Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Value in a DMC

Recently this question was asked on a LinkedIn DMC Forum by Thomas H Hallin:
If you would rate a DMC (Destination Management Company) - in what areas / categories would you find it to be of most value to do so?

I wanted to share my answer because I think that it offers a good perspective.

Thank you for asking this question. I have worked across the industry - as a PCO, Incentive House Planner and Producer and at now two DMCs in Western Canada. I have spent many more years buying DMC services than providing them, and as a result I tend to be our own toughest critic as I do see it from both sides. Reading this it is great to see two things - one is that organizations do see the value in using great DMCs and the second is that when I really look at our organization I can say with pride that our team really does focus on doing all the things that seem to matter. We do it because each individual cares about each individual having an excellent experience and about relieving stress for our clients when they come here. We also want programs to be creative too - we have no interest in doing the same program over and over again and any opportunity to customize the experience is what keeps us engaged. New tours - please ask, new venues - well buildings are buildings - so we stay current on what is working, what is new, what is renovated and most importantly on what is going to be a fit for various types of groups and how we can use the venues as one building block in the experience.

The world of meetings and events has changed exponentially in the 27 years (and yes we have some people who have been here for much or all of this time as well as new fresh-idea'd team members) and responding to the changes in the participants and their needs, the agencies and what they now need to provide in terms of collateral, content and value, and ultimately to the expectations for experiences that deliver memories, build relationships and drive loyalty for your end clients is critical.

As a few people have mentioned, it becomes most important when something happens that requires common sense, connections and a service ethos that goes beyond the norm, backed up with processes and systems of support that have your DMC being a key partner in managing a variety of unusual situations. Again, having been on all sides of this - a strong DMC is your best local ally.

Being a great DMC is, like many aspects of our industry, a demanding job with long hours and many demands. The people who do this are true customer service focused individuals (both here and anywhere I have worked with a great DMC) who come together to lead teams of supplier partners chosen to be appropriate to your specific programs. Create dialogue as you go through the process of choosing your DMC - they will be your best allies for success!

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