Earning loyalty points for booking meetings and events within one hotel chain provides a number of advantages for planners, from free room nights to suite upgrades, premium Wi-Fi and all manner of amenities and other inclusions.
Much like leisure traveler loyalty rewards, major hotel chains want your repeat business and will reward planners individually or the organizations they plan for handsomely in exchange for a fruitful long-term relationship.
Marriott International made a major splash by launching its leisure traveler and meeting and event planner rewards program in 2018, naming it Marriott Bonvoy and adding the scores of properties it brought to its portfolio following the Starwood Hotels and Resorts acquisition.
“Traditionally, Marriott has had the best loyalty program, in my opinion,” said Melinda Eggenberger, vice president, events and membership for Lex Mundi, a network of independent law firms. “It has changed with the merger so the perks for Gold Level are fewer.
“As far as being able to use the points, I still think Marriott/Bonvoy is the easiest to use and requires less points than some,” she added.
Besides earning points for her company, Eggenberger said the availability for attendees to earn personal points also figures into the site selection equation.
“Loyalty programs are not the deciding factor, but we do consider chains where our members likely are part of the loyalty program and can get points, such as Marriott and Hilton [Conrad and Waldorf properties],” she said.
Following are the basic elements of four of the major chains’ meetings loyalty programs.
Marriott International Meetings and Events Loyalty Program
Marriott International’s meetings and events loyalty program, Marriott Bonvoy Events, offers the following components:
Earning Marriott Bonvoy Events Points
- Meeting and event planners earn up to 60,000 points per event on eligible room, food, beverages and audiovisual charges. (two points per $1 USD).
- Titanium Elite members earn up to 105,000 points per event.
- Planners can earn up to 20,000 airline miles per event instead of points.
- Planners earn 10 Elite Night Credits for their first meeting as part of Silver Elite status.
- Planners earn one Elite Night Credit for every additional 20 room nights booked, up to 20 Elite Night Credits per event.
Redeeming Marriott Bonvoy Events Points
Meeting and event planners can redeem their points for the following benefits:
- Free Night Awards at more than 6,700 hotels across Marriott International’s worldwide portfolio.
- Points can be turned into miles with more than 40 airline partners around the globe.
- Points can be redeemed for gift cards that can be applied to the next meeting or event.
- Points can be redeemed for rental cars with Hertz.
Information about Marriott’s Bonvoy loyalty program for individual travelers/attendees is available on its website.
Omni Hotels & Resorts Meetings and Events Loyalty Program
Omni Hotels & Resorts’ meetings and events loyalty program, Omni Select Planner, offers the following components:
Earning Omni Select Planner Events Points
Omni Select Planner provides one award credit per $1,000 contracted in a qualified event. Planners can achieve higher Select Guest tier status faster by earning one Tier Credit per $10,000 contracted.
Gold Level earns 0-9 Tier Credits:
- Planners earn up to two free nights per event (40 award credits).
- Planners earn up to eight Tier Credits per event (10 are needed for Platinum Level).
Platinum Level earns 10-29 Tier Credits:
- Planners earn up to three free nights per event (60 award credits).
- Planners earn up to 10 Tier Credits per event (30 are needed for Black Level).
Black Level earns 30-plus Tier Credits:
- Planners earn up to four free nights per event (80 award credits).
- Planners earn up to 12 Tier Credits per event (30 are needed for maintain Black Level).
Redeeming Omni Select Planner Events Points
A variety of free products and services, such as beverages, welcome amenities, room upgrades, local experiences, premium Wi-Fi, suite upgrades and double room upgrades are available depending on the tier level.
This PDF from Omni Hotels highlights several inclusions of the Omni Select Planner program.
Additional Omni Select Planner Benefits
Planners who book two or more events at one time unlock bonus credits that are based on the combined meetings spend under the Omni Select Planner Multi-Meeting Bonus:
- A minimum of $100,000 combined earns a 25% bonus.
- $500,000 minimum combined earns a 50% bonus.
- $1 million minimum combined earns a 75% bonus.
Information about Omni Hotels & Resorts Select Guest loyalty program for individual travelers/attendees is available on its website.
Hilton Hotels & Resorts Meetings and Events Loyalty Program
Hilton Hotels & Resorts’ meetings and events loyalty program, Hilton Honors Event Planner Program, offers the following components:
Earning Hilton Honors Event Planner Program Points
Hilton’s meetings and events program awards one Hilton Honors Bonus Point per $1 spent on eligible charges for qualifying events at participating hotels.
Qualifying events include but are not limited to:
- Group or business meetings
- Room block
- Wedding receptions
- Family reunions
- Other contracted events through sales or catering
Redeeming Hilton Honors Event Planner Program Points
Event Planner Bonus Points can be awarded on charges up to $100,000, but there is no limit to the number of Points planners can accumulate.
Event planners can also earn Hilton Honors Event Credits, which are vouchers that can be redeemed as Hilton Honors Points:
- 25,000 points earns $50.
- 50,000 points earns $100.
- 75,000 points earns $150.
- 125,000 points earns $250.
- 250,000 points earns $500.
Information about the Hilton Honors loyalty program for individual travelers/attendees is available on its website.
Members of Hilton Honors can redeem points for stays, shared rides through Lyft, to pay for purchases on Amazon and to make charitable contributions via PointWorthy.
They can also book Hilton Honors Experiences such as artist connections and VIP concerts with Live Nation and race experiences with McLaren Racing.
Hyatt Meetings and Events Loyalty Program
Hyatt’s meetings and events loyalty program, World of Hyatt, offers the following components:
Earning World of Hyatt Points
Meeting and event planners earn one Bonus Point per eligible dollar spent (up to 50,000 Bonus Points) for hosting a qualifying meeting or event at a Hyatt property.
Redeeming World of Hyatt Points
Planners can redeem points for free nights in standard rooms (with no blackout dates), future meeting credits and other offerings.
- 15,000 points earns a $200 future meeting credit.
- 30,000 points earns a $400 future meeting credit.
- 45,000 points earns a $600 future meeting credit.
- 60,000 points earns an $800 future meeting credit.
- 75,000 points earns a $1,000 future meeting credit.
Additional World of Hyatt Benefits
Planners can split earned Bonus Points up to three ways for a qualifying event.
By creating a company membership, organizations can earn Bonus Points directly for qualifying events, which is a benefit for organizations that do not allow associates to earn Bonus Points for themselves for planning business events.
Here's a chart describing individual traveler/attendee World of Hyatt Benefits.
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