40 percent to 70 percent compared to going through a ticketing agent, according to a 2006 report on online travel by the Sherman, Conn.-based hospitality research ...

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