Special Events
4th Edition: 25 Top DMCs

4th Edition: 25 Top DMCs

They know who's who, what's hot and how to get there fast in cities around the world. They are destination management companies, and this list alone represents a $300 million industry.

NOTE: All statistics are supplied by the companies listed. While every effort has been made to ensure accuracy, errors and omissions sometimes occur. All figures are in U.S. dollars.

ACCESS DESTINATION SERVICES

Irvine, Calif.

TOP OFFICERS Christopher H. Lee, DMCP, CEO; Candace Bisconte, DMCP, president

WEB SITE www.accessdmc.com

AVERAGE NUMBER OF DMC EVENTS HANDLED PER YEAR 1,000 plus

ANNUAL REVENUE FROM DMC SERVICES $18 million

CAPABILITIES Market coverage includes Los Angeles, Orange County, Palm Springs, San Diego and Las Vegas. Services range from event concept and design to program management and on-site coordination, entertainment services, meet-and-greets, transportation logistics, themed events, event production, recreational activities, budgeting and consolidated billing.

NOTEWORTHY EVENTS THIS YEAR For a leading financial institution's top rewards-and-recognition program, the ACCESS San Diego office produced five waves of events spanning three months. Highlights included team-building events benefiting five local charities, action-packed beach parties, exclusive, interactive hangar events at a local airfield, and on-site gala dinners with “afterglow,” they say. For a communications giant, the ACCESS Los Angeles office created “A Night on the Set,” where attendees were pampered celebrity-style as if on a movie set.

ALAN WAXLER GROUP

Las Vegas

TOP OFFICER Alan Waxler

WEB SITE www.awaxgrp.com

AVERAGE NUMBER OF DMC EVENTS HANDLED PER YEAR 100 to 200

ANNUAL REVENUE FROM DMC SERVICES $20 million plus

CAPABILITIES Company pride is its ownership of extensive transportation fleet and floral, decor, linen and lighting companies. Specializing in all things Vegas, AWG's capabilities include event planning, tours, golf outings, team-building, professional model appearances and meet-and-greets. “This allows us to provide our clients with service and value,” management says.

NOTEWORTHY EVENTS THIS YEAR It's been a big year for AWG, with big events for marquee names such as Johnson & Johnson (1,000 guests), Audi (1,000), McDonald's (15,000), Oracle (10,000) and Charles Schwab (2,000).

ARRANGERS

Denver

TOP OFFICER Nicole Marsh, CMP, DMCP

WEB SITE www.arrangers.com

AVERAGE NUMBER OF DMC EVENTS HANDLED PER YEAR 150 plus

ANNUAL REVENUE FROM DMC SERVICES $4.8 million to $5 million

CAPABILITIES The Arrangers takes advantage of Colorado's breadth of experiences: “We excel at switching modes from one event to the next — formal galas to rustic ranches, limos to motorcoaches, sporting events to team-building, all within a week, days or sometimes even minutes,” management says.

NOTEWORTHY EVENTS THIS YEAR Events this year have included a weeklong ski incentive in Vail, Colo., for 200 attendees from South Africa, along with many “give back” team-building programs, including a program with the USO collecting items for U.S. troops. Also busy with several large group airport transfers for up to 3,000 attendees.

ATLANTA ARRANGEMENTS

Atlanta

TOP OFFICER Susan Henderson

WEB SITE www.atlantaarrange.com

AVERAGE NUMBER OF DMC EVENTS HANDLED PER YEAR 300

ANNUAL REVENUE FROM DMC SERVICES $8 million

CAPABILITIES The company continues as “the most award-winning DMC in the market,” they say with pride. Just added a social events division.

NOTEWORTHY EVENTS THIS YEAR Company points with pride to the “club” event it designed and managed for 2,500 pharma reps, included transforming pre-function space from a registration area to a chic space featuring sleek seating, cabanas with flowing draping, and amber uplights. “Attendees didn't recognize the area or ballroom when they arrived, even after spending most of the week in the same spaces,” they say.

BASKOW & ASSOCIATES

Las Vegas

TOP OFFICERS Jaki Baskow, CEO; Jennifer Patino, president

WEB SITE www.baskow.com

AVERAGE NUMBER OF DMC EVENTS HANDLED PER YEAR 1,200

ANNUAL REVENUE FROM DMC SERVICES $15 million

CAPABILITIES Thirty-one-year-old company offers customized tours, VIP concierge service, entertainment/celebrity broker service and transportation.

NOTEWORTHY EVENTS THIS YEAR Highlights this year include a “Dirty Dancing” party at ShowWest and the “Oscar Night America” event at the Rio.

BIXEL & CO.

Los Angeles

TOP OFFICER Dabney Bixel

WEB SITE www.bixelco.com

AVERAGE NUMBER OF DMC EVENTS HANDLED PER YEAR 95 to 120

ANNUAL REVENUE FROM DMC SERVICES $6 million to $6.5 million

CAPABILITIES The secret of their success is simple: “We create unique events and activities with exclusive access.”

NOTEWORTHY EVENTS THIS YEAR This year's event roster has included the U.S. launch of the British Boots line and an incentive event for GM.

BONNIE BOYD & CO.

New Orleans

TOP OFFICER Bonnie Boyd, CMP

WEB SITE www.bbcdmc.com

AVERAGE NUMBER OF DMC EVENTS HANDLED PER YEAR 150

ANNUAL REVENUE FROM DMC SERVICES $5 million

CAPABILITIES Open within a month after Hurricane Katrina in 2005, BBC is deeply involved in the development of “volun-tourism” in New Orleans.

NOTEWORTHY EVENTS THIS YEAR BBC has expanded beyond its pre-Katrina staff and, “Projections for 2007 indicate the most successful year in BBC's 15-year history,” management says.

BRIGGS INC.

New York

TOP OFFICER Anthony Napoli

WEB SITE www.briggsnyc.com

AVERAGE NUMBER OF DMC EVENTS HANDLED PER YEAR 200 plus

ANNUAL REVENUE FROM DMC SERVICES $9 million

CAPABILITIES A big deal in the Big Apple, Briggs handles corporate and incentive programs, special events and product launches.

NOTEWORTHY EVENTS THIS YEAR Highlights of the year have included work for Astra Zeneca Canada, Starwood Hotels and Seagate.

CSI-CAPITOL SERVICES INC.

Falls Church, Va.

TOP OFFICER Jill McGregor

WEB SITE www.csi-dc.com

AVERAGE NUMBER OF DMC EVENTS HANDLED PER YEAR 270

ANNUAL REVENUE FROM DMC SERVICES $9.2 million

CAPABILITIES Covering Washington and Baltimore, CSI has consulted on high-profile jobs including presidential inaugurations, government meetings and international events. capabilities include events, meeting management, transportation tours, entertainment and other convention services needs.

NOTEWORTHY EVENTS THIS YEAR CSI jumped into spring by planning the inaugural America's Cup of Polo Event in Leesburg, Va., for 5,000 attendees. Performances included a U.S. Navy Blue Blaster flyover, parachute jumpers and a show by '80s headliner Journey.

CONVENTION PLANNING SERVICES

Orlando, Fla.

TOP OFFICER William Tate

WEB SITE www.cpsorlando.com

AVERAGE NUMBER OF DMC EVENTS HANDLED PER YEAR 300 to 350

ANNUAL REVENUE FROM DMC SERVICES $20 million to $24 million

CAPABILITIES Company takes pride in ability to handle complex transportation programs along with special event planning and management.

DALLAS FAN FARES

Dallas

TOP OFFICER Kaye Burkhardt

WEB SITE www.dallasfanfares.com

AVERAGE NUMBER OF DMC EVENTS HANDLED PER YEAR 100 plus

ANNUAL REVENUE FROM DMC SERVICES $10 million plus

CAPABILITIES Company provides DMC services in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, along with managing corporate hospitality at major sports events, team-building programs and theme parties.

NOTEWORTHY EVENTS THIS YEAR Work this year has involved DMC services for the Super Bowl, NCAA Final Four and the Masters.

DESTINATION CONCEPTS INC.

San Diego

TOP OFFICER Brynne Frost

WEB SITE www.destinationconcepts.com

AVERAGE NUMBER OF DMC EVENTS HANDLED PER YEAR 300 to 400

ANNUAL REVENUE FROM DMC SERVICES $12 million

CAPABILITIES Southern California specialists, DCI covers San Diego, Palm Springs, Dana Point, Laguna Beach, Huntington Beach, Anaheim, Los Angeles and Santa Barbara. DCI was just named on the Inc Magazine “5000” list of fast-growing companies.

NOTEWORTHY EVENTS THIS YEAR Events this year have included an interactive “animal chitchat” program on a hotel's grounds, a dine-around inside a major league ballpark for 1,800 guests, and a pirate-themed event that included a life-size pirate ship.

DESTINATION NASHVILLE

Nashville, Tenn.

TOP OFFICER Rhonda L. Marko, CMP, DMCP

WEB SITE www.destinationnashville.com

AVERAGE NUMBER OF DMC EVENTS HANDLED PER YEAR 1,250

ANNUAL REVENUE FROM DMC SERVICES $9 million

CAPABILITIES “Music City” experts and the preferred DMC vendor for giant Gaylord Opryland Resort, this DMC operates two offices in Nashville offering “total” destination management services, specializing in customized events, transportation and tours.

NOTEWORTHY EVENTS THIS YEAR Highlights of the year have included a dinner event for 7,500 guests, intimate gatherings with Nashville songwriters and shuttle programs for 4,000.

GEP WASHINGTON

Washington

TOP OFFICER Marty MacKay

WEB SITE www.gepwashington.com

AVERAGE NUMBER OF DMC EVENTS HANDLED PER YEAR 300 to 325

ANNUAL REVENUE FROM DMC SERVICES $8.2 million

CAPABILITIES Serving Washington, northern Virginia, Baltimore and Annapolis, Md., with airport meet-and-greets, group tours, spouse programs, entertainment, off-site venue themed dinners, team-building programs and complete VIP services.

NOTEWORTHY EVENTS THIS YEAR Busy with the American Academy of Dermatology's 65th annual meeting for 15,000 and the Hampton Hotels owners meeting for more than 1,500.

IN THE LOOP CHICAGO

Chicago

TOP OFFICER Bart Louhi

WEB SITE www.intheloop-chicago.com

AVERAGE NUMBER OF DMC EVENTS HANDLED PER YEAR 175 to 200

ANNUAL REVENUE FROM DMC SERVICES $5 million to $6 million

CAPABILITIES Their kind of town: In the Loop “is dedicated to offering the greatest access to all that our city has to offer, from unique sightseeing tours and one-of-a-kind activities to transportation and our creative special events,” they say.

NOTEWORTHY EVENTS THIS YEAR Company took guests on a tour of the Field Museum with 20-foot projections at a black-tie gala, followed by a closing-night party at the Museum of Science and Industry that harkened back to the 1933 World's Fair.

IVI DESTINATION MANAGEMENT

Cancun, Mexico

TOP OFFICER Jose-Manuel Garcia

WEB SITE www.ivi-mexico.com

AVERAGE NUMBER OF DMC EVENTS HANDLED PER YEAR 200 plus

ANNUAL REVENUE FROM DMC SERVICES $10 million plus

CAPABILITIES In business since 1986 offering DMC services in Mexico, Costa Rica and Panama; management takes pride in its ISO 9001:2000 certification.

NOTEWORTHY EVENTS THIS YEAR Company pride this year is its new team-building events that aid Mayan communities.

MAC MEETINGS AND EVENTS

St. Louis

TOP OFFICER Susan Gray, DMPC

WEB SITE www.macmeetings.com

AVERAGE NUMBER OF DMC EVENTS HANDLED PER YEAR 1,000 plus

ANNUAL REVENUE FROM DMC SERVICES $4 million to $5 million

CAPABILITIES An industry stalwart, with more than 30 years in the destination management field staff includes four DMCPs.

NOTEWORTHY EVENTS THIS YEAR Highlights this year include the NFL Draft Weekend and producing the grand opening for the Branson, Mo., convention center.

ME PRODUCTIONS

Pembroke Park, Fla.

TOP OFFICERS Hal Etkin, CEO; Jim Etkin, president

WEB SITE www.meproductions.com

AVERAGE NUMBER OF DMC EVENTS HANDLED PER YEAR 450

ANNUAL REVENUE FROM DMC SERVICES $10 million

CAPABILITIES Veteran company takes pride in its longevity and in-depth knowledge of Florida market.

NOTEWORTHY EVENTS THIS YEAR A highlight of ME's year was an incentive for 1,200 in two waves; ME rotated each group of 600 three times during each of the three days of the event.

METROCONNECTIONS

Minneapolis

TOP OFFICER Sam Thompson

WEB SITE www.metroconnections.com

AVERAGE NUMBER OF DMC EVENTS HANDLED PER YEAR 1,400

ANNUAL REVENUE FROM DMC SERVICES $11 million

CAPABILITIES Three divisions — event production, conference services, and transportation and tours — each overseen by one of the company's owners, are combined in one strategic group. Company owns a 35,000-square-foot event production facility including a prop and set warehouse providing full stage production and event services. The conference services department offers Web-based online registration, logistical planning and management, while the transportation and tours department provides shuttle service and award-winning tours.

NOTEWORTHY EVENTS THIS YEAR The year has been a mix of fun — including a “Purple Rain” party for Hilton featuring a Prince cover band and purple lounge furniture — and business, such as managing shuttles for a 9,000-attendee conference.

NAPLES TRANSPORTATION, TOURS AND EVENT PLANNING

Naples, Fla.

TOP OFFICER Randy Smith

WEB SITE www.nttep.com

AVERAGE NUMBER OF DMC EVENTS HANDLED PER YEAR 200 to 300

ANNUAL REVENUE FROM DMC SERVICES $6 million

CAPABILITIES Not only offers the largest luxury vehicle fleet in southwest Florida, they say, but also customized theme decor, staffing, exclusive tours, water activities and off-site event production.

NOTEWORTHY EVENTS THIS YEAR Busy this year with the SunGard conference for 800, NHCAA Institute training conference for 1,700, and ASAE “Great Ideas” conference for 900.

OVATION GLOBAL DMC

Dublin, Ireland

TOP OFFICERS Patrick Delaney, Padraic Gilligan

WEB SITE www.ovationdmc.ie

AVERAGE NUMBER OF DMC EVENTS HANDLED PER YEAR 250

ANNUAL REVENUE FROM DMC SERVICES $20 million

CAPABILITIES With offices in key European and Arabian destinations, Ovation offers core destination management services and holds the “dominant position” in the DMC marketplace in Europe, management says.

NOTEWORTHY EVENTS THIS YEAR Company rebranded itself this year as Ovation Global DMC and broadened its reach to 11 destinations across Europe and Arabia. Project highlights include the “Flight Centre Ball,” an awards ceremony with headliner entertainment for 1,700, and a private performance of Handel's Messiah with orchestra at Dublin Castle, “250 meters from where it was first staged in Dublin in 1742,“”they report.

SOUTHWEST CONFERENCE PLANNERS

Scottsdale, Ariz.

TOP OFFICER James Lammy

WEB SITE www.swcp.net

AVERAGE NUMBER OF DMC EVENTS HANDLED PER YEAR 250 plus

ANNUAL REVENUE FROM DMC SERVICES $9 million to $11 million

CAPABILITIES Specialists in Scottsdale, Phoenix, Tucson and Sedona, Ariz., markets

NOTEWORTHY EVENTS THIS YEAR Double fun: Southwest split a group of 1,000 in half, with one group enjoying a “nightclub” party at the host hotel while the other went off-property for a '70s disco night. The next evening, the two groups switched.

TBA GLOBAL

Los Angeles

TOP OFFICER Robert Geddes

WEB SITE www.tbaglobal.com/destination

AVERAGE NUMBER OF DMC EVENTS HANDLED PER YEAR 1,000

ANNUAL REVENUE FROM DMC SERVICES $35 million to $55 million

CAPABILITIES With locations throughout North America — all wholly owned — TBA Global offers program design and management, site inspection and venue selection, decor, entertainment, themed events, dine-arounds, meet-and-greets, customized excursions and tours, team-building and transportation management. “Our best practices and client-specific insights transfer from destination to destination,” they note.

NOTEWORTHY EVENTS THIS YEAR In 2007, TBA was busy with corporate summits, the NFL Tailgate Party and the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation “National Race for the Cure.”

THE BEST OF BOSTON

Boston

TOP OFFICER Jonathan Danforth

WEB SITE www.bestboston.com

AVERAGE NUMBER OF DMC EVENTS HANDLED PER YEAR 1,000 to 1,300

ANNUAL REVENUE FROM DMC SERVICES $10 million plus

CAPABILITIES Company celebrates its 25th anniversary this year, offering event design plus meeting, tour and transportation programs.

NOTEWORTHY EVENTS THIS YEAR A highlight was the high-end, 8,000-guest SIBOS citywide convention; Best of Boston managed all airport transportation and hotel shuttles, convention center affairs and more than 50 off-site events.

ULTIMATE VENTURES

Dallas

TOP OFFICERS Laurie Sprouse, CMP, DMCP; Val Lennington, CSEP, CMP, DMCP

WEB SITE www.ultimateventures.com

AVERAGE NUMBER OF DMC EVENTS HANDLED PER YEAR 120 to 150

ANNUAL REVENUE FROM DMC SERVICES $5 million plus

CAPABILITIES Offering expertise in special events, transportation, team-building and customized sightseeing tours, UV “features more industry certifications — including four DMCPs — than any other DMC in Texas,” management says.

NOTEWORTHY EVENTS THIS YEAR Highlights of a busy year include organizing a special event for the national promotional debut of filmmaker Ken Burns' World War II documentary “The War” and celebrating with 2,000 star-struck guests as they rocked out to Rod Stewart under the stars at Texas Stadium.

THERE'S STRENGTH IN NUMBERS

Many DMCs band together in systems that range from casual networks to formal franchise systems. Here are snapshots of the biggest players.

DMC NETWORK

Alliance of independently owned and operated DMCs; requires compliance program to ensure customer satisfaction; offers geographic exclusivity; requires annual member fee.

Raleigh, N.C.

TOP OFFICER Wendy W. Scott

PHONE 919/954-8123

WEB SITE www.dmcnetwork.com

DMCs IN SYSTEM 26

AREAS SERVED North America

EVENTS HANDLED PER YEAR 3,000 plus

ANNUAL SYSTEMWIDE REVENUE $120 million

GLOBAL EVENTS PARTNERS

Partnership of independently owned and operated DMCs; requires performance standard; requires branding; offers geographic exclusivity; offers exposure to potential clients; requires monthly marketing fee and incentives on volume.

Washington

TOP OFFICER Chris White

PHONE 202/775-5800

WEB SITE www.globaleventspartners.com

DMCs IN SYSTEM 71

AREAS SERVED Worldwide

EVENTS HANDLED PER YEAR 250 to 300 per DMC

ANNUAL SYSTEMWIDE REVENUE $5 million to $40 million per DMC

PRA DESTINATION MANAGEMENT

Note: Since this issue went to press, PRA announced that it has been acquired by Allied Europe. Franchise system offering standardized business tools and systems, including a centralized DMC software system to ensure consistency in delivery to clients in 19 North American destinations. An additional 16 international alliance partners worldwide.

Carlsbad, Calif.

TOP OFFICER Laura Rednour (For an interview with Rednour, see page 20.)

PHONE 760/496-0540

WEB SITE www.pra.com

DMCs IN SYSTEM 35

AREAS SERVED North America, Europe, Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Mexico, Costa Rica, Panama, Dominican Republic

EVENTS HANDLED PER YEAR 1,800 to 2,000

ANNUAL SYSTEMWIDE REVENUE $76 million to $79 million

THE CONTACT DMC GROUP

Sales and marketing consortium of independent DMCs; offers referral service.

La Jolla, Calif.

TOP OFFICER Lex Lyon, DMCP

PHONE 800/648-4709

WEB SITE www.contactdmcgroup.com

DMCs IN SYSTEM 21

AREAS SERVED U.S. and Canada

EVENTS HANDLED PER YEAR 3,500

ANNUAL SYSTEMWIDE REVENUE $70 million

USA HOSTS PERFORMANCE ALLIANCE

New Orleans

TOP OFFICER Terry Epton, DMCP

PHONE 800/368-4678

WEB SITE www.usahosts.com/performance_alliance

AREAS SERVED Worldwide

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