“Why do third-party planners refuse to disclose who the client is? It could help us better understand the program, convince our higher-ups to give certain concessions, and fight harder for the business if it’s a desired industry or demographic. If we understand who the client is, we can better anticipate their spending and better assess the total group value to the hotel.”

Shawna says: There is always the thought in the back of planners’ minds that unethical suppliers might try to go directly to the clients and cut them out. I believe that most suppliers are not out to take advantage—the competition is too stiff for that nowadays. In order for them to produce the most competitive package aligned with the group’s needs, they need to know as much as possible about those needs up front.