Special Events has just published the 13th edition of its “25 Top DMCs” list, which lists the biggest players in the DMC world. Here, we share some of their insights into what’s now and what’s next for special events …
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EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED
"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."
ACCESS Destination Services, San Diego
LONGER LEAD TIMES COMING
“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 is growing among our majors clients as a common expectation.”
Advantage Destination and Meeting Services, North Miami Beach, Fla.
BUDGETS GET BIGGER
"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," management says. "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, teambuilding or entertainment options continue to grow as well."
AXS Group, Denver
SOMETHING TO ‘WRITE HOME ABOUT’
“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.”
CSI DMC, Washington
NOT JUST A BROKER
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."
Hello! Destination Management, Orlando, Fla.
READY FOR EMERGENCIES
"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."
Hosts Global, Las Vegas
COOL, NOT CORPORATE
"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."
Koncept Events, Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
THE TECH EXPLOSION
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, onsite 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."
360 Destination Group, Irvine, Calif.
See the full story in the Summer 2017 issue of Special Events. Not a subscriber? We can fix that; just click here.