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  • The ABCs of DMCs

    Not sure what a destination management company can do for you? Here's a primer. 

     
    FROM THE Winter 2014 ISSUE
     

"But there’s this thing called Google. Why would anyone need a destination management company?"

When I was first hired as an administrative assistant at a Southern California DMC called the Event Team, I asked myself this question-silently. Thankful to be employed in a new industry, I wasn’t about to shoot myself in the foot by actually making this inquiry out loud to my boss or co-workers. Instead, I decided to learn the answer for myself. Six years and hundreds of events later, I am glad to spell it out for you.

ANYTHING YOU NEED. There is no request too large, too small or too weird when it comes to DMCs. We are happy to help you with everything, from a single airport transfer to a large-scale program complete with hotel blocks, shuttling, staff, team-building, tours, dine-arounds, off-sites, entertainment and more. Unusual demands are a particularly fun challenge that we embrace. For example, a recent client’s international layover at Los Angeles International Airport transformed into a Bienvenidos/Adios Fiesta when we dressed 13 of our staff in Mexican-themed ponchos and sombreros and helped guide arriving guests from Australia to their departure gate for Mexico.

THE BEST SUPPLIERS. While a Google search for vendors or staff may return some of the most keyword-friendly results, a DMC delivers suppliers that have been interviewed, trained, tested and approved to meet the highest industry standards. Moreover, strong partnerships with these companies and common and deep friendships with owners and staff provide extra assurance that they will come through for you in a pinch. Many last-minute wrinkles have been ironed out thanks to our suppliers’ willingness to go the extra mile for us.

COMPLETE COORDINATION. We list this as the first inclusion on all of our contracts because it is one of the most beneficial components of hiring a DMC. One quick email or phone call to your DMC effectively connects you to a host of resources. Our operations managers (your primary contact for the execution of the event) are tenacious about details and have already determined the best solution and backup solution to most of your questions or concerns before you even think to ask. They are experienced in pulling permits, hiring staff, collecting insurance, contracting vendors, mapping routes, setting menus, creating signage, scheduling deliveries, etc.-resulting in more time, less stress, and (most likely) lower blood pressure for you.

AREA EXPERTISE. DMCs are in the business of providing the best possible experiences our destination has to offer. This is where homework becomes fun. The Event Team is constantly unearthing and testing out the latest entertainment, restaurant, venue and activity options in Southern California. Through our research, we also know where not to send your group. All RFPs are addressed with this vital knowledge and expertise in mind.

BEHIND-THE-SCENES SAVVY. Our favorite part of working in this industry is being able to help other people connect and share once-in-a-lifetime moments in amazing locations. When you hire a DMC, you hire a creative team that cares about each attendee’s experience, from touchdown until departure. We also know people who know people and can often gain special access or entry to activities and venues not traditionally available to the public. Our clients have performed onstage with a live band at the House of Blues, trained with Navy SEALs, fed cream cheese to polar bears, donated school supplies to local children in need-and the list goes on.

COST EFFECTIVE. Much like a general contractor, DMCs charge a management fee for services provided, but it’s well worth the investment considering the aforementioned benefits. It is also important to consider the deep discounts DMCs receive from vendors as a result of their longstanding and preferred partnerships. DMCs are eager to pass these savings along to clients so they can stay competitive and work within your budget.

 

Lindsay White is director
of sales & marketing at
the Event Team, a Southern
California-based DMC
and Hosts Global Alliance
member.

Lindsay White is director of sales & marketing at the Event Team, a Southern California-based DMC and Hosts Global Alliance member.

MEDEA, an ultra-premium vodka that’s distilled in Schiedman, Holland, and distributed through corporate headquarters in Pleasanton, California, regularly takes top awards in the Los Angeles International Spirits Competition and the San Francisco World Spirits Competition. And that’s just for its taste. MEDEA also enjoys distinction for its unique bottle: the only one in the world with a programmable LED message strip, which is design- and technology-patented.

 

It takes a lot to entertain sophisticated travelers these days, but leave it to San Francisco to translate some intriguing tidbits of history into an out-of-the-box, underground attraction that meeting planners may want to include in their off-site activity suggestions. Escape Alcatraz is a drop ride and show simulating an escape from the infamous prison, including a (safe) jump off “The Rock.”