Who's in the know? The big DMCs, that's who—they have all the inside info on the best destinations worldwide. Special Events just completed our 10th annual "25 Top DMCs" list, and here we share trend predictions from some of the biggest players …
"Globalization and consolidation within the industry continues," management says. "Meeting planners and third-party group travel companies are pairing down the number of 'preferred' DMC partners they work with to gain greater efficiencies and economies of scale."
ACCESS Destination Services, San Diego
SIGNS OF A RECOVERY?
Advantage is "working smarter within tighter budgetary confines" and "creatively doing more with less." in some good news, "We are finally seeing a trend to more lead time for programs and events, which we believe is an indicator of a recovering meetings and events industry," they say.
Advantage Destination & Meetings Services, North Miami Beach, Fla.
CALL FOR COLLABORATION
Top management points to greater collaboration between clients and their DMCs to better manage event spend while meeting event objectives. "The incentive market is hungering for a more experiential, hands-on learning environment," they say. "In addition, we are seeing a strong rise in the number of program operations, affirming the improving economic factors. Lead times are short as program interests increase."
AlliedPRA, London, San Diego
STRONG: CARS AND TECH
Management has seen a "strong increase" in demand from the automotive and technology industries, along with continued short-term business.
Bixel & Co., Los Angeles
Since We're Here Already, Why Not Add a Meeting?
SINCE WE'RE HERE ALREADY ….
Management points to the growing trend of clients "adding a meeting" to their incentive events.
Briggs Inc., New York
"Business is consistent, with short-term business becoming the norm," management says. "DMCs need to be able to respond quickly to requests and have the ability to produce amazing results with tighter turnaround times. Customization is back in a big way with the popularity of Pinterest; DMCs need to be flexible, creative and ready for some DIY style design that clients see and love on social media."
Destination Concepts Inc., San Diego
RE-THINK WHAT YOU DO
How to succeed today: "For forward-thinking DMCs, shifting from being providers of services to creative partners in experiential meeting and program design."
Hello! Destination Management, Orlando, Fla.
CLIENTS WANT STRONG PARTNERS
"We have noticed a major trend in the DMC industry has been an influx of short-term business," management says. "We are also noticing clients are asking more questions about financial stability and proof of such with their DMC partners."
Hosts Global Alliance, Las Vegas
It's a Small World--Too Small
WOES OF THE WORLD
Management has had to grapple with economic crises and political instability in some markets along with the ubiquitous DMC challenge of erratic booking patterns. And then there's the ongoing headache of shorter lead times: "Clients are asking for customized solutions but do not provide much lead time allowing for high-quality customized proposals," they say.
Kuoni Destination Management, Dubai, United Arab Emirates; New York
COOL STUFF: APPS AND PHILANTHROPY
"Conferences and event programs are moving away from kitschy themed events to creating whole brand experiences," management notes. "Mobile apps are no longer a luxury, but a necessity for large conferences and events." And doing good is getting big: "Incorporating an interactive philanthropic team building activity into your meeting, conference or event is becoming wildly popular."
Major trends include the ongoing consolidation of major DMC industry players, management says, along with rapid changes in the popularity of destinations. To help clients, Pacific World has begun publishing its "Destination Index."
Pacific World Meetings & Events, Singapore
AT LAST: BETTER BUSINESS!
Business is looking up: "2015, 2016 and even 2017 groups [are] booking requests!" management says. "Groups are sourcing more long-term to secure space. In addition, we are be challenged to interweave the local culture to bring a sense of place to their meetings.”
RMC, Aspen, Colo.
A trend--and a welcome one--SPECTRA managements points to "a growing understanding of the professionalism of the DMC services," along with the preference of some clients to procure the services on different financial models."
ALWAYS ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT
"The creation of an experiential program from inception through program completion has never been so important," management says. "We are always talking about all five senses and how we can make it more memorable than ever before. Corporations want and need to impress/incentivize employees, and clients to strive to achieve for these trips--which means the bar is always being raised from the DMC side."
360 Destination Group, Irvine, Calif.
The full "25 Top DMCs" article will also appear in the July-August issue of Special Events. Not a subscriber? We can fix that; just click here to order your Special Events subscription.