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14th Annual Special Events' 25 Top DMCs

It's our annual look at the biggest brands in the world of DMCs—the pros with all the inside info on all the best destinations.

ACCESS Destination Services
San Diego
TOP OFFICER Jennifer Miller, DMCP
ESTIMATED 2018 REVENUE $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, 49-year-old global brand. Shared standards include longevity, insurance coverage, and high levels of customer service. The ACCESS family consists of 17 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 2017 include the annual production of the Philadelphia Thanksgiving Day Parade, which drew more than 750,000 spectators; multiple high-profile U.S. and international programs, including a Mardi Gras experience for a major international corporation featuring more than 1,000 attendees; production of the Sharing Cities Summit hosted by the City of New York, drawing civic leaders from 22 global municipalities; and the grand opening of Hershey Co.’s flagship Chocolate World store in Manhattan's Times Square. In keeping with its commitment to corporate social responsibility, the company has also participated in a variety of events including March of Dimes, Wreaths Across America, the Dallas Children’s Advocacy Center, and--for 18 years--the adoption of a local Head Start school in San Diego.
TRENDS TO WATCH "Consolidation continues both within the industry and amongst customers," management says. "Buyers are looking to source nationally, asking for consistency and accountability across multiple locations. Quality is more of a driver than ever before."

Advantage Destination and Meetings Services
North Miami Beach, Fla.
TOP OFFICERS Annie Kelly, Jim Post
ESTIMATED 2018 REVENUE $9 million to $11 million
CAPABILITIES Serving big Florida destinations Miami, Orlando, Fort Lauderdale, Naples, Marco Island, Palm Beach and Boca Raton, this DMC excels in the industry "because we listen to what our customer likes/wants--and just as importantly, what they don’t like/want," they say. "We also pay special attention to details and put together proposals that are custom tailored and not cookie-cutter. Our in-house, one-stop floral and design services continue to thrive as a value-add for our clients."
NOTEWORTHY EVENTS Highlights this year: a global sales conference for a huge airline for 1,200 guests, featuring a valet offering logo'd flip flops so guests could leave imprints on the beach; a 500-person program with a selection of 14 activities per day over two days; and a "progressive dinner"-style event that shuttled 400 guests from the hotel in 20 separate limos to a yacht for a cocktail-hour cruise, followed by a Cuban-style beach party at a luxury beach club.
TRENDS TO WATCH "With budgets on the rise, companies are adding back teambuilding programs and, in particular, corporate social responsibility programs that give back to the local communities," management says. "What’s better than having fun and building camaraderie amongst your employees? Doing this while giving back to the community. Programs such as Cheeriodicals, Helping Hands, and Toms for Tots are just a few of these programs that are leading the pack."


ESTIMATED 2018 REVENUE $150 million to $200 million
CAPABILITIES With 27 destination locations in its system, the company comprises U.S. corporate offices as well as U.S. locally owned franchise offices. "We offer a full array of destination services, including event production, meetings and conference management, multi-faceted transportation logistics, authentic tours and excursions, teambuilding activities, site selection, creative themes and more," management says. Recent acquisitions include Destination Nashville, Briggs New York, and DSC in the Rocky Mountains. "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," they say.
NOTEWORTHY EVENTS AlliedPRA worked as a trusted advisor to produce an award-winning incentive program for 800 guests of a large financial institution, with elements including an immersive dining experience utilizing 3D video mapping that blended with perfectly choreographed sound and lighting effects. The technical masterpiece took six months to design and brought the nature of Hawaii to life.
TRENDS TO WATCH Management is concerned that the DMC sector "has managed to lose the position it rightly deserves in the business events space," management says. "Through scale and a unique business model we are building, we have a shot at creating new value for our clients, which is otherwise not possible in our sector today. The market expectations are changing, so we need to show up fresh with ideas that pique curiosity and bring new experiences that help elevate business events into a more prominent position in the broader business community."


BBC Destination Management
Global DMC Partner

New Orleans
ESTIMATED 2018 REVENUE $5 million to $6 million
CAPABILITIES The veteran DMC relies on its "creativity in every facet of event design," custom decor design thanks to its in-house studio, "superior vendor relations," transportation services, and "passion for the partnerships and the product."
NOTEWORTHY EVENTS Highlights have included the 18-hour closure of the main street in the central business district of New Orleans for an outdoor workout event for 20,000 fitness clients; "Mardi Gras Madness" on the banks of Mississippi for 4,500 guests with five major indoor and outdoor entertainment and theme areas; and converting a warehouse into a Cajun swamp voodoo event for 600.
TRENDS TO WATCH Hurdles for the industry include shorter confirmation windows, stricter budgets, and increased demand for more creativity and more value for dollar spent.


Bixel & Co.
DMC Network
Los Angeles
TOP OFFICER Dabney Bixel
ESTIMATED 2018 REVENUE $10 million to $10.5 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 Bixel has had a "magnificent" 2017-18, the team says. Although, sad to say, natural disasters in Mexico City and Florida brought event business to Bixel's home turf of L.A., "the Bixel team worked relentlessly to make the programs flawless," they say. One of the events was a "Neighborhoods of L.A." event, hosted in the heart of Los Angeles at L.A. Live. The team also produced "a gorgeous event" at Paramount Studios for a tech client, which included a guest speaker who is the "futurist" for Paramount, who gave a presentation on innovation in the entertainment and technology sectors.
TRENDS TO WATCH "We have once again noticed a great deal of last-minute requests to handle programs," management says. "Business has also been difficult to predict/project in general." In some good news, "We have seen a greater amount of International business than usual."


TOP OFFICER David Hainline
ESTIMATED 2018 REVENUE $38 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, teambuilding, meeting management, transportation and staffing. "In addition to our strategic office locations, CSI partners with clients in any location, bringing destination research and industry intel to wherever their programs may be next," management says.
NOTEWORTHY EVENTS CSI has "continued to expand the depth and breadth of our creative events" in the past year, management says, including a musical mashup celebration for millennial women in technology, an exclusive, historically themed incentive program in Washington, and developing a customized culinary showcase styled after the South Beach Food and Wine Festival.
TRENDS TO WATCH “The necessity for a DMC to demonstrate its ability to be a partner specializing in innovation has really come to the forefront in the past year,” management says. “This ability to present unique venues, activities and entertainment that our clients cannot procure on their own has become paramount. Our business has moved beyond simply being the logistical implementers to becoming a strategic partner that works together with clients to meet their objectives through the exceptional execution of these innovative and unique experiences.”


Dallas Fan Fares
TOP OFFICER Kaye Burkhardt
ESTIMATED 2018 REVENUE $10 million
CAPABILITIES The company provides DMC services in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, along with managing corporate hospitality at major sports events, ground transportation, teambuilding programs and theme parties.
NOTEWORTHY EVENTS Events over the past year included DMC services for sports events including 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. The big influx of companies into this DMC's market "means many new opportunities for us in all service segments of our company," they say.


Destination Concepts Inc.
Global DMC Partner
San Diego
TOP OFFICERS Brynne Frost, Ana Reilly
ESTIMATED 2018 REVENUE $21 million to $22 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 include two completely custom venue builds from the ground up. "From sketches to finishing, we built a massive barn-like structure in the middle of the desert," they say, featuring hand-weathered wood, airy walls to take in the views, and horses at a hitching post. "We were also tasked with building a custom deck on the top of a mountain with only four-wheel drive access and no power or water. With two tons of material, strategic engineering and our creative design team, we were able to transform an empty desert mountaintop into a truly custom venue and experience for the client."
TRENDS TO WATCH "We are seeing our clients request brand immersion more often, and to showcase their brands during their event in unique ways," management says. "We have taken on the more subtle experiential events to the very visual forward elements woven in throughout the event. Clients are taking advantage of the evening for a big reveal or a brand experience."



Destinations by Design
Las Vegas
TOP OFFICERS Jim Nelson, Joyce Sherman Nelson
ESTIMATED 2018 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 the unique event “Dinner Within A Dream," where throughout dinner service, specialty entertainment performances were accompanied by coordinating video projections, taking guests on a journey through various dreamscapes. The team also brought home two Special Events Gala Awards for its event "The Grand Banquet."
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
TOP OFFICER Satoshi Inoue
ESTIMATED 2018 REVENUE $2.5 billion
CAPABILITIES The team comprises 13 DMC partner companies, covering a total of 140 destinations over five continents. "These DMCs offer a wide range of services that include the arrangement of MICE, meetinsg and events, as well as corporate travel across the world," management says.
NOTEWORTHY EVENTS Event highlights include the Coca-Cola Summer Travel promotion across the whole of Europe for 2,000 prize winners, management of the 42nd G7 Summit in Japan, the Nagoya Women’s marathon and the Italian Trade Mission to Melbourne.
TRENDS TO WATCH "The economic development in Asia, the Middle East 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 mind-set, we have years of stability as one of the strongest global DMC networks worldwide."


Global Works Events and Destination Management
Naples, Fla.
TOP OFFICERS Katie Adams, Noelle Christie
ESTIMATED 2018 REVENUE $6 million
CAPABILITIES The team is guided by one principle: "Exceeding our clients' expectations," they say. "Our resident experts are ready to represent your program's needs to the local market." Their motto: To create "events that inspire and experiences of a lifetime.”
NOTEWORTHY EVENTS Event highlights range from the Bluesmobile--featuring the Blues Brothers act leaving guests in awe by wildly driving down the beach with sirens blaring--to facilitating a swoon-worthy makeup product launch for a USA mega brand, management says. GWE also had the privilege of managing an exclusive collection of 100 rare automobiles for private events on the Paradise Coast. "GWE is honored to have assisted with programs displaced by Hurricane Irma," they say. "Utilizing strategic coordination between our Naples headquarters and additional offices, GWE seamlessly relocated events from Naples and Marco Island to new destinations."
TRENDS TO WATCH "Creating authentic experiential networking events, whether at a unique off-property venue or transforming a ballroom at a resort, has been become more of a request from clients," management says. "This can be done through merging trending concepts such as sports and technology or interactive experiences with shareable food, health-conscious initiatives, or unique beverage aesthetics." They add, "2018 has been the year where we are seeing planners shift back towards big reveals, name acts and guest speakers with a political tie."



Hello! Destination Management
Orlando, Fla.
ESTIMATED 2018 REVENUE $102.5 million
CAPABILITIES Hello combines expertise in traditional DMC logistical services with an "absolute commitment" to cutting-edge creative program and event design, management says. "Our teams serve popular destinations in and around Orlando, Fla., South Florida, Washington, Nashville, Tenn., Texas, Arizona, Las Vegas, and northern and southern California."
NOTEWORTHY EVENTS The team points with pride to a landmark event at the IPW conference for 6,500 invited VIP guests and 1,500 public attendees. The event showcased Washington and the United States in the first-ever private event held on the National Mall. Hello managed more than one mile of barricades, nearly a mile of fence, more than 20 different government agencies, 65 National Park Service officers, and private security. Attendees were treated to a fully catered concert with Aloe Blacc and other performers.
TRENDS TO WATCH "We’ve noticed an increasing delay of decision-making by clients, which can impact the types of services that are available to them for their program," management says. "What will ultimately determine our success as an industry is how we respond to these tight time frames. Hello has built infrastructure and put processes in place to help track and clearly communicate milestones to clients in order to bring awareness of important deadlines."


Hosts Global
Las Vegas
TOP OFFICER Jennifer Patino, DMCP
ESTIMATED 2018 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 IPW closing night event by Hosts DC, where more than 4,000 attendees arrived at Washington's Nationals Park baseball stadium for an interactive three-hour reception complete with once-in-a-lifetime behind-the-scenes ballpark experiences and a showcase of local food, beverage and entertainment. "The event was the most impactful in the conference’s 49-year history," management says with pride.
TRENDS TO WATCH The biggest trend: the General Data Protection Regulation deadline, management says. "Under GDPR, the client/DMC relationship now encompasses the roles of data controller--client--and data processor--DMC. As such, we have new responsibilities to each other, requiring new conversations to ensure we stay on top of our respective data chains and provide exemplary experiences for our guests. Change management is never easy. Having to confront legacy data systems, clean them up and manage them in new ways--as required by GDPR--is a monumental undertaking."


Imprint Group
DMC Network
ESTIMATED 2018 REVENUE $16 million
CAPABILITIES This full-service DMC and experiential event company serves Colorado, north and central Florida, and Las Vegas, creating one-of-a-kind "events with identity" for clients, they say. Working with a team with "more than 500 years of combined experience allows us to look at each event, experience or solution with a unique angle in providing what's best for each client's specific goals and objectives." Imprint also owns and operates a full-service entertainment and production company developing bands, unique live acts, teambuilding programs, and custom shows, along with full-scale AV and production services for meetings and conferences.
NOTEWORTHY EVENTS The big news: expansion into Las Vegas with the acquisition of AWG. The year's event roster has included a three-day company relocation celebration, a Bollywood-themed gala with a Broadway-level custom show, a big cross-country transportation move for nearly 1,500 guests, and volunteer coordination for three major events across the country totaling nearly 5,000 volunteers.
TRENDS TO WATCH "We’re noticing a renewed emphasis in branding at events, showcasing the client’s logo or message in unique ways," management says. "This is accomplished through custom decor pieces, lighting effects and temporary installations such as floors stickers, bus wraps and other signage. We believe that the demand for these branded experiences is the result of the ongoing and continually growing presence of social media. The more a client can get their logo, colors or other brand images displayed throughout an event, the more likely it will be captured and shared on the various social media outlets, gaining additional exposure to their targeted audiences and beyond."


IVI DMC2 Enterprises
Cancun, Mexico
TOP OFFICER Jose-Manuel Garcia
ESTIMATED 2018 REVENUE $10 million
CAPABILITIES The company's core strengths are its passion, discipline, knowledge, value for cost, and efficiency, management says. IVI operates nine offices--Los Cabos, Puerto Vallarta, Riviera Nayarit, Cancun and Riviera Maya, Mexico; Cuba; the Dominican Republic, Costa Rica and Panama. The company is ISO 9001:2015 certified.
TRENDS TO WATCH Clients today are drawn to the Caribbean as a destination and are on the hunt for authentic Mexican experiences, management says.



Koncept Events
Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
TOP OFFICERS Angie Nelson, Hillary Smith, CSEP
ESTIMATED 2018 REVENUE $13 million
CAPABILITIES From its base in South Florida, the team executes events throughout the U.S., Mexico and the Caribbean. "The creativity wheel is always cranking within the walls of KE and this year, we are full-steam ahead on building personalized 'experiential into every nook and cranny we can find within our client’s agendas," management says. "As we evaluate every line item within the event's budget, we ask ourselves how we can touch each attendee in a way that resonates with them long after the fact. Each element must have a greater purpose that ties back to the conference messaging and overall management objectives. Otherwise, it’s out, and we provide our clients with more clever ways to spend their money."
NOTEWORTHY EVENTS Koncept has been on the move this year, with an X Ambassadors concert on the lawn of the Fontainebleau Miami Beach, and a Kentucky Derby viewing party with simulated betting and the race projected on big outdoor LED screens at The Breakers Palm Beach. In New Mexico, the team transformed a movie set into the Wild West with shoot-out reenactments, chuck wagon foodservice, and Western bands. They also rented San Diego’s oldest winery and created a version of "Coachella meets Napa meets SXSW." "Back in South Florida, we bought out Marlins stadium and did a sports extravaganza with a name-act entertainer, games, ballpark food, batting cage, locker room tours, and a baseball card photo op. And of course, we can’t forget our 'Game of Thrones' event in Arizona, complete with a fire-breathing dragon!"
TRENDS TO WATCH "The past year has really been about smart spending," management says. "More clients are asking for concessions, master service agreements and volume-buying discounts. We are also being proactive in providing clients with ways to save, such as re-purposing items from the welcome into a hospitality or after-party."


Kuoni Destination Management
Zurich, Switzerland
TOP OFFICER Reto Wilhelm
ESTIMATED 2018 REVENUE $100 million (U.S. and Europe)
CAPABILITIES Kuoni DM comprises 29 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. "With resources fully dedicated to creative and experiential event design services, JTB-owned Kuoni Destination Management has seen an increase in new and repeat business among clients requiring creativity and interactive, experiential event elements," management says.
NOTEWORTHY EVENTS Highlights of the past year have included a four-hour retro "We Rock the City" bash in Boston for 1,700 attendees, where interactive entertainment and F&B experiences were revealed throughout the venue; a four-day global sales conference for 1,700 in Orlando, Fla., with one evening of "mind-blowing VR, AR, and AI experiences, as well as gorgeous 3D mapping"; and a product launch across six European countries at which 11,000 VIP gamers and journalists experienced an immersive, highly customized environment inspired by the client’s newly launched video game.
TRENDS TO WATCH Increasingly shorter lead times continue to be a challenging trend, management says. Also, “creativity” is the most frequent driver of buyers’ DMC selection, they say.


TOP OFFICERS David Graves, Mike Graves, Tom McCulloch
ESTIMATED 2018 REVENUE $12 million
CAPABILITIES Conference services, event services, production services and transportation services are combined in one strategic group. The company also owns a 35,000-square-foot facility including offices, a prop and set warehouse, fabrication shop, plus a content and video editing office.
NOTEWORTHY EVENTS Big events in Minneapolis, such as the X Games and Super Bowl LII, have kept the team busy providing transportation and event services.
TRENDS TO WATCH The team is looking forward to servicing big events in its Minneapolis and San Diego markets.

Ovation Global DMC
TOP OFFICER Sebastien Tondeur
ESTIMATED 2018 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 26 wholly owned DMCs and a wide range of strategic partners.
NOTEWORTHY EVENTS Ovation Switzerland oversaw 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. The Ovation Spain team continued in its role as key partner to a number of large corporate clients during the Mobile World Congress 2018. 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, Spain
TOP OFFICERS Selina Chavry, Herve Joseph-Antoine
ESTIMATED 2018 REVENUE $75 million
CAPABILITIES The 45-plus Pacific World offices are "fully integrated" as one company with 350 employees worldwide, management says. "With in-house creative teams, Pacific World is able to deliver event design, production and logistics in 100-plus destinations worldwide. We track the industry trends and are constantly listening to our clients’ needs to design new products for meetings, incentives and events that engage guests with the destinations, their people and their culture, but also with the corporate brands hosting the meeting, incentive or event."
NOTEWORTHY EVENTS Big events this past year have included a cocktail party for 1,000 guests in a former bullring in Barcelona; an event in Monaco for 1,200 that required extensive helicopter, limousine and vintage-car transfers; a custom excursion program including landmark monuments and venues in Monte Carlo; and an innovative project launch in a Singapore warehouse offering VR and holographic projections.
TRENDS TO WATCH Major trends include events with corporate social responsibility elements and clients' desire for authenticity and destinations that are off the beaten track. "The powerful stories of the locals and living testimonials of the destination's history and culture are the focus of many of the activities we design for clients," management says. Also important: incorporating risk management and response elements into programs.


Southwest Conference Planners
DMC Network
Scottsdale, Ariz.
ESTIMATED 2018 REVENUE $10 million to $14 million
CAPABILITIES Company provides DMC and transportation services throughout Arizona.
NOTEWORTHY EVENTS The team offers a variety of themed events, including Tribal Tide, where guests dine in teepees, and Industrial Desert Garden, where guests enjoy desert scenery while dining beneath a huge pergola.
TRENDS TO WATCH "The DMC industry is more competitive than ever," management says, with "much more bidding than in the past, and a lot more short-term business."


DMC Network
Los Cabos, Mexico
TOP OFFICERS Lee Chipman, Sunny Irvine
ESTIMATED 2018 REVENUE $12.5 million
CAPABILITIES Big changes this year, as the veteran Mexican specialist expanded to San Francisco with the acquisition of Cappa and Graham. "Terramar has renewed its entire fleet of vehicles, expanded its in-room gift service to Cancun and Puerto Vallarta, and has specialized in bigger, more complex events," management says.
NOTEWORTHY EVENTS Management points with pride to "the largest program ever done in Los Cabos--an incentive group of 5,400 participants," they say. "The company has also coordinated important industry events and very successful familiarization trips in our destinations."
TRENDS TO WATCH "The confirmation window and the economy seem steady for the near future," management says. "We provide estimated costs for events two or three years in advance, and we are getting used to that trend." A big challenge: Fly-by-night would-be competitors. "DMCs that are not regulated in any way," they say. "They can 'open' and 'close' their office without any control, and it affects the image and reputation of accredited DMCs." Another challenge is to compete with hotels for off-site events, they note.


The Destination Manager
Global DMC Partner
Scottsdale, Ariz.
TOP OFFICER Colleen Horan
ESTIMATED 2018 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 The team's portfolio includes stylish themes such as Navajo Nouveau, Desert Modernism, and Noche De La Luna.



360 Destination Group
Irvine, Calif.
TOP OFFICERS Shelly Archer, Joe Fijol, Trevor Hanks, Sharon Purewal, Pete Samulewicz
ESTIMATED 2018 REVENUE $30 million plus
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 engage attendees. It's all built on the foundation of being an extension of the client's team at every stage of the program procress."
NOTEWORTHY EVENTS Management points with pride to an "over the top" hotel buyout in Ojai, Calif., for 350 guests over the course of five days. The "Mucho Miami" six-day incentive trip transformed a hotel into South Beach for 700 guests, including a Gloria Estefan lookalike.
TRENDS TO WATCH Planning corporate incentive events and travel is tough today: "Believe it or not, there are companies that employ people of five generations," management notes, from the Silent Generation to Generation Z. The 360 team strives to find destination-specific options and activities to keep everyone engaged.


Ultimate Ventures
DMC Network
TOP OFFICERS Val Lenington, CSEP, DMCP; Laurie Sprouse, CMP, DMCP
ESTIMATED 2018 REVENUE $8 million to $9 million
CAPABILITIES Serving Dallas and Fort Worth, Texas, the UV team celebrates its 25th anniversary this year. "Within the last year, we’ve successfully executed four massive transportation programs for programs ranging from 4,500 to 7,000 people involving complex logistics, and hundreds of field staff/vehicles."
NOTEWORTHY EVENTS Management singles out these events as highlights: A weeklong program four years in the making, its Special Events Gala Award-winning "Abstract Koi Pond" event, and a Winter Wonderland party that included a Build-A-Bear station for the local Boys and Girls Club.
TRENDS TO WATCH Business is strong, management says, as "Tax reform seems to be playing a role as companies have more money to spend and realize they need to invest it in educating, rewarding and retaining their staff, translating to more meetings and events.”

NOTE: DMC groups represent companies with equity positions in their operations and are included based on revenue estimates provided by the companies. Should you be on this list? Tell us at [email protected].


There’s strength in numbers

Many DMCs join group that function as marketing networks to bring in business and provide operations support.


DMC Alliance
Las Vegas
CEO Stephanie Arone, DMCP
THE BASICS Invitation-only to join, limited to one member per destination. Members must be small businesses, with brick-and-mortar offices in a single destination. Companies must be active members of ADMEI, 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.
2018 SYSTEMWIDE REVENUE FORECAST $11 million to $13 million
TRENDS "We are seeing an increase in domestic bookings in the past year, with a mix of advance bookings--six months or more--and short-term--six weeks or less--which is a great sign that the economy is strong," they say.


DMC Network
Addison, Texas
CEO 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."
AREAS SERVED U.S., Canada, Puerto Rico, Mexico and Panama directly, with Europe, Asia, Africa, Arabia, Central America and South America through alliances with preferred partner DMCs.
2018 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.

Brussels, Chicago
CEOs 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.
AREAS SERVED Worldwide: Europe, Middle East, Africa, Asia, and Latin and South America
2018 SYSTEMWIDE REVENUE FORECAST $540 million (DMCs combined)
TRENDS Short lead times create challenges on all fronts, management says. "Demand for interactive real-time technology is a growing trend. We need to be prepared to offer alternatives anytime, and deliver top-notch services under any circumstances."


Global DMC Partners
CEO Catherine Chaulet
THE BASICS Independently owned and operated DMCs pay a fee to join the partnership. Member DMCs must have a minimum of 10 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.
DMCs IN SYSTEM 65 plus
2018 SYSTEMWIDE REVENUE FORECAST $275 million to $300 million
TRENDS The General Data Protection Regulation is center stage at GDP, as the team works to make sure all members are up to date on data security, consent and privacy requirements. Another big trend: the desire of millennials for a more laid-back experience that they choose, "versus participating in planned group activities or tours."

Preferred DMCs
Barcelona, Spain
CEO Marc Schwabach
THE BASICS This new group--which debuted in May--recruits members by invitation only, for which they get marketing support. Members must have ADMEI membership, association participation, and certification or accreditation.
AREAS SERVED Europe, Scandinavia
TRENDS Budgets are improving but lead times are still short. Clients are better informed today and demand creative programs with "once in a lifetime" experiences.

This was only one of the valuable articles in the Summer issue of Special Events. Don't you need a subscription? Of course you do; just click here.


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