The cost of customer acquisition for meetings industry suppliers like hotels and resorts has risen dramatically over the last five years, according to a new report from Kalibri Labs, a research and data company. The report says that those costs rose to over $4 billion in 2017 and are expected to reach close to $8 billion to $10 billion by 2022; they can amount to as much as 35 percent of room revenue on many pieces of group business when all third-party commissions and other booking costs are considered. The report also reveals that automation has entered many aspects of the group and meeting sourcing, booking and execution process over the last five years and is accelerating the process but not always making it more efficient. Cindy Estis Green, CEO of Kalibri Labs, said that the next two to three years appear to be an inflection point in the way the groups and meeting process will evolve. She said, “An open and robust dialogue on how to improve the efficiency of the ecosystem would benefit all involved to improve the overall guest experience and reduce costs for all parties.”