Hyatt’s New Meeting Planner Offering – Elite Status for Meeting Planners

Hyatt is rolling out a revamped meeting planner rewards program.

(Hyatt has long offered a meeting planner program, I even mentioned it about five years back, but I don’t recall its details so can’t offer up what’s different in the new incarnation.)

The program offers one point per dollar, up to 50,000 points per event. Like Starwood you can split points up to three ways for each event. You can also cash in points for future event credit on the following scale:

$200 Event Credit 15,000 Points
$400 Event Credit 30,000 Points
$600 Event Credit 45,000 Points
$800 Event Credit 60,000 Points
$1,000 Event Credit 75,000 Points

This is unique to Hyatt as far as I’m aware (but not an area in which I’m an expert, so please correct me).  I’m also not sure this is a good idea for them.  The value in these programs is in luring meeting planners through personal benefit, in much the same way that frequent flyer programs attempt to lure flyers spending their company’s money. 

But if the points earned can be used by the company, that may take away the individual incentive for the meeting planner to use Hyatt since they might lose the personal benefit in doing so if the company is aware of the option to capture the value of the rewards for themselves. 

On the other hand it may distinguish the program and offer companies an incentive to constrain their meeting planners, so I suppose I can’t predict the net effect, but the premise of these programs is that the benefits accrue to the meeting planner, that everyone offers them, and there’s no way to capture the rewards for the company so it’s perfectly acceptable for the planner to take them.  Here Hyatt undermines this value proposition that’s standard in the industry.

Additionally, the Hyatt program offers elite status for meeting planners.  Three eligible events earns Platinum and ten eligible events earns Diamond.  In contrast, Starwood offers their top-tier based on spend — $100k in meeting spend for Platinum in the Starwood program.

Since the median event is likely above $10,000 in spend, Starwood offers an easier way to top tier.  And since events can run much much more (I’ve charged the platinum threshold on a single event before, sadly not with Starwood) the Starwood elite offering also makes it possible to both earn status more quickly and generate more total Platinum memberships.  But it’s a good offering from Hyatt, albeit one that rewards more small events than rewarding lucrative ones.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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