To put on a successful event, you need both big-picture vision and an eye for detail. From location and transportation to schedules and speakers, a multitude of decisions await you in your planning. Events of every size require strategic preparation and skilled partners. As an event planner, you’re the expert in this craft —yet it could benefit you greatly to have a local ally who is the expert in your selected destination. A Destination Management Company (DMC) is the perfect partnership for taking your events to the next level.
What is a DMC?
A Destination Management Company is officially defined as a professional services company possessing extensive local knowledge, expertise, and resources, specializing in the design and implementation of events, activities, tours, transportation, and program logistics. As the definition explains, they can offer detailed insight into nearly every aspect of your event from planning through execution, along with providing valuable connections to local vendors. From entertainment and transportation to venues and safety, a DMC can help you take your next event from good to great. Hiring a DMC to help with your event can save you time, energy, and even money!
What are the benefits of working with a DMC?
Partnering with a DMC provides many benefits — and your peace of mind is top of the list! They can assist you with nearly every aspect of an event if needed, or they can provide strategic help in a few key areas. Working with an accredited DMC brings even more to the table since they are proven to have advanced knowledge and experience in Destination Management. The Association of Destination Management Executives International (ADMEI) offers membership and accreditation to DMCs dedicated to elevating the industry and developing best practices. Working with a reputable DMC provides the following benefits:
The best part of working with a DMC is their unparalleled knowledge on your destination of choice! They can provide access to the most well-known activities and tours, but they can also offer ideas for creative and unique experiences you may never have been able to find otherwise. Your DMC partner can even help you determine the perfect timing for your event based on venues, crowds, weather, and transportation.
Investing in a DMC is far from an unnecessary expense — in fact, it can often save you money in the long run! Why? Because Destination Management Companies have strategic partners in just about every industry, from food and beverage vendors to AV and transportation companies. More often than not, they can negotiate deals or secure discounts that are not available to the general public. They can also help you avoid unnecessary fees, and assist with your budget management from the start, helping you avoid unexpected costs or “budget creep.”
Attempting to source venues, vendors, and activities from afar can be tedious — not to mention the difficulty of vetting quality through a screen. DMCs are an invaluable resource when it comes to selecting quality suppliers for every aspect of your event. Not only do they know who’s “best in town,” they can also recommend specific companies based on your event objectives and preferences.
What services does a DMC provide?
A DMC relies on its local resources and industry relationships to help you plan and coordinate events with excellence. Different Destination Management Companies provide a wide range of services, but you can typically expect help from your DMC partner in the following areas:
You know your brand, your event objectives, and your audience, but if you’re not a local, how do you know you are choosing the best venue based on your needs? DMCs are your local “go-to”, and have resources to find the right venue and secure it at the right price! Once you’ve sourced the perfect location, they can even provide creative assistance with onsite branding and decor.
Travel and Transportation
After your venue is sourced, DMCs can provide you with travel and transportation assistance to and from your venue. This could look like anything from airport arrival assistance, bus schedules, and private cars to setting up Uber/Lyft discounts for attendees. Don’t underestimate the value of transportation assistance as this can provide ease of mind and help attendees know that they are in the right place and start the program off on the right foot. Travel assistance helps to maintain schedules, ensure VIP attendees are where they need to be, and mitigate risks when alcohol and travel to offsites are involved.
Budget & Supplier Management
DMCs have established relationships with local vendors and can often negotiate better rates than going direct. They can book suppliers on your behalf and coordinate details between multiple vendors giving you peace of mind that your DMC partner is helping you stay within budget while making sure that everything runs smoothly when the event arrives.
Think of a DMC as an Event Architect. They can help you design and build your event, and then provide onsite management as well. Choosing local experts to manage your vendors allows you to focus all of your attention on your attendees, while the DMC utilizes their existing local relationships for your benefit. Oftentimes, it’s easier to deal with one person vs. twelve. If you work through a DMC, you’ll have one main point of contact who will manage all the other vendors for your event.
DMCs can capitalize on the uniqueness of their destination to ensure memorable experiences for your attendees. When they plan recreational activities, many factors are considered such as participant demographics, safety, availability, timing, routing, creativity, budget, and uniqueness.1 You can rest assured that you have a partner with local expertise ensuring your attendees have a seamless experience from start to finish!
Entertainment can be a huge part of an event, and making sure you hire the right one is key. DMCs can offer entertainment insight by outsourcing a local band, artist, troupe, magician, or celebrity, to name a few. Your DMC partner will contract entertainment vendors based on your selections, arrange transportation, and ensure each vendor’s special requests are met.
A DMC also knows the ins and outs of what’s needed for programs to run smoothly and effectively. This could include confirming if there are special permits required or a secret side entrance for set up or special guests. They know their destination, important dates, and other activities taking place while you’re in town. They can also develop an Emergency Preparedness plan and backup scenarios ensuring your event runs smoothly even when the unexpected occurs.
When should I hire a DMC?
A DMC is essential if you’re planning a conference, corporate retreat, incentive program, or any large out-of-town event. The best time to hire a DMC is at the same time your destination is selected. Having your DMC on board at the beginning of your planning cycle ensures their availability and provides you with the most options for creative development, supplier availability, and tour options. Their strategic partnerships can even reduce your overall cost, making it a worthwhile investment.
Choosing a DMC Partner
Planning your next event with a DMC can be an excellent way to level up your attendee experience and downgrade your own stress. No matter where you’re headed around the globe, you can find a qualified, and better yet, accredited DMC through ADMEI’s extensive membership network. Find your DMC today!