The Value of Using a Destination Management Company (DMC)

I must say, we do get asked this question sometimes before being hired.  Luckily, once hired, those same clients always find our value ten-fold during the planning and operation of their program!

By: Heather Bailey

As companies are looking for more return on every dollar spent on meetings and events, the question is often asked, why use a DMC when you can just go direct?  While not every meeting has the size or complexity to warrant using a DMC, it’s often the right choice to use a DMC to prevent unanticipated headaches, pull off a program that people will remember for years to come and make it a financial success.

You might think it’s no problem to order these items on your own for your big event…

  • linen (what size linens do I need again and how many)
  • floral (those flowers are being flown in from where and cost how much?)
  • lighting (you mean the pin-spotting wasn’t done before the tables were dropped?)
  • decor (what do you mean I can’t put those up in the ballroom-the supplier said it would be fine)
  • entertainment (you’ll need a fire watch for those Hawaiian fire dancers)

but leaving it to your venue to manage those suppliers means you might not get what you envisioned or even what you paid for.

A good DMC can be critical to having a smooth program. From the pre-planning, creative design, budgetary negotiations, setup, tear down and final billing a DMC’s know how, connections and logistics management can pull off that event without a hitch, leaving you free to manage your VIPs, enjoy dinner, and bask in the accolades for a successful event. They can make recommendations about what is really important and how to get the most bang for your buck by incorporating elements such as team building into different aspects of the overall program or repurposing decor elements across events. Looking for an opportunity to green up your program or include a charitable focus? DMCs are great at finding ways to acheive these goals.

For example, transportation is an important aspect of your program that can quickly sink your meeting. The right arrival and departure experiences can bookend your meeting and leave lasting impressions on your attendees. Do you really want to manage the arrival experience for doctors who forgot to tell you they changed their flight, attendees who can’t seem to find the greeters, or what to do about the bus that broke down on the highway? A great DMC will manage these logistics and more, from the original budget negotiations, manifest management, on location oversight of the transportation services and every back up plan imaginable. Don’t start your attendees off on the wrong foot with a vehicle that doesn’t show up or a rude driver.

Throughout your program, your DMC is there as a trusted partner to make sure everything goes off without a hitch-managing your suppliers on-site and trouble shooting any issues that come up. It doesn’t stop there. A good DMC wraps up the final program with a clear summary of all your program expenses and can even help to negotiate concessions or discounts for things that didn’t happen quite as planned. And for the next program-that same trusted partner knows exactly what to deliver to meet your expectations time and time again.


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