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September 8, 2015

Americas: New Company Will Protect Planners’ Meeting Deposits

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When planners pay deposits to hotels, meeting and incentive companies, destination management companies, and other meeting suppliers, they expect that their money is being used expressly for their programs. But in fact suppliers are not required to hold those deposits in trust—or even to keep them separate from other funds—during the period before their program actually operates.

To understand why this matters, consider what happened to one insurance conference planner a couple of years ago. He was en route to run an island incentive program when he got a call from his DMC account manager. The DMC, he was told, had gone out of business. And though the planner had paid the DMC, the money had not been passed along to any of the local suppliers (a photographer, a JetSki vendor, and others). “I was stuck,” he says. “It wasn’t a lot of money, but it could have been. There are no safeguards. It’s all done in good faith.” 

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