Special Events
5th Annual Special Events Magazine 25 Top DMCs

5th Annual Special Events Magazine 25 Top DMCs

They greet you at the airport, speed you via shuttle through city traffic, then send you home after the final-night gala. They're destination management companies, and thanks to sophisticated networks, they mix global access with local expertise. For profiles of the biggest in the business, read on.

ACCESS DESTINATION SERVICESAccess 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 $15 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 major petroleum distributor, Access Orange County replicated the pampering services Hollywood stars receive prepping for the red carpet. A “gown rental to the stars” company custom-fit and accessorized the spouses; hair and makeup services were pro-vided. Access Palm Springs created a VIP program for corporate execs and guests featuring exclusive events blending Palm Springs nostalgia with contemporary Beverly Hills glitz. Highlights included transfers by helicopter fleet for “L.A. Day” with private jet returns.

ADVANTAGE DESTINATION & MEETINGS SERVICESAdvantage DMS

North Miami Beach, Fla.

TOP OFFICER Rachelle Stone, DMCP, Partner/ VP Sales & Marketing

WEB SITE www.advantagedms.com

AVERAGE NUMBER OF DMC EVENTS HANDLED PER YEAR 175 to 200

ANNUAL REVENUE FROM DMC SERVICES $5.5 million to $6 million

CAPABILITIES Company points with pride to its “outside the box” destination management and special event services including customized tours, entertainment, team-building, theme events, staffing services and indigenous amenities — “We're authentically local to the South Florida market,” they say.

NOTEWORTHY EVENTS THIS YEAR An incentive event for 700 guests of an agricultural client included local tours and activities complete with aerial banner flyovers with sales messages for participants, a Wii party that gave away 13 Wii's, an elaborate shopping party with retailers on-site, and a fireworks finale. After a 600-guest gala, scores of elegant orchid centerpieces were donated to a local homeless shelter for the residents to keep and learn to care for.

ALAN WAXLER GROUP

Las Vegas

TOP OFFICER Alan Waxler

WEB SITE www.awaxgrp.com

AVERAGE NUMBER OF DMC EVENTS HANDLED PER YEAR 400 plus

ANNUAL REVENUE FROM DMC SERVICES $10 million plus

CAPABILITIES Capabilities include special events, staffing, meeting and convention services, team-building, incentives, dine-arounds and golf tournaments.

NOTEWORTHY EVENTS THIS YEAR Company notes with pride the new marquee clients added to its roster this year, including Coca-Cola, Marie Callender's, Kia and Suzuki.

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 $6 million to $10 million

CAPABILITIES The company continues as “the most award-winning” DMC in Atlanta, they say.

NOTEWORTHY EVENTS THIS YEAR For a major document management company, Atlanta Arrangements produced a senior management meeting that included exclusive dinners at the Georgia Aquarium, the Louvre exhibit at the High Museum, dine-arounds in top Atlanta restaurants and a day of leisure at Barnsley Gardens Resort.

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 $11 million

CAPABILITIES This 32-year-old company offers customized tours, VIP concierge service, entertainment/celebrity broker service and transportation. Just opened a speakers bureau.

BEST OF BOSTON

Boston

TOP OFFICER Larry Moulter

WEB SITE www.bestboston.com

AVERAGE NUMBER OF DMC EVENTS HANDLED PER YEAR 1,200

ANNUAL REVENUE FROM DMC SERVICES $10 million plus

CAPABILITIES Company celebrates its 26th anniversary this year, offering event design plus meeting, tour and transportation programs.

NOTEWORTHY EVENTS THIS YEAR A highlight has been the American Academy of Pediatrics Convention, for which Best of Boston managed around-town transportation for 5,000, designed and executed an off-site event for 3,300, and guided Beantown tours for 600.

BIXEL & CO.Bixel & Co.

Los Angeles

TOP OFFICER Dabney Bixel

WEB SITE www.bixelco.com

AVERAGE NUMBER OF DMC EVENTS HANDLED PER YEAR 120 to 150

ANNUAL REVENUE FROM DMC SERVICES $6.5 million to $7 million

CAPABILITIES This 20-year-old company offers capabilities including event design, logistics, program management, entertainment, tours and activities, venue sourcing, team-building, transportation, gifts, and food and beverage.

NOTEWORTHY EVENTS THIS YEAR This year's event roster has included production of three events with headliner entertainment in conjunction with the L.A. Open golf tournament, an awards-show event for 1,000 guests at L.A.'s Kodak Theatre, and a “Gatsby Meets Monte Carlo” party for 900 in the desert.

BRIGGS INC.

New York

TOP OFFICER Anthony Napoli

WEB SITE www.briggsnyc.com

AVERAGE NUMBER OF DMC EVENTS HANDLED PER YEAR 200 to 300

ANNUAL REVENUE FROM DMC SERVICES $8 million to $10 million

CAPABILITIES Company management notes Briggs is the “preferred DMC for all of the major U.S. incentive com-panies.” Provides meeting, product launch and event serv-ices for Fortune 500 clients.

NOTEWORTHY EVENTS THIS YEAR Highlights of the year have included transfers, tours and events of four waves of 1,500 guests for Merrill Lynch, plus incentive programs for Martiz, Lexus and Allstate.

CHICAGO TRAVEL CONSULTANTSChicago Travel Consultants

Chicago

TOP OFFICERS Scott Baker, president/partner; Chris Baker, executive vice president/partner

WEB SITE www.ctcdmc.com

AVERAGE NUMBER OF DMC EVENTS HANDLED PER YEAR 200 to 250

ANNUAL REVENUE FROM DMC SERVICES $6 million

CAPABILITIES This full-service DMC was founded “to provide superior levels of service at competitive prices while offering unmatched professionalism, flexibility, creativity and attention to detail,” management says.

NOTEWORTHY EVENTS THIS YEAR Event roster this year has included 1,200-guest event for pharmaceutical client, 8,000-attendee triathlon and 70-guest Global Business Policy Council meeting with daily customized VIP tours, lunches and dinners.

CONVENTION PLANNING SERVICESCPS Florida

Orlando, Fla.

TOP OFFICER William Tate

WEB SITE www.cpsflorida.com

AVERAGE NUMBER OF DMC EVENTS HANDLED PER YEAR 300 to 350

ANNUAL REVENUE FROM DMC SERVICES $19 million to $22 million

CAPABILITIES CPS specializes in “large, complex special event planning and transportation logistics planning and execution,” management says.

NOTEWORTHY EVENTS THIS YEAR Provided back-to-back off-site events for three of the largest real estate companies in the U.S. for 5,000, 3,500 and 2,500 guests respectively.

CSI — CAPITOL SERVICES INC.Capitol Services Inc.

Falls Church, Va.

TOP OFFICER Jill McGregor

WEB SITE www.csi-dc.com

AVERAGE NUMBER OF DMC EVENTS HANDLED PER YEAR 260

ANNUAL REVENUE FROM DMC SERVICES $16 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 serv-ices needs.

NOTEWORTHY EVENTS THIS YEAR Highlight of the year for CSI was providing “flawless” transportation shuttle services for 30,000 guests — including some 30 VIPs — for AARP's Life @50+ event, “the largest transportation move in Washington event history,” management says. At peak times, the program required more than 100 luxury motor coaches using 12 planned routes between 51 area hotels and the convention center.

DALLAS FAN FARES

Dallas

TOP OFFICER Kaye Burkhardt

WEB SITE www.dallasfanfares.com

AVERAGE NUMBER OF DMC EVENTS HANDLED PER YEAR 90

ANNUAL REVENUE FROM DMC SERVICES $8 million

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 Super Bowl, NCAA Final Four and the Masters.

DECO PRODUCTIONS

Miami

TOP OFFICER Sharon Siegel

WEB SITE www.decoproductions.com

AVERAGE NUMBER OF DMC EVENTS HANDLED PER YEAR 150

ANNUAL REVENUE FROM DMC SERVICES $6 million

CAPABILITIES Along with customary DMC services, Deco is unique in supplying decor services; also handles team-building.

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 DCI covers Southern California market with “uniquely creative” design team and in-house graphics capabilities. Named again this year to Inc. Magazine's “5,000” list of fastest growing companies.

NOTEWORTHY EVENTS THIS YEAR For events this year, DCI brought the beach into a ballroom with themed decor and a performance by the Beach Boys. Also staged helicopters landing on the USS Midway for a USO-themed event in San Diego. For another event, guests arrived via boat to a luncheon on an island in the middle of a lake in Las Vegas.

DESTINATION NASHVILLEDestination Nashville

Nashville, Tenn.

TOP OFFICER Rhonda L. Marko, CMP, DMCP

WEB SITE www.destinationnashville.com

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

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. Management points with pride to being named the winner of ADME's “Best Innovative Event” award and GEP's “Partner of the Year” for 2008.

NOTEWORTHY EVENTS THIS YEAR Highlights of the year include providing destination management services for the CMA Awards and Musicians Hall of Fame induction ceremony and after-party.

DESTINATION SAN ANTONIO/THE CE GROUPDestination San Antonio/The CE Group

San Antonio

TOP OFFICER Janet Holliday

WEB SITE www.destination-sanantonio.com

AVERAGE NUMBER OF DMC EVENTS HANDLED PER YEAR 100 to 150

ANNUAL REVENUE FROM DMC SERVICES $8 million plus

CAPABILITIES Capabilities include conference and destination management, event and production management, public relations and marketing, and venue management.

NOTEWORTHY EVENTS THIS YEAR Event roster this year has included Asia Society Tiger Ball and corporate conference, Luminaria Arts Night, Texas Transportation Forum, and events for JC Penney, L'Oreal, AstraZeneca and Genesys.

EVED SERVICES

Skokie, Ill.

TOP OFFICER Talia Mashiach

WEB SITE www.eved.com

AVERAGE NUMBER OF DMC EVENTS HANDLED PER YEAR 2,000 to 3,000

ANNUAL REVENUE FROM DMC SERVICES $9 million to $10 million

CAPABILITIES The in-house preferred vendor in more than 30 Chicago area hotels, Eved strives to be the “true one-stop service” for clients, management says. A proprietary software program ensures quality and consistent service, they say.

NOTEWORTHY EVENTS THIS YEAR Company plans to release groundtransport.com, a portal that will automate the current manual manifest process, management says.

GEP WASHINGTON

Washington

TOP OFFICER Marty MacKay

WEB SITE www.gepwashington.com

AVERAGE NUMBER OF DMC EVENTS HANDLED PER YEAR 250 to 300

ANNUAL REVENUE FROM DMC SERVICES $9 million to $9.5 million

CAPABILITIES Operates in Washington, northern Virginia, Baltimore and Anapolis, Md.; provides airport meet-and-greet services, shuttle systems, group tours, spouse programs, entertainment, off-site dinners, in-hotel themed dinners, team-building programs and complete VIP services.

NOTEWORTHY EVENTS THIS YEAR Highlight of the year was being named logistics partner by the Archdiocese of Washington to coordinate the mass with Pope Benedict XVI at Nationals Park — an event attended by more than 47,000.

HELLO USA!Hello USA

Orlando, Fla.

TOP OFFICER Paul Mears III

WEB SITE www.hello-usa.com

AVERAGE NUMBER OF DMC EVENTS HANDLED PER YEAR 5,000 to 7,000

ANNUAL REVENUE FROM DMC SERVICES $50 million plus

CAPABILITIES Hello USA! has 10 full-time staffers solely focused on creating, sourcing and producing theme events, management says: “This resource in each of our destinations has enabled us to produce an immense photographic and video library of event options specific to each area. Our clients are able to select theme elements with a high degree of confidence.”

NOTEWORTHY EVENTS THIS YEAR Highlights this year have included visits to seven nightclubs in a single event for 7,500 guests along with an outdoor martial arts event with 75 entertainers for a group of 1,800.

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 460

ANNUAL REVENUE FROM DMC SERVICES $11.1 million

CAPABILITIES Veteran company takes pride in its 30-year history and “comprehensive knowledge” of the Florida market. Along with three offices, ME owns a full-service in-house floral division and maintains a big inventory of customized event theme decor.

NOTEWORTHY EVENTS THIS YEAR ME management points with pride to a celebrity-studded theme event on Miami's South Beach that garnered widespread media coverage.

METROCONNECTIONSMetroconnections

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 $12 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, a multi-session scheduling system, logistical planning and management, while the transportation and tours department provides shuttle service and award-winning tours.

NOTEWORTHY EVENTS THIS YEAR For the U.S. Figure Skating Championships this year, MetroConnections moved 30,000 athletes, coaches, families and fans around St. Paul, Minn. For the American Guild of Organists national convention, the company moved 2,000 attendees to 26 different Twin Cities' churches in six days.

OVATION GLOBAL DMCOvation Global DMC

Dublin, Ireland

TOP OFFICERS Patrick Delaney; Padraic Gilligan

WEB SITE www.ovationdmc.com

AVERAGE NUMBER OF DMC EVENTS HANDLED PER YEAR 300

ANNUAL REVENUE FROM DMC SERVICES $20 million

CAPABILITIES Owners operate DMCs in “key and iconic” destinations in Europe, the Middle East, Asia and Latin America, management says. The company says it attracts the best talent in each location thanks to its mission, vision and values statement: “People and relationships are the DNA of Ovation.”

NOTEWORTHY EVENTS THIS YEAR Highlights this year have included a “seamless” six-night incentive program for nearly 2,500 guests in Ireland, a Ferrari rally on the Amalfi Coast for a Russian IT company, and the coordination of 25 distinct hospitality programs for 25 different corporations attending a high-end IT conference in Vienna.

TBA GLOBALTBA Global

Los Angeles

TOP OFFICER Kathy Papadimitriou

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 addition to the numerous corporate summits and meetings, TBA Global also provided DMC services for noteworthy clients such as the NFL, the Smithsonian National Museum of American History, the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation and IBM this year.

TMM (THE MEETING MANAGER)The Meeting Manager

San Diego

TOP OFFICER Terry Hanks

WEB SITE www.tmmdmc.com

AVERAGE NUMBER OF DMC EVENTS HANDLED PER YEAR 300 to 350

ANNUAL REVENUE FROM DMC SERVICES $12.5 million to $14.5 million

CAPABILITIES Family-owned and -operated for 31 years “while remaining an industry leader and innovator in driving the capabilities of what a DMC can do,” management says.

NOTEWORTHY EVENTS THIS YEAR Event roster this year has included a dinner for top CEOs in a private mansion overlooking the Pacific Ocean and an incentive for 3,000 employees in several waves in multiple Southern California cities.

USA HOSTS LTD.USA Hosts LTD

New Orleans

TOP OFFICER Terry Epton, DMCP, CITE

WEB SITE www.usahosts.com

AVERAGE NUMBER OF DMC EVENTS HANDLED PER YEAR 200 to 300

ANNUAL REVENUE FROM DMC SERVICES $25 million to $30 million

CAPABILITIES Founded in 1958, USA Hosts operates 11 offices in the U.S. offering “experienced executives, award-winning creative experts and time-proven logistical support, customized services for events, incentive group travel, corporate meetings and conventions,” management says. (See also the USA Hosts Alliance listing, page 30.)

FROM LOCAL TO GLOBAL

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

DMC NETWORKDMC Network

A vested partnership of “premier” DMCs. Member partners subscribe to operations and ethics standards. Goal is to provide clients with a pre-screened collection of destination services professionals who can be contacted individually or collectively through a single point of contact via the DMC Network.

TOP OFFICER Sean Kirkland

PHONE 888/625-2378

WEB SITE www.dmcnetwork.com

DMCs IN SYSTEM 33

AREAS SERVED North America directly; internationally through alliance with Ovation Global

EVENTS HANDLED PER YEAR 3,000 plus

ANNUAL SYSTEMWIDE REVENUE $180 million directly; $200 million plus through alliance with Ovation Global

GLOBAL EVENTS PARTNERS

Partnership of 65 independently owned and operated DMCs in 92 destinations worldwide; requires performance standard; requires branding; offers geographic exclusivity; requires monthly marketing fee and incentives on volume.

TOP OFFICER Chris White

PHONE 202/775-5849

WEB SITE www.globaleventspartners.com

DMCs IN SYSTEM 65

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/ALLIED INTERNATIONALPRA Destination Management

The Allied International offices along with PRA locally owned franchise offices offer standardized business tools and systems, a quality-assurance compliance program and centralized, proprietary DMC software to ensure performance and consistency in delivery to clients.

Allied InternationalTOP OFFICERS Laura Rednour; Jim Hensley

PHONE 760/496-0540

WEB SITES www.pra.com | www.allied-international.com

DMCs IN SYSTEM 27

AREAS SERVED North America, Europe, United Arab Emirates

EVENTS HANDLED PER YEAR 1,900 to 2,100

ANNUAL SYSTEMWIDE REVENUE $80 million to $82 million

THE CONTACT DMC GROUPContact DMC Group

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

TOP OFFICER Lex Lyon, DMCP

PHONE 800/648-4709

WEB SITE www.contactdmcgroup.com

DMCs IN SYSTEM 22

AREAS SERVED More than 50 resort and meeting locales in the U.S., Canada, Puerto Rico, Mexico

EVENTS HANDLED PER YEAR 4,000

ANNUAL SYSTEMWIDE REVENUE $100 million plus

USA HOSTS ALLIANCEUSA Hosts Alliance

Cooperative system of 25 offices serving 36 destinations across North America. Alliance members enjoy free referrals and geographic exclusivity. Membership fees cover marketing and administrative costs and offer branding and promotional support.

TOP OFFICER Serena Melancon

PHONE 504/433-0193

WEB SITE www.usahostsalliance.com

DMCs IN SYSTEM 25

AREAS SERVED North America

EVENTS HANDLED PER YEAR 2,750

ANNUAL SYSTEMWIDE REVENUE $125 million

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

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