The founder of Meeting Planners Unite (MPU) marked the one-year anniversary of the announcement by Marriott International that it would be cutting commissions on meeting business by announcing the lobbying group for independent planners will officially be known as Alliance of Independent Meeting Professionals (AIMP).

“AIMP was formed to celebrate those hotel partners (both chain and independent), and their ownership teams, that have continued commissions at 10 percent (or more),” David Bruce said in a press release. Hilton Hotels & Resorts, InterContinental Hotels Group and Hyatt Corporation all followed Marriott’s lead last year by reducing commissions from 10 percent to 7 percent. Some, including Loews Hotels and Fashion Island Hotel Newport Beach, have increased commissions. AIMP will also highlight those convention bureaus and other suppliers that have developed strategies that incentivize independent planners to sell their city to their clients.

By collecting sales information from 1,500 current members, Bruce hopes to increase the value independent planners bring to suppliers and the market. To give members some of the same benefits of being part of the large sourcing firms such as HelmsBriscoe and ConferenceDirect, he has used the size of his group to negotiate discounted prices for health care, office products, shipping services, and registration and site sourcing services.

AIMP even plans to fund a charity to help independent planners who have emergencies that affect their livelihood.