Special Events
6th Edition of Special Events' 25 Top DMCs List

6th Edition of Special Events' 25 Top DMCs List

Now in its sixth edition, Special Events takes its annual look at the world of the ultimate insiders—destination management companies. For profiles of some of the biggest in the business, read on:

Jump to a company:

ACCESS DESTINATION SERVICES

San Diego, Calif.
TOP OFFICER Christopher H. Lee, DMCP
WEB SITE www.accessdmc.com
AVERAGE NUMBER OF EVENTS HANDLED PER YEAR 1,200 plus
ANNUAL REVENUE FROM DMC SERVICES (2010 estimate) $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 including CSR team-building, budgeting and consolidated billing.
NOTEWORTHY EVENTS FROM PAST YEAR For a major pharmaceutical client, Access Los Angeles wowed guests with a glamorous pool party, VIP dinners at top-notch Beverly Hills restaurants and a red-carpet awards gala at Paramount Studios, complete with paparazzi and an elegant dinner catered by superstar chef Wolfgang Puck. Access San Diego designed and produced Operation Give, a volunteer CSR teambuilding event that engaged more than 100 local hospitality industry members in community giveback and demonstrated that CSR events put meaning into meetings.
MARKETING ALLIANCE The Contact DMC Group

ALAN WAXLER GROUP

Las Vegas
TOP OFFICER Alan Waxler
WEB SITE www.awaxgrp.com
AVERAGE NUMBER OF EVENTS HANDLED PER YEAR 400 plus
ANNUAL REVENUE FROM DMC SERVICES (2010 estimate) $10 million plus
CAPABILITIES Capabilities include special events, staffing, meeting and convention services, team-building, incentives, dinearounds and golf tournaments.
NOTEWORTHY EVENTS FROM PAST YEAR Company notes with pride the new marquee clients added to its roster this year, including the UFL, General Mills, NASCAR and Gulf States Toyota.
MARKETING ALLIANCE DMC Network, World of DMCs

BASKOW & ASSOCIATES

Las Vegas
TOP OFFICERS Jaki Baskow, owner; Jennifer Patino, CEO; Joshua Jones, president
WEB SITE www.baskow.com
AVERAGE NUMBER OF EVENTS HANDLED PER YEAR 700 plus
ANNUAL REVENUE FROM DMC SERVICES (2010 estimate) $8 million to $9 million
CAPABILITIES This veteran DMC is celebrating 34 years in Las Vegas, offering full destination services including transportation, tours, entertainment/celebrity entertainment, custom decor and themed event and site/venue selection. Also offers a full registration solution and speakers bureau.
NOTEWORTHY EVENTS FROM PAST YEAR In June, Baskow produced an event for 4,000 people that included dinearounds for more than 3,000 guests transferring to more than 20 separate locations in a one-hour window during rush hour. Simultaneously, the team was also producing an off-site “South Beach” themed event for 3,800 guests, again with a one-hour window for transfers. "We were able to secure a police escort, getting all guests to the location safely and on time, where they were dazzled with name entertainment under the Las Vegas stars," management says with pride.
MARKETING ALLIANCE Global Events Partners

BIXEL & CO.

Los Angeles
TOP OFFICER Dabney Bixel
WEB SITE www.bixelco.com
AVERAGE NUMBER OF EVENTS HANDLED PER YEAR 135 to 165
ANNUAL REVENUE FROM DMC SERVICES (2010 estimate) $5.8 million to $6.2 million
CAPABILITIES Twenty-one year old company offers event design, program management, all logistics, venue sourcing, tours and activities, charity events and activities, team-building, product launches, incentive programs, entertainment sourcing and negotiation, menu design, staffing and transportation.
NOTEWORTHY EVENTS FROM PAST YEAR Among the company's noteworthy events this year: launch events for a renowned international jewelry company to debut its holiday collection in Beverly Hills, Calif.; a 1920s themed custom murder mystery aboard luxury yacht with guests fitted for period costumes; debut event for Pacific Park’s new event space on the famed Santa Monica [Calif.] Pier; and a full-blown incentive program in Santa Barbara, Calif., with yachts, wineries and all of the "bells and whistles," management says.
MARKETING ALLIANCE Global Events Partners

BRIGGS INC.

New York
TOP OFFICER Anthony Napoli
WEB SITE www.briggsnyc.com
AVERAGE NUMBER OF EVENTS HANDLED PER YEAR 100 to 200
ANNUAL REVENUE FROM DMC SERVICES (2010 estimate) $6 million to $8 million
CAPABILITIES Company management notes Briggs is the "preferred DMC for all of the major U.S. incentive companies." Provides meeting, product launch and event services for Fortune 500 clients.
NOTEWORTHY EVENTS FROM PAST YEAR Highlights of the year have included a private gala dinner at the Statue of Liberty with fireworks, and arrangement of all logistics for Prudential's annual meeting.
MARKETING ALLIANCE DMC Network

CHICAGO TRAVEL CONSULTANTS

Chicago
TOP OFFICERS Scott Baker, president/partner; Chris Baker, executive vice president/partner
WEB SITE www.ctcdmc.com
AVERAGE NUMBER OF EVENTS HANDLED PER YEAR 175 to 200
ANNUAL REVENUE FROM DMC SERVICES (2010 estimate) $5 million
CAPABILITIES This full-service DMC was founded to provide "to provide superior levels of service at competitive prices, while offering unmatched professionalism, flexibility, creativity and attention to detail," management says.
NOTEWORTHY EVENTS FROM PAST YEAR Event roster this year included being the first DMC to produce an event at the Chicago Tribune Tower, management says. CTC also produced a three-day program for a major automotive company introducing a new model; the program included daily transportation services, an off-site event in a clear tent at Chicago's Millennium Park, and the final-night event at the city's River East Art Center.
MARKETING ALLIANCE DMC Network

CONVENTION PLANNING SERVICES

Orlando, Fla.
TOP OFFICER William Tate
WEB SITE www.cpsflorida.com
AVERAGE NUMBER OF EVENTS HANDLED PER YEAR 300 to 350
ANNUAL REVENUE FROM DMC SERVICES (2010 estimate) $14 million to $16 million
CAPABILITIES CPS specializes in "creative, complex special event planning and transportation logistics and execution," management says.
NOTEWORTHY EVENTS FROM PAST YEAR "We stretched our creative imagination in partnering with a major hotel on their grand opening gala," management says, resulting in a "fabulous" event for more than 500 guests that included a ballet performance and unique elements such as tiered seating with tables dressed with "green" table decor and ending with a lounge-style dessert party and fireworks show. "The compliments are still being heard."

CSI/CAPITOL SERVICES INC.

Falls Church, Va.
TOP OFFICER Jill McGregor
WEB SITE www.csi-dc.com
AVERAGE NUMBER OF EVENTS HANDLED PER YEAR 247
ANNUAL REVENUE FROM DMC SERVICES (2010 estimate) $10 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 FROM PAST YEAR A highlight: CSI organized a rally for 300,000 people on Capitol Hill, providing logistical support, acquiring permits, staging and tenting, coordinating press, speakers and volunteers, and working with the Capitol Hill Police and Emergency Management Services to "ensure a successful and worry-free event," management says.
MARKETING ALLIANCE DMC Network

DALLAS FAN FARES

Dallas
TOP OFFICER Kaye Burkhardt
WEB SITE www.fanfares.com
AVERAGE NUMBER OF EVENTS HANDLED PER YEAR 90
ANNUAL REVENUE FROM DMC SERVICES (2010 estimate) $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 FROM PAST YEAR Work this year has involved DMC services for Super Bowl, NCAA Final Four and the Masters.

DECO PRODUCTIONS

Hialeah, Fla.
TOP OFFICER Sharon Siegel
WEB SITE www.decoproductions.com
AVERAGE NUMBER OF EVENTS HANDLED PER YEAR 100 to 200
ANNUAL REVENUE FROM DMC SERVICES (2010 estimate) $6 million to $10 million
CAPABILITIES Full DMC services, along with in-house event design and decor, lighting, floral and specialty linen.
NOTEWORTHY EVENTS FROM PAST YEAR Big name clients this year have included Estee Lauder and Duramed Pharmaceuticals, management notes.
MARKETING ALLIANCE DMC Network

DESTINATION CONCEPTS INC.

San Diego
TOP OFFICER Brynne Frost
WEB SITE www.destinationconcepts.com
AVERAGE NUMBER OF EVENTS HANDLED PER YEAR 300 to 400
ANNUAL REVENUE FROM DMC SERVICES (2010 estimate) $9 million to $11 million
CAPABILITIES DCi provides meeting and event "essentials" to association, incentive and all meeting markets, management says. "We provide unparalleled service, creative innovation and logistical management to fit all budgets. DCi sets itself apart by being creative and cost-effective!"
NOTEWORTHY EVENTS FROM PAST YEAR A project they're proud of: "For half of 2009, we worked with a government agency coordinating a financial road show at various military bases in the U.S.," management says. The road shows were free events that gave troops the opportunity to receive advice to get them through financial challenges--foreclosures, credit card debt, buying a house, etc. "There were nationally noted speakers, credit counselors and more--a very worthy and timely cause."
MARKETING ALLIANCE Global Events Partners

DESTINATION: SAN ANTONIO/THE CE GROUP

San Antonio
TOP OFFICER Janet Holliday
WEB SITE www.destination-sanantonio.com
AVERAGE NUMBER OF EVENTS HANDLED PER YEAR 100 to 150
ANNUAL REVENUE FROM DMC SERVICES (2010 estimate) $7 million
CAPABILITIES Capabilities include unique off-site theme dinners, specialty tours, innovative team-building activities and transportation services as well as event and production management, management says.
NOTEWORTHY EVENTS FROM PAST YEAR The client roster for the past year has included Blue Cross/Blue Shield, CBS, Baptist Health System, American Hospital Association and the National League of Cities. Now at work on events including the San Antonio Rock 'n' Roll Marathon, Breast Cancer Symposium and the San Antonio Martin Luther King Jr. Walk.
MARKETING ALLIANCE DMC Network

EVED SERVICES

Skokie, Ill.
TOP OFFICER Talia Mashiach
WEB SITE www.eved.com
AVERAGE NUMBER OF EVENTS HANDLED PER YEAR 2,000 to 3,000
ANNUAL REVENUE FROM DMC SERVICES 2(010 estimate) $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.

GEP ATLANTA

Atlanta
TOP OFFICERS Kaye Mulkeen, CEO; Michele Lend, president
WEB SITE www.gepatlanta.com
AVERAGE NUMBER OF EVENTS HANDLED PER YEAR 300
ANNUAL REVENUE FROM DMC SERVICES (2010 estimate) $6 million
CAPABILITIES Now in its 41st year in business, "we continue to be the most award-winning DMC in Atlanta," they say with pride.
NOTEWORTHY EVENTS FROM PAST YEAR GEP Atlanta produced the sales kick-off meeting for a major software company including a reception at the Georgia Aquarium, an awards dinner at the Hyatt Regency, and a concert at the Tabernacle, all for 1,400 attendees. For a major pharma company, the company worked with five local charitable organizations to allow attendees to give back to the community. Activities included building furniture for those leaving homelessness, packaging meals for the terminally ill, and packing medical supplies for emerging nations. A reception back at the hotel allowed each group to share their experiences.
MARKETING ALLIANCE Global Events Partners

GEP WASHINGTON

Washington
TOP OFFICER Marty MacKay
WEB SITEwww.gepwashington.com
AVERAGE NUMBER OF EVENTS HANDLED PER YEAR 250 to 300
ANNUAL REVENUE FROM DMC SERVICES (2010 estimate) $8 million to $8.5 million
CAPABILITIES Operating in Washington, northern Virginia, Baltimore and Annapolis, Md., providing 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 FROM PAST YEAR "While we were fortunate to work with many clients in 2009, from Cardinal Healthcare to Subway, our most notable event would be working with FICPI," management says. Members of the Fédération Internationale des Conseils en Propriété Industrielle--patent and trademark attorneys from 83 countries--had their triennial congress in the U.S. for the first time. Throughout the week, guests attended various events and tour programs provided by GEP Washington.
MARKETING ALLIANCE Global Events Partners

HELLO USA!

Orlando, Fla.
TOP OFFICER Paul Mears III
WEB SITE www.hello-usa.com
AVERAGE NUMBER OF EVENTS HANDLED PER YEAR 5,000 to 7,000
ANNUAL REVENUE FROM DMC SERVICES (2010 estimate) $45 million plus
CAPABILITIES Hello USA! has dedicated 10 full-time staff 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 FROM PAST YEAR Highlights this year have included a grand opening event for 600; the celebration also featured a first for Florida--the Airstar Dome. The inflatable, temporary structure creates a 2,800-square-foot inflatable pavilion that stands 60 feet in diameter and 30 feet tall.

IVI DESTINATION MANAGEMENT

Cancun, Quintana Roo, Mexico
TOP OFFICER Jose-Manuel Garcia
WEB SITEwww.ividmc.com
AVERAGE NUMBER OF EVENTS HANDLED PER YEAR 200 plus
ANNUAL REVENUE FROM DMC SERVICES (2010 estimate) $7 million plus
CAPABILITIES In business since 1986 offering DMC services in Mexico, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic and Panama. Company notes with pride its ISO certification, in-house safety and security team, and its role in starting the Friends of the Maya Foundation.
NOTEWORTHY EVENTS FROM PAST YEAR New from IVI this year--innovative golf and fishing activities.
MARKETING ALLIANCE Allied International

KUONI DESTINATION MANAGEMENT (U.S.)

New York
TOP OFFICER Jane Rossmango
WEB SITEwww.kuoni-dmusa.com
AVERAGE NUMBER OF EVENTS HANDLED PER YEAR 2,000 plus (U.S. only)
ANNUAL REVENUE FROM DMC SERVICES (2010 estimate) $28 million
CAPABILITIES Formerly the U.S.-based DMCs operated by communications agency TBA Global, Kuoni Destination Management is the only wholly owned global DMC based in the U.S., management says. "Our expertise ranges the entire spectrum of destination management services with long-standing national client and supplier relationships alike," management notes. "The heritage of our local offices date back to some of the oldest DMCs in this country."
NOTEWORTHY EVENTS FROM PAST YEAR In addition to the numerous corporate summits and meetings, the team also provided DMC services for events such as the NFL International’s Tailgate Party, the Art Institute of Chicago’s opening of the Modern Wing and Amway’s 50th Anniversary over the past year.

ME PRODUCTIONS

Pembroke Park, Fla.
TOP OFFICERS Hal Etkin, CEO; Jim Etkin, president
WEB SITEwww.meproductions.com
AVERAGE NUMBER OF EVENTS HANDLED PER YEAR 380
ANNUAL REVENUE FROM DMC SERVICES (2010 estimate) $10.1 million
CAPABILITIES Veteran company takes pride in its 32-year history and "comprehensive knowledge" of the Florida market. Along with three offices, including Fort Lauderdale and Orlando, ME owns a full-service, in-house floral division and maintains the largest inventory of customized event theme decor in the Southeast, management says.

METROCONNECTIONS

Minneapolis
TOP OFFICER Sam Thompson
WEB SITE www.metroconnections.com
AVERAGE NUMBER OF EVENTS HANDLED PER YEAR 1,400
ANNUAL REVENUE FROM DMC SERVICES (2010 estimate) $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/attendee management and full meeting planning and management, while the transportation and tours department provides national shuttle service and award-winning tours, management says.
NOTEWORTHY EVENTS FROM PAST YEAR Nearly 150 full- and part-time staff assisted in servicing the national and international delegations of the Lions Clubs. From June 29 to July 10, MetroConnections provided transportation, events and tour registration services to some 12,000 attendees, managing 16 VIP events during the six days prior to the convention and provided production, entertainment and decor services for a variety of convention events. The attendees stayed at 28 Minneapolis and Bloomington hotels with MetroConnections providing shuttle service to those hotels through 10 shuttle routes. With the assistance of 12 transportation carriers, the company made use of more than 400 vehicles throughout the convention.

OVATION GLOBAL DMC

Dublin
TOP OFFICERS Patrick Delaney, Pádraic Gilligan
WEB SITEwww.ovationdmc.ie
AVERAGE NUMBER OF EVENTS HANDLED PER YEAR 350
ANNUAL REVENUE FROM DMC SERVICES (2010 estimate) $25 million
CAPABILITIES A "truly global company," management says, with wholly owned offices as far apart as Buenos Aires, Barcelona and Beijing. "We combine global knowledge of the meetings and events industry with local destination expertise."
NOTEWORTHY EVENTS FROM PAST YEAR Last year, Ovation produced a high-end, b-to-c road show with ancillary trade and media activities in London, Paris and Berlin to showcase the appeal of a major European Union city; another highlight was a major kickoff event in Barcelona for 1,500 associates of a high-profile media figure in the U.S.
MARKETING ALLIANCES AMSTAR; DMC Network

PRA DESTINATION MANAGEMENT, AN ALLIED INTERNATIONAL CO.

Carlsbad, Calif.
TOP OFFICER James Hensley
WEB SITE www.pra.com
AVERAGE NUMBER OF EVENTS HANDLED PER YEAR 750 to 1,100
ANNUAL REVENUE FROM DMC SERVICES (2010 estimate) $30 million to $50 million
CAPABILITIES PRA notes with pride its expertise in creative program design, site inspection, program logistics, supplier management, event production, transportation and shuttle services, carbon-emission calculation and CSR activities.
NOTEWORTHY EVENTS FROM PAST YEAR Highlights over the past year have included the work for Herbalife International, Club Managers Association of America board of directors dinner, and events for LPL, Westinghouse and Scotiabank--this with superstar Clint Eastwood at Tehama, his private country club.

RELEVE UNLIMITED

Los Olivos, Calif.
TOP OFFICER Diane Dennell
WEB SITE www.releveunlimited.com
AVERAGE NUMBER OF EVENTS HANDLED PER YEAR 80
ANNUAL REVENUE FROM DMC SERVICES (2010 estimate) $8.2 million
CAPABILITIES Releve "excels at incentive trips," management says, with a knack for capturing legendary summer and winter activities as well as the long list of unique venues for off-site events it services or exclusively represents. Its launch into the sports competition and event sponsorship and marketing arena has opened up many doors, "not the least of which is the crossover abilities to service our group clients in a different way, maintaining our readiness to fulfill traditional DMC services all the while." Releve's Community Rewards and Environmental Honors programs ensure that clients "are fully engaged in philanthropic endeavors that support their eventing and sponsoring mandates."
NOTEWORTHY EVENTS FROM PAST YEAR Event roster has included the 80th anniversary relaunch and dedication of Four Seasons Biltmore Resort in Santa Barbara, Calif.; Commonwealth Financial Services annual incentive conference at the Ojai Valley Inn, Ojai, Calif.; United States Ski & Snowboard Association's March to the Winter Olympics 2010, Los Angeles; Night of Lights, Mammoth Lakes, Calif.; and AFLAC, Vancouver, British Columbia.

TMM (The Meeting Manager)

San Diego
TOP OFFICER Terry Hanks
WEB SITE www.tmmdmc.com
AVERAGE NUMBER OF EVENTS HANDLED PER YEAR 300 to 350
ANNUAL REVENUE FROM DMC SERVICES (2010 estimate) $12.5 million to $14.5 million
CAPABILITIES Family-owned and operated for 32 years "while remaining an industry leader and innovator in driving the capabilities of what a DMC can do," management says.
NOTEWORTHY EVENTS FROM PAST YEAR Event roster this year has included several big-name entertainment events, a meeting for several of the "wealthiest and most notable" worldwide business executives, as well as a product launch that transformed several event spaces into a three-day program themed as a "Journey of the Imagination" that "will not soon be duplicated," management says.
MARKETING ALLIANCE DMC Network

USA HOSTS LTD.

New Orleans
TOP OFFICER Terry Epton, DMCP, CITE
WEB SITE www.usahosts.com
AVERAGE NUMBER OF EVENTS HANDLED PER YEAR 200 to 300
ANNUAL REVENUE FROM DMC SERVICES (2010 estimate) $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.
NOTEWORTHY EVENTS FROM PAST YEAR USA Hosts kicked off 2009 by designing and producing the PCMA final night event "superbash" in the Louisiana Superdome. The event was the highest rated PCMA event since the convention's start, management says with pride. Mid-year, USA Hosts was selected to design and produce the final night event for the World Partner Conference for Microsoft Corp., held in the New Orleans Convention Center in July.

All information was provided by the companies interviewed. While every effort is made to ensure accuracy, errors and omissions sometimes occur. All figures are in U.S. dollars.

Should your DMC be contacted for this list? Just drop us an email--thank you.

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