Incentive Research Foundation study examines both sides of the hotelier and planner relationship and offers practical recommendations to improve it

Washington, DC (November 21, 2016):  A new study shows that although the hotelier-planner relationship is most often collaborative and supportive, there are significant opportunities for improvement throughout the discovery, RFP, and execution phases of the relationship. The Incentive Research Foundation (IRF) and Prevue magazine surveyed 126 hotel sales representatives and 160 meeting and incentive travel planners in the United States about the current state of the hotelier-planner relationship, the existing obstacles to successful collaboration, and realistic ways to build better partnerships.

Here are some of the key findings presented in Advancing the Hotelier/Planner Relationship: A View From Both Sides:

  • The majority of both hoteliers (69%) and planners (54%-67%) in the study viewed their
    relationship with the other side as either collaborative or supportive.
  • Depending on the hotel role in question (national sales, property sales, or convention services manager) only between 11% and 22% of planners viewed the relationship as one of full trust or friendship, with CSMs having the strongest relationships.
  • When each group was asked to rank the top challenges they face in their interactions with the other group, the survey results illustrated that both parties come from very different perspectives.
  • For both planners and hoteliers, two issues stood out as the biggest obstacles to creating exceptional programs:  1) budgets are rising slower than costs are and 2) space and date availability frequently present challenges.
  • The eRFP process was also a common source of frustration for both hoteliers and planners, but for reasons unique to each role. 
  • Survey participants also shared concerns about the increasingly transactional and technological nature of the relationship, an issue that needs to be actively addressed in order to create and maintain valued partnerships on an ongoing basis. 

IRF President Melissa Van Dyke says, “The hotelier-planner relationship is already highly collaborative, but advancing these relationships to ones of full trust will help increase the outcomes for the partnership and carry both parties through the multiple risk issues facing programs today.”

To view or download the full study, please visit:

About Prevue:
Prevue provides meeting and incentive planners with insightful group experiential and destination coverage. Prevue features high-impact group experiences and compelling hotels, resorts and venues that empower and motivate attendees—helping planners create memorable and productive meetings and incentives. Find out more at 

About the IRF:
The Incentive Research Foundation ( funds and promotes research to advance the science and enhance the awareness and appropriate application of motivation and incentives in business and industry globally. The goal is to increase the understanding, effective use and resultant benefits of incentives to businesses that currently use incentives and others interested in improved performance.


Andy Schwarz
IRF Media Relations