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If I’m not mistaken, the first time I encountered the word “disintermediation” was in 1997. At the time, I was covering the corporate travel and meetings industry, and the term was used by a self-styled “tech visionary” who was predicting the imminent demise of agents and brokers who handled corporate-travel business.

The web, it was explained to me, would allow a vice president of marketing to book the block of hotel rooms he needed for that critical sales meeting. Or the head of business development could arrange her own special-event space for a multi-city product launch.

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