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13th Annual Special Events 25 Top DMCs

It's our look at the biggest brands in the world of DMCs in 2017—the experts on the best seats and eats in every place worth visiting.

 

ACCESS Destination Services
San Diego
www.accessdmc.com
TOP OFFICER Christopher H. Lee, DMCP
AVERAGE NUMBER OF PROGRAMS PER YEAR 1,500 to 2,000
ESTIMATED 2017 REVENUE $90 million to$100 million
CAPABILITIES Founded in 1969, ACCESS combines the knowledge and intimacy of a local, owner-operated DMC with the diversity and efficiency of a single, 48-year-old global brand. Shared standards include longevity, insurance coverage and high levels of customer service. The ACCESS family consists of 16 individually owned and operated DMCs that are "fully integrated" into the larger, global brand.
NOTEWORTHY EVENTS This full-service DMC offers a diverse portfolio of experiences, management says. Benchmark examples for 2016 include annual production of the Philadelphia Thanksgiving Day Parade, drawing more than 750,000 spectators; multiple U.S. product/service launches, including Emirates U.S. airport gateways; and Bentley’s first-ever SUV in the Bentley Bentayga Drive Across the Desert. In keeping with its commitment to corporate social responsibility, the company has also participated in a variety of events with different organizations including March of Dimes, Wreaths Across America, the Dallas Children’s Advocacy Center, and--for 17 years--the adoption of a local Head Start school in San Diego.
TRENDS TO WATCH "In an increasingly unpredictable global landscape, one of the most important things DMCs can do is anticipate the unexpected," management says. "Being prepared, consistent, and providing alternatives--whether they be programmatic, or altogether different experiences in other locations if necessary--are key to maintaining client confidence and the ability to deliver under any circumstance."

 

 

Advantage Destination and Meetings Services
North Miami Beach, Fla.
www.advantagedms.com
TOP OFFICERS Annie Kelly-Cohen, Jim Post
AVERAGE NUMBER OF PROGRAMS PER YEAR 300 to 325
ESTIMATED 2017 REVENUE $9 million to $10 million
CAPABILITIES Serving big Florida destinations Miami, Orlando, Fort Lauderdale, Palm Beach, Boca Raton and Naples, this DMC is approaching its 20th year in business. Its 14,000-square-foot in-house floral and design laboratory makes it a one-stop creative shop for clients. "We are adding even more DMCPs to our list of the most DMCPs in any one office in the world!" management says.
NOTEWORTHY EVENTS Highlights this year: An "incredible" off-site event for more than 600 guests at a private wildlife preserve that admits only a few groups per year, and a CSR team-building giveback event that produced 250 care packages, one for each patient at a children’s cancer hospital.
TRENDS TO WATCH “Lead times on pending business continue to trend in a positive direction," management says. "For example, we have more 2019 business contracted and pending than we did for 2018 and 2017. This trend continues to assure us that incentive and meeting business is on the rebound. Additionally, sustainability requests in our program content are growing among our major clients as a common expectation.”

 

 

AlliedPRA
San Diego
www.alliedpra.com
TOP OFFICER Tony Lorenz
AVERAGE NUMBER OF PROGRAMS PER YEAR 1,600 plus
ESTIMATED 2017 REVENUE $100 million
CAPABILITIES With 26 destination locations in its system, the company comprises U.S. corporate offices, as well as U.S. locally owned franchise offices. All offices receive global sales assistance, standardized business tools and systems, a quality-assurance compliance program, and centralized, proprietary DMC software to ensure performance and consistency in delivery to clients, as well as brand marketing to support sales efforts. "We offer a full array of destination services, including event production, meetings and conference management, multi-faceted transportation logistics, authentic tours and excursions, team-building activities, site selection, creative themes and more," management says.
NOTEWORTHY EVENTS In the first quarter of this year, AlliedPRA acquired Destination Services Corp. of Colorado. "The acquisition plays an important part of the ambitious vision set out by AlliedPRA as the company redefines the DMC sector, in good part through aligning with the very best talent the industry has to offer," management says. The company notes that it has "continued to provide award-winning programs for several Fortune 500 businesses, financial institutions and multiple-level marketing companies." Also, the team won several ADMEI awards for outstanding program delivery and the AIMIA Passion for Excellence Award.
TRENDS TO WATCH Business events are a significant driver of performance across every vertical--health care, financial services, and many more, management says. "DMCs need to create greater value from our corner of the industry in new ways." Says Tony Lorenz, Allied CEO, “Market forces are calling for significant change in the DMC sector. Change is hard in any sector, especially when an approach has worked so well for so long, as it has in this sector. At AlliedPRA, we are changing the conversation with our clients and as a team."

 

 

Bixel & Co.
Los Angeles
www.bixelco.com
TOP OFFICER Dabney Bixel
AVERAGE NUMBER OF PROGRAMS PER YEAR 250 to 300
ESTIMATED 2017 REVENUE $9.5 million to $10 million
CAPABILITIES The Bixel team specializes in producing events at mansions, studio backlots and private clubs, in addition to the many other venues that southern California has to offer, they say. "Our event expertise ranges from the most private of corporate retreats and board meetings, to exclusive VIP social gatherings in a penthouse, to large-scale award shows at the Dolby Theatre. The loyalty of our client base is a testament to the level of service we provide and the integrity with which we provide it."
NOTEWORTHY EVENTS Bravo for Bixel: The 2016-17 timeframe has been "fantastic," management says. The company's client base has "significantly grown, and we have developed new robust relationships with some premier Fortune 500 companies, in addition to expanding our technology and lifestyle client base.” Event highlights have included an "Americana" themed four-day program for more than 600 guests for an elite insurance client. For another new client--a multinational consulting firm--the team will again create a five-day program. Bixel brought a big New York nonprofit to L.A. for events at a Hollywood studio, five-star hotel, Beverly Hills mansion and private beach club "to illustrate the diverse and beautiful venues that Los Angeles offers."
TRENDS TO WATCH “Last-minute incentive business to Los Angeles has remained a trend due to tentativeness toward European travel,” management says. “We increasingly see strong web and new-media presence being an important aspect in garnering new clients.” Also, since Bixel’s technology and lifestyle clientele has increased, the team stays on top of decor and event trends "to ensure uniqueness and a beautiful aesthetic for events."

 

 

Briggs Inc.
New York
www.briggsnyc.com
TOP OFFICER Anthony Napoli
AVERAGE NUMBER OF PROGRAMS PER YEAR 100 to 250
ESTIMATED 2017 REVENUE $14.5 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 Briggs hosted the Maritz Travel Collaborative in New York and was named Supplier of the Year "for the second time!" management says with pride.
TRENDS TO WATCH After a flat 2016, management says, "2017 is looking good and 2018 even better!"

 

 

CE Group
San Antonio
www.cegroupinc.net
TOP OFFICER Janet Holliday
AVERAGE NUMBER OF PROGRAMS PER YEAR 100 to 150
ESTIMATED 2017 REVENUE $8 million to $9 million
CAPABILITIES CE provides a "higher level of interactive and one-of-a-kind experiences with a value that lasts long after an event is over," management says. "We take pride in solving destination management needs, such as organizing a company’s arrivals, departures and transportation; managing meeting and hospitality services; coordinating specialty tours and activities, including dine‐arounds; directing entertainment and decor; planning innovative team‐ building events; and executing flawless event logistics from start to finish."
NOTEWORTHY EVENTS The team handled full event production for a global Fortune 100 corporation’s awards and leadership meeting. CE produced a "Texas experience" for award winners throughout San Antonio and surrounding areas, from stops at historical landmarks to distillery tastings to cultural experiences, including transportation, meals, custom gift bags and entertainment.
TRENDS TO WATCH "In the past year, we have continued to frequently receive short lead times, with the shortest one being two weeks," management says. A tough trend: "Clients wanting a higher culinary, entertainment and interactive experience with a tighter budget."

 

CSI DMC
Washington
www.csi-dmc.com
TOP OFFICER David Hainline
AVERAGE NUMBER OF PROGRAMS PER YEAR 400 to 800
ESTIMATED 2017 REVENUE $28 million
CAPABILITIES This full-service destination and event management company takes pride in its expertise in special events, festivals, custom tours, community give-back activities, team-building, meeting management, transportation, and staffing. "In addition to our strategic office locations, CSI partners with clients in any location, bringing destination research and industry intell to wherever their programs may be next," management says.
NOTEWORTHY EVENTS Recent noteworthy events have included the city-wide International Bar Association, Madison Performance Group five-night incentive program, Saudi Arabia Cultural Mission trade show, job fair and ceremony, the American Society of Hematology reception, as well as events in prominent venues for large global corporations.
TRENDS TO WATCH “Across all of our markets, there seems to be a consistent trend towards engaging guests in new immersive experiences," management says. "Programs do not happen in a vacuum, and clients are finding that their guests want to learn about the world around them and have an authentic experience within the meeting’s destination, which may include a welcome gift of local items, behind-the-scenes city tours, and evening receptions at venues that epitomize the destination. Additionally, with the influx of millennials attending these events, experiences need to have a quality that guests want to ‘write home about.’ In other words, social media-worthy.”

 

Dallas Fan Fares
Dallas
www.fanfares.com
TOP OFFICER Kaye Burkhardt
AVERAGE NUMBER OF PROGRAMS PER YEAR 120
ESTIMATED 2017 REVENUE $10 million
CAPABILITIES Company provides DMC services in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, along with managing corporate hospitality at major sports events, ground transportation, team-building programs and theme parties.
NOTEWORTHY EVENTS Events over the past year included DMC services for sports events such as the Super Bowl, college football playoffs, NCAA Final Four, Formula One, World Series, Kentucky Derby, U.S. Open Tennis and the Masters golf tournament, along with corporate events.
TRENDS TO WATCH The No. 1 trend? "It's all about the experience!" management says. Companies relocating to Texas means business is "brisk," they say.

 

 

Destination Concepts Inc.
San Diego
www.destinationconcepts.com
TOP OFFICERS Brynne Frost, Ana Reilly
AVERAGE NUMBER OF PROGRAMS PER YEAR 250 programs (comprising more than 1,500 events)
ESTIMATED 2017 REVENUE $19 million to $20 million
CAPABILITIES This privately owned DMC serving southern California features an in-house design team and expansive warehouse of decor inventory, which "gives us an edge in the market for creating unique, one-of-a-kind events that are always on trend," they say. "Our large-scale team provides the foundation for making the impossible possible. With dedicated teams in specialized areas such as event design, graphic design, wholesale buying, entertainment and more, DCi has the support system needed to give clients unforgettable and noteworthy events."
NOTEWORTHY EVENTS Highlights of the past year included transforming a nightclub in San Diego into Alice in Wonderland complete with a topsy-turvy dance floor with chairs suspended from above, 55 themed performers, and a 20-foot-tall "Alice." Also, "We turned Microsoft Square in Los Angeles into a street-scene block party with colorful graffiti decor and rollerblading breakdancers for over 1,000 guests," they say. "We also transformed a Palm Springs [Calif.] driving range into a modern tech-themed party featuring a 60-foot truss circle with moving LED lights and holographic plexi screens."
TRENDS TO WATCH "We are seeing a shift to companies focusing on experiences and attendee engagement versus simply promoting a program theme or goal," management says. "Clients are looking for unique ways to involve their brand into events that will get attendees talking and truly participate in every moment."

 

 

Destination Nashville
Nashville, Tenn.
www.destinationnashville.com
TOP OFFICER Rhonda Marko, DMCP
AVERAGE NUMBER OF PROGRAMS PER YEAR 250 to 300
ESTIMATED 2017 REVENUE $15 million to $16 million
CAPABILITIES With the rapid growth of Nashville and its attractions, this DMC employs a dedicated product-research team to secure new vendors and to seek new venues and hot spots, in addition to a team effort in creating new product on a continual basis. "Unlike 'big box' DMCs, this DMC focuses on the city of Nashville, making them true Music City experts," management says with pride.
NOTEWORTHY EVENTS For the second year in a row, Destination Nashville coordinated the logistics of a 25,000-person group workout in the middle of a busy downtown street in July, which, management says, "tested our stamina in maintaining the masses--not to mention the heat!"
TRENDS TO WATCH Customization is the name of the game this year, management says. "Experiential activities tailored to the groups demographic that are authentic Nashville adventures are in demand. Volume continues to be high with low availability as Nashville maintains its 'It City' status." In order to overcome lack of available venues and space, the team specializes in designing unique environments to accommodate events and meetings. "Short-term leads/bookings remain the norm, accompanied by a welcomed increase in 2018 closings," they say.

 

 

Destinations by Design
Las Vegas
www.dbdvegas.com
TOP OFFICERS Josh Ford, Jim Nelson, Joyce Sherman Nelson
AVERAGE NUMBER OF PROGRAMS PER YEAR 325 to 350
ESTIMATED 2017 REVENUE $20 million to $25 million
CAPABILITIES In operation since 1990, DBD provides "high-quality destination management, event and design services, with a 'whatever it takes' service standard," management says. The company operates out of a 130,000-plus-square-foot facility, which supports both current business and growth for the future. The space is home to DBD's more than 100 employees with all departments--warehouse, floral studio, design studio, entertainment, sales and operations--under one roof.
NOTEWORTHY EVENTS Event highlights have included a unique corporate event that included the room being set as the attendees watched--including furniture rolling in, tablecloths and centerpieces being set, and big chandelier structures descending from the ceiling--all to a choreographed five-minute performance with dancers and DBD crew. The guests were then invited into the soirée where more 30 entertainers interacted and performed for the guests throughout the evening. Also, the team's "Grand Banquet" at the Venetian won a Special Events Gala Award for “Best Table Design” in January.
TRENDS TO WATCH DBD is proud of its hometown: "One reason Las Vegas is a top choice, year after year, is that there is always something new to see and experience," management says. "Our resort and business partners continually invest in improvements to keep the destination fresh and appealing to business travelers."

 

 

Global DMC Network by JTB Group
Tokyo
www.jtb-global.com/dmc
TOP OFFICER Satoshi Inoue
AVERAGE NUMBER OF PROGRAMS PER YEAR 4,000 to 4,700*
ESTIMATED 2017 REVENUE $1.7 billion*
CAPABILITIES Services include galas and cultural education programs.
NOTEWORTHY EVENTS Recent event highlights include AIA Insurance Asia in Monte Carlo, Toyota World Convention in Japan, and Johnson and Johnson Russia in Singapore, management says.
TRENDS TO WATCH "The economic development in Asia and other emerging regions of the world has enabled more and more people to access one another," management says. "That's why we consider our business domain as a 'multicultural communication business,' which can only be achieved with a deep understanding of the local destinations. With this mindset, we have years of stability as one of the strongest global DMC networks worldwide." (*Figures from 2016.)

 

 

Hello! Destination Management
Orlando, Fla.
www.hello-dmc.com
TOP OFFICER Paul Mears III
AVERAGE NUMBER OF PROGRAMS PER YEAR 3,500
ESTIMATED 2017 REVENUE $100 million
CAPABILITIES Hello combines "expertise in traditional DMC logistical services with an absolute commitment to cutting-edge creative program and event design across the entire organization," management says. The teams serve mega markets in south Florida, Orlando, Fla., Washington, Nashville, Tenn., Texas, Arizona and Las Vegas.
NOTEWORTHY EVENTS A "first of its kind" event brought together 8,000 corporate attendees representing a wide demographic--including many children--and speaking more than 20 different languages. For the general session, the team managed the entire show flow process, including creating a custom opening act with a choreographed performance by the CEO. For the show portion, Hello conceived, designed and produced a 70-minute show with custom music, video and lighting elements and a cast of more than 60 performers from around the world, complete with pyro, blacklight and shadow effects, and aerial acts.
TRENDS TO WATCH The big trend: "The need for DMCs to approach their roles as providers of design solutions for each customer’s unique goals and challenges," management says. "DMCs that operate simply as a broker of group services will ultimately fail to survive the challenges of our evolving industry."

Hosts Global
Las Vegas
www.hosts-global.com
TOP OFFICER Jennifer Patino, DMCP
AVERAGE NUMBER OF PROGRAMS PER YEAR 10,000
ESTIMATED 2017 REVENUE $275 million
CAPABILITIES Hosts Global is "a strategic partner for meeting and event planners worldwide," management says. "We offer full-service destination management in over 300 locations through our global alliance of select destination management companies. Our clients receive streamlined global planning, dedicated account management, and superior execution of group programs including meetings, conventions, incentive programs and special events."
NOTEWORTHY EVENTS Recent highlights have included the RIMS 2016 conference, where the team produced 41 events in four days for more than 10,000 attendees, and the Pearl Harbor 75th anniversary event "Fighting Two Wars: Japanese American Veterans Tribute" in Hawaii.
TRENDS TO WATCH "Emergency preparedness continues to be at the forefront of the event industry," management says. "Conversations regarding preparedness are now occurring as a regular part of the planning process. We are also seeing a shorter planning window for events in 2018 and beyond attributed to the geopolitical climate."

 

 

Imprint Group
Denver
www.imprintgroup.com
TOP OFFICER Nicole Marsh, DMCP
AVERAGE NUMBER OF PROGRAMS PER YEAR 550 plus
ESTIMATED 2017 REVENUE $10 million
CAPABILITIES Newly branded with the "Imprint" name, the company formerly known as AXS provides customized and branded experiences for clients, developing creative solutions to promote the client’s brand or message to their audiences. The tools in its arsenal: "Unique and interactive signage or works of art, custom entertainment pops or fully produced shows, and innovative content-driven graphics and AV production," management says. "We become part of their team to insure the fluidity of the messaging is carried out in all stages and aspects of the event experience."
NOTEWORTHY EVENTS Big projects have included the Denver Broncos ring ceremonies for the team's Super Bowl 50 victory. "In addition, we produced several custom Broadway-style shows, including casting, choreography, music, production, costuming and make-up," managements says. "The largest was a 'Hamilton' tribute with a cast of 52 singers, dancers and musicians."
TRENDS TO WATCH Good news: "We’re excited to see the booking window grow and, although we continue to have last-minute requests, we have significant business already contracted for 2018 and beyond," they say. "Additionally, we’re seeing clients increasing budgets in the 11th hour with add-ons to entertainment, activities and gifting being the most common. Requests for custom content or experiences versus the standard off-the-shelf tours, team-building or entertainment options continue to grow as well."

 

 

Koncept Events
Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
www.konceptevents.com
TOP OFFICERS Angie Nelson, Hillary Smith, CSEP
AVERAGE NUMBER OF PROGRAMS PER YEAR 150 to 200
ESTIMATED 2017 REVENUE $10 million to $11 million
CAPABILITIES From its base in South Florida, the team executes events throughout the U.S., Mexico and the Caribbean. "We pride ourselves on creativity, innovation and getting ahead of trends," management says. "For instance, we were one of the first DMCs in the market to do a five-senses experiential dinner in 2015, which is more common now. And last year, we encouraged clients to incorporate wellness into their program's F&B, seating and breaks, which is definitely a 2017 trend."
NOTEWORTHY EVENTS "In the past year, we’ve worked with some of the biggest mega brands on the Fortune 500 list for their incentive programs, award programs and sales meetings," management says. "We are creating a niche as the leading DMC for discerning clients who are looking to elevate their attendee experience. They’ve done it all, so they come to us to provide truly new and remarkable programs. These brands lead the pack and demand greatness and innovation. And we can proudly say, we have entered into master service agreements with many of them because we can provide exactly what they are looking for!"
TRENDS TO WATCH "We are seeing a higher priority being placed on the overall comfort and engagement of the attendees, so we are creating atmospheres and environments that are 'cool' instead of 'corporate,'" managements says. "This rolls into entertainment, speakers, messaging and F&B choices. Designed networking atmospheres like coffee shops or craft breweries aren’t seen as big 'splurges' anymore because brands are seeing a huge value in the quality of interactions they encourage."

 

Kuoni Destination Management
Zurich, Switzerland
www.kuoni-dmusa.com
TOP OFFICER Reto Wilhelm
AVERAGE NUMBER OF PROGRAMS PER YEAR 1,800 (U.S. and Europe)
ESTIMATED 2017 REVENUE $100 million (U.S. and Europe)
CAPABILITIES After an internal reorganization, Kuoni DM now comprises 27 wholly owned offices throughout the U.S. and across Europe--each of which provides strategic, creative and supplemental support for all types of corporate meetings, events, conferences and incentive programs, management says. Recent investments have focused on expanding creative and experiential event design offerings, as well growing talent in the rapidly expanding automotive and pharma sectors.
NOTEWORTHY EVENTS Highlights have included a "festival" in Colorado for 550 guests with three levels of event space; a four-day global sales conference for 1,200 with dining, immersive tech exhibits from vendor partners and a "crazy cool" after-party; and a majestic event for 650 guests at Vienna's Hofburg Palace.
TRENDS TO WATCH Shorter lead times--often measured in weeks--continue to be a very clear trend for the Kuoni destination management business, the team says, creating challenges on many fronts. "Another trend is increasing demand for interactive, experiential solutions--particularly those driven by technology and social media," they add. "The element of surprise--including surprise headliner acts, creative 'big reveals,' etc.--is also a growing trend."

 

 

MetroConnections
Minneapolis
www.metroconnections.com
TOP OFFICERS David Graves, Mike Graves, Tom McCulloch
AVERAGE NUMBER OF PROGRAMS PER YEAR 1,400
ESTIMATED 2017 REVENUE $12 million
CAPABILITIES Four service centers--conference services, event services, production services and transportation services--are combined in one strategic group. The company owns a 35,000-square-foot facility including a prop and set warehouse. Services include team-building as well as food and beverage management.
NOTEWORTHY EVENTS Highlights have included work on the Ryder Cup and events for clients Standard Life Investments, Target Corp., Institute of Internal Auditors, and Family, Career and Community Leaders of America.
TRENDS TO WATCH The company sees a bright future in its headquarters city: "In the Minneapolis area specifically, there are several global and national groups looking for accommodations," management says, with Super Bowl coming in February. "There are also international sports teams visiting, the X Games, along with the NCAA basketball tournaments."

 

 

Ovation Global DMC
Geneva
www.ovationdmc.com
TOP OFFICER Sebastien Tondeur
AVERAGE NUMBER OF PROGRAMS PER YEAR 10,000 plus
ESTIMATED 2017 REVENUE $70 million to $80 million
CAPABILITIES Ovation’s worldwide reach is its noteworthy capability, management says; the company has offices in more than 100 destinations across five continents. Operations comprise 24 wholly owned DMCs and a wide range of strategic partners.
NOTEWORTHY EVENTS Ovation Switzerland oversaw handle a three-day convention for 1,500 attendees, including production for the plenary sessions, get-together party and closing dinner--all with only a three-week lead time. Ovation Spain team continued in its role as key partner to a number of large corporate clients during the Mobile World Congress 2017. Along with VIP services, Ovation Spain also handled 10,000 room nights during the Barcelona-based congress. In addition, Ovation Spain managed three high-end incentives with more than 500 delegates each.
TRENDS TO WATCH The global events industry is feeling the impact of destination choices based on political developments, management notes.

 

 

Pacific World
Singapore, Barcelona
www.pacificworld.com
TOP OFFICERS Selina Chavry, Herve Joseph-Antoine
AVERAGE NUMBER OF PROGRAMS PER YEAR 4,000
ESTIMATED 2017 REVENUE $75 million
CAPABILITIES The 45 Pacific World offices are "fully integrated" as one company with 350 employees worldwide, management says, as opposed to networks of independent DMCs. With in-house creative teams, Pacific World is able to deliver both logistics and event production in 100-plus destinations worldwide. PW has formed strategic alliances with ACCESS in the U.S. and JTB GMT in Japan to cover more than 110 destinations, management says.
NOTEWORTHY EVENTS Big events this past year have included bringing U.S. guests to Monaco, a project that included 1,200 helicopter transfers and private performances. The team was also busy with the Rotary International Convention in Seoul for some 40,000 attendees; here, ensuring safety and devising contingency plans were paramount concerns.
TRENDS TO WATCH "Risk management/response planning and the desire of clients for local immersive activities continue being key this year," management says, "as well as the need to re-discover already known destination--see the destination through the locals' eyes--or go to off-the-beaten-track destinations for meetings and incentives." They add that business practices in China and India are undergoing dramatic changes, requiring suppliers to comply with business ethics, anti-corruption and financial transparency regulations.

 

 

RMC
Basalt, Colo.
www.rmcdmc.com
TOP OFFICERS Rhonda Brewer, Wren Brotzman, Wendy Harper, Paul Menter, Shawn Thomson-Palermo
AVERAGE NUMBER OF PROGRAMS PER YEAR 500
ESTIMATED 2017 REVENUE $32 million
CAPABILITIES Operations range from the U.S. Southeast to Austin, Texas, the Mountain West, California Wine Country, and Los Cabos, Mexico. The watchword for RMC: "Consistency," management says. "RMC’s leadership team is structured to oversee all 400-plus programs with the same attention to detail, no matter which office you are operating your program in."
NOTEWORTHY EVENTS Clients rave about city/town buyouts such as a large buyout in Aspen/Snowmass, Colo., and Park City, Utah; swimming with the whale sharks in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, and a private Kenny Loggins concert on the beach, management says. "In addition, helicopters over Yellowstone--which was a first ever."
TRENDS TO WATCH Business in 2017 is steady and will be up slightly over 2016, management says: "Hotel space is still limited, and clients continue to demand that they are presented new and creative ideas, activities and/or venues for their events."

 

 

Terramar
Los Cabos, Mexico
www.terramardestinations.com
TOP OFFICERS Lee Chipman, Sunny Irvine
AVERAGE NUMBER OF PROGRAMS PER YEAR 180
ESTIMATED 2017 REVENUE $10 million
CAPABILITIES Terramar operates its own fleet with late models for transfers; services also include in-room gifts, decor for theme parties, hospitality desk staff, a proprietary online booking engine, and registration system. Specialties include Baja Outback activities and a media center.
NOTEWORTHY EVENTS Highlights of the past year include one-of-a-kind events in Panama and Los Cabos, Baja California, management says.

 

 

The Destination Manager
Scottsdale, Ariz.
www.thedestinationmanager.com
TOP OFFICER Colleen Horan
AVERAGE NUMBER OF PROGRAMS PER YEAR 500 to 700
ESTIMATED 2017 REVENUE $6 million to $8 million
CAPABILITIES "We have redefined what it means to be a DMC by emphasizing and internalizing event design services," management says. "With three full-time interior designers on staff, their capabilities both enhance and streamline our organic creative process. Transformative event environments are our specialty, and we’re proud to be touted as a leader in this arena."
NOTEWORTHY EVENTS In celebration of Cinco de Mayo, a resort parking lot was transformed into a festive Mexican street fair where 900 guests were treated to a progressive feast for the senses. Six distinct Latin-influenced “restaurant concepts,” each with unique culinary offerings and corresponding design aesthetic, were defined within the 20,000-square-foot space. Beneath a blanket of café lights, guests strolled through the restaurant corridors to discover what each dining destination held in store while an all-female, 15-piece mariachi troupe combed the streets, stopping to delight diners with intimate table-side performances, management says.
TRENDS TO WATCH Arizona continues its recovery from 2008’s economic downturn with the opening of two area resorts--the first in nearly 10 years, management says. "The number of groups willing to host off-property events has significantly declined, while transportation services have successfully endured the ever-popular Uber. Our team is poised to handle these challenges with ease, having expanded our decor and entertainment portfolio, as well as craftily engaging niche vehicle-types in answer to these trends."

 

360 Destination Group
Irvine, Calif.
www.360dg.com
TOP OFFICERS Shelly Archer, Joe Fijol, Trevor Hanks, Sharon Purewal, Pete Samulewicz
AVERAGE NUMBER OF PROGRAMS PER YEAR 700
ESTIMATED 2017 REVENUE $40 million
CAPABILITIES The team serves big markets: California, Arizona, Texas, Chicago and Florida. Its specialty: "The art of event reinvention!" management says. "We take a stuffy corporate meeting and make it feel like the only event in town. Not only do we personally handle all logistics and organization, but we also seamlessly blend that with carefully thought-out event concepts that engagement of attendees."
NOTEWORTHY EVENTS 360 is proud of its "Two Coasts, Two Themes, One Party" event. A 60-foot half-pipe in Los Angeles and Miami served to both unite and divide the launch party’s "urban cool"-inspired themes: edgy, graffiti-chic street on one side, and an elegant, upscale lounge on the other. The result: "Creating identical party spaces simultaneously on opposite coasts, with social media keeping both parties engaged, while bringing together this crowd to enjoy long through the night."
TRENDS TO WATCH It's a "'tech explosion' in every facet and corner of the event and DMC experience for our customers," management says. "Every element of our industry continues to become more and more connected, from planning, on-site social engagement, meeting collateral, execution and especially interactivity surprises when customers don’t even expect it. It’s a digital world, and we are pushing the envelope every day on what is new and never been done before."

 

 

Ultimate Ventures
Dallas
www.uvdmc.com
TOP OFFICERS Val Lenington, CSEP, DMCP; Laurie Sprouse, DMCP
AVERAGE NUMBER OF PROGRAMS PER YEAR 160
ESTIMATED 2017 REVENUE $7 million to $8 million
CAPABILITIES Serving Dallas and Fort Worth, Texas, the UV team doesn't "rest on our laurels," management says. "Our team is always striving to create innovative new experiences for our clients, such as 'Yappy Hour' happy hours, incorporating rescue dogs into networking events, or life-size foosball tournaments at AT&T Stadium."
NOTEWORTHY EVENTS Management singles out these events as highlights: "Stunning golden awards banquet at the Dallas Convention Center for 3,200 people; Texas Star award-winning '80s themed event with a community giveback component; intimate trolley progressive dining experience through downtown Dallas; and events at the brand-new Dallas Cowboys headquarters and The Star in Frisco!"
TRENDS TO WATCH Lead time stays tight: "We typically have a very short time frame in which to present a creative proposal and equally short window for flawless execution," management says.

There’s Strength in Numbers

Many DMCs join groups that function as marketing networks to bring in business and provide operations support. Here are the big players:

 

DMC Alliance
Las Vegas
www.dmc-alliance.com
CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER Stephanie Arone
THE BASICS Invitation-only to join, limited to one member per destination. "We are not a single brand, but we celebrate the individuality of each company, with a common belief that personal attention and service are our collective commodity as an organization," management says. Members must be small businesses, with brick-and-mortar offices in a single destination. Companies must be active members of ADME, be in business in their destination for more than five years, carry $2 million in professional liability Insurance, and submit client references to assure quality in service.
AREA SERVED U.S.
DMCs IN SYSTEM 10 plus
2017 SYSTEMWIDE REVENUE FORECAST $12 million to $15 million
TRENDS Longer-term bookings are slowly but surely increasing, with a trend toward re-establishing conference themes that will cross from the program content through the special events, they say. "Entertainment, branding and experiential concepts to engage attendees and maximize the overall guest experience are growing in inclusion."

 

 

DMC Network
Addison, Tex.
www.dmcnetwork.com
CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER Dan Tavrytzky
THE BASICS "We are the meeting industry’s only fully member-owned community of destination management companies, operating in 75 destinations," management says. Members are required to have their ADMC designation from the Association of Destination Management Executives International; "One hundred percent of DMC Network members have their ADMC accreditation."
AREA SERVED U.S., Canada, Puerto Rico, Mexico and Panama directly, with Europe, Asia, Africa, Arabia and South America through alliances with Ovation Global DMC.
DMCs IN SYSTEM 33
2017 SYSTEMWIDE REVENUE FORECAST $150 million plus
TRENDS Today's pressures include "short-term business followed by always seeking something new exciting to 'wow' clients," they say.

 

Euromic
Brussels, Chicago
www.euromic.com
CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICERS Joe Lustenberger, Christophe Verstraete
THE BASICS Members are independent DMCs, one per country, who join by invitation only. Members receive sales and marketing support, trade show representation, market intelligence and client communication services.
AREA SERVED Worldwide: Europe, Middle East, Africa, Asia, and Latin and South America
DMCs IN SYSTEM 50
2017 SYSTEMWIDE REVENUE FORECAST $540 million (DMCs' combined)
TRENDS Both planners and their organization clients are enthusiastic about two big trends: wellness and volunteering, Euromic says.

 

Global DMC Partners
Washington
www.globaldmcpartners.com
CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER Catherine Chaulet
THE BASICS Independently owned and operated DMCs pay a fee to join our partnership. Member DMCs must have a minimum of five years in the industry; two bank references; three client and vendor references; at least $2 million in liability insurance; and membership in two national professional organizations. Members represent more than 500 locations worldwide.
AREA SERVED Worldwide
DMCs IN SYSTEM 65 plus
2017 SYSTEMWIDE REVENUE FORECAST $275 million to $300 million
TRENDS "Emergency preparedness continues to be top of mind for meeting planners, so we have created a crisis management template that is accessible to clients through all of our DMC partners," GDP says. "The DMCs and clients can work together to tailor the template to the destination and the specific program or event. We are also beginning to see that global politics is affecting the travel and meetings industry. Depending on the attendee profile, the uncertainty surrounding a U.S. travel ban has caused some global meeting planners to consider destinations outside the U.S. for their meetings and programs."


Note: DMC groups here represent companies with equity positions in their operations and are included based on revenue estimates. Unless otherwise noted, all information is provided by the companies listed. Errors and omissions sometimes occur; it is the policy of Special Events to correct errors promptly.

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