TOP OFFICER Jennifer Miller, DMCP
AVERAGE NUMBER OF PROGRAMS PER YEAR 2,000 to 2,500
ESTIMATED 2020 REVENUE $100 million
CAPABILITIES Founded in 1969, ACCESS offers a wide range of services, from creative special event and program design to transportation logistics, CSR programs and recreational activities. “We don’t just focus on what your event should be, but why your event should be at all,” they say.
NOTEWORTHY EVENTS Standout events from the past year include Music City’s 3-D Block Party Experience, where the ACCESS Nashville [Tenn.] team shut down Broadway in the heart of the city for a private block-party experience for 4,000 guests. The huge event took over four iconic honky-tonks and set up a giant tent in the middle of the street. In Denver, the Colorado team transformed a hangar space into an interactive exploration of all things Colorado. Guests were served concessions via roaming beer bikes and were invited to slackline, raft the virtual rapids, or try to beat the pro on an oversized rock-climbing wall.
TRENDS TO WATCH “There’s no question that risk management will be something the entire hospitality industry will continue to focus on this year and beyond,” management says. “More than ever before, DMCs will have to work more closely with hotels, venues and supplier partners to ensure the health and safety of program participants. Group sizes and number of events are likely to decline in the short term, and as a result, clients will be expecting an event greater ROI on those events.”
ADVANTAGE DESTINATION AND MEETING SERVICES
North Miami Beach, Fla.
TOP OFFICER Jim Post
AVERAGE NUMBER OF PROGRAMS PER YEAR 350 to 375
ESTIMATED 2020 REVENUE $11 million to $13 million
CAPABILITIES Serving big Florida destinations Miami, Orlando, Fort Lauderdale, Boca Raton, Palm Beach, Naples, Marco Island, and the Florida Keys, this DMC was certified this year as 100 percent LGBTQ-owned and -operated; “This designation allows our corporate clients the ability to claim minority dollar spend when utilizing our services,” management says.
NOTEWORTHY EVENTS Highlights of the past year have included a Super Bowl event for Bud Light and Bud Light Seltzer, with a graffiti artist, strolling oyster shuckers, and a branded flip-flop station. For another client, a global manufacturer of batteries, the team organized a battery-operated golf cart tour of Miami’s Wynwood design district. Guests glided through the trendy neighborhood on their carts, then enjoyed lunch at the Wynwood Walls. Carbon footprint: zero.
TRENDS TO WATCH “With the current global situation, we are focusing on our own backyard and supporting the communities that support us,” they say, such as working for a local nonprofit that aids first responders. “The trend to give back locally is immensely popular.” A second big trend: flexible, amicable change and cancellation clauses for client programs. “We have found that clients want to work with us to either move their program dates to later this year or bring them back in 2021, and we are working with them to make this happen. Clients are looking for DMCs who will work with them to get through these trying times with flexibility and forward-thinking solutions,” they say.
BIXEL & CO.
A DMC Network Company
TOP OFFICER Dabney Bixel
AVERAGE NUMBER OF PROGRAMS PER YEAR 300
ESTIMATED 2020 REVENUE $10 million to $10.5 million
CAPABILITIES Management points with pride to its reputation for producing “unforgettable events coupled with unparalleled execution, in addition to exhibiting a masterful grasp of our destination’s ins and outs.” The L.A.-born and -bred team notes the longevity and diverse interests of its members, giving them “unrivaled knowledge of our destination, ranging from iconic Los Angeles landmarks to the hippest new restaurants and nightspots, as well as access to many exclusive venues and activities.” They add, “From Fortune 500 companies to boutique independent firms, our diverse clientele entrusts us with their most critical event, destination, incentive and meeting needs.”
NOTEWORTHY EVENTS Highlights over the past year have included a “spectacular” five-day citywide program in downtown Los Angeles for 1,800 people; “This was a comprehensive and constantly changing project that required utmost attention to detail, ranging from daytime meetings, diverse activities, dine-arounds and evening events. It became especially technical when we produced 11 events at 11 different venues in the same evening simultaneously, which was a unique challenge and, ultimately, an impeccable success,” they say. Another highlight was an event that the team produced at a majestic L.A. mansion for an Ivy League University’s alumni group; “The event felt very intimate, but also lively and fun, boasting an elegant aura and a fresh and chic aesthetic,” the team says.
TRENDS TO WATCH “One of the major trends we continue to observe is our clients’ focus on taking an experiential approach to their events and programs,” management says. “At Bixel, we have always concentrated on leaving a lasting impression on our guests by providing engaging experiences, so this was nothing new for us.” The team points to “a sharp increase” in companies wanting to strengthen the bond of their teams by calling for team-building activities.
A DMC Network Company
TOP OFFICER Janet Holliday
AVERAGE NUMBER OF PROGRAMS PER YEAR 50 to 75
ESTIMATED 2020 REVENUE $5 million to $6 million
CAPABILITIES This company “stays relevant in our market thanks to the power and creativity of reinvention,” management says. “When our clients want something different from what we first propose, we adjust and innovate. When our market dictates a new opportunity, we find the source and fill the need.” Local expertise is the difference: “Our roots run deep in San Antonio,” they say. “Our advantage is our local expertise among sales, creative and operation team members living and working in our city.”
NOTEWORTHY EVENTS The team tailored an event for a client in wealth management with an evening at a Ferrari dealership, complete with a gourmet chef, test-driving, and exclusive access to the private Ferrari vault. For a new spin on the holiday party, “We flipped a traditional masquerade theme on its head by incorporating three elements: Venetian masquerade, an underground speakeasy complete with a jazzy pianist, and an after-party with stilt-walkers and a major headliner,” they say.
TRENDS TO WATCH “CE DMC is championing sustainability by incorporating green practices into our events and service standard,” management says. “Great clients have allowed us the chance to create completely vegan events that also give back to the community. One example includes leveraging our relationship at the City of San Antonio to reuse and plant centerpieces along our iconic River Walk.” The big force confronting the industry: “The reaction and ripple effect from the COVID-19 pandemic,” management says. “These are very uncertain times, and we need to—virtually—gather together as a hospitality community now, more than ever, to remind clients the value of face-to-face meetings.”
TOP OFFICER David Hainline
AVERAGE NUMBER OF PROGRAMS PER YEAR 300 to 500
ESTIMATED 2020 REVENUE $30 million to $40 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 regional offices, CSI partners with clients in any location, bringing destination research and industry intel to wherever programs may be next,” they say.
NOTEWORTHY EVENTS Recent events have included a first-of-its-kind team-building event that featured 40 free-standing mini kitchens constructed for a VIP incentive program, and a block party for several thousand attendees on the historic Copley Plaza in Boston. “In the last couple of months, we worked to help clients design innovative and captivating digital gatherings, as well as hybrid digital and in-person gatherings that connect participants from around the world,” management adds.
TRENDS TO WATCH In the wake of the COVID pandemic, “Connectivity and virtual programming are vital to the growth and continued success of events,” management says. “People crave connectivity, and we are here to bring them not only high-quality streaming and digital support but deliver hands-on elements as well. Trends on the rise include tactile accompaniments to the virtual sphere, from gifting and community give-backs to live entertainment and breakout sessions with activations.”
A DMC Network Company
TOP OFFICERS Sharon Siegel, Nicholas Zazzera
AVERAGE NUMBER OF PROGRAMS PER YEAR 300 plus
ESTIMATED 2020 REVENUE $5.5 million plus
CAPABILITIES This full-service, one-stop-shop DMC, located in South Florida, has been in business more than 30 years. Management says the team comprises “dedicated and experienced designers, producers, account managers and strategic planners who pride themselves on delivering elevated experiences to inspire, connect and transform people throughout the journey” of an event. Capabilities include more than 20,000 square feet of warehouse space and in-house custom fabrication, linens, florals, lighting, graphics, printing and design.
NOTEWORTHY EVENTS A highlight of the past year was DECO’s production of the first U.S. summit for a high-profile tech client. The program included theming, custom activations, meetings, three evening events, and “Shark Tank” star Robert Herjavec as keynote speaker—all pulled off with less than six months’ lead time.
TRENDS TO WATCH “With COVID-19 having a huge impact on our industry this year, we are working on reinventing ourselves to offer virtual services to our clients,” management says. “This can include online experiences such as team-building, interactive classes, engaging entertainment and virtual emcees. We are also creating custom stage and/or set builds for remote general sessions, awards dinners, auctions, etc., to give the virtual event a ‘live’ feel, Lastly, we are assisting clients in the planning of their virtual event and offering graphic design, branding and marketing services to help bring the same level of design and ‘wow’ factor to their online event, until they can host their next in-person event!”
DESILVA MEETING CONSULTANTS
A DMC Network Company
Paia, Maui, Hawaii
TOP OFFICER Joshua DeSilva
AVERAGE NUMBER OF PROGRAMS PER YEAR 35 to 50
ESTIMATED 2020 REVENUE $4.5 million to $6.5 million
CAPABILITIES This Hawaii-based team specializes in high-end corporate incentives ranging on average from 100 to 400 guests. “We coordinate the management of each island’s top activities, custom evening events, corporate social responsibility projects, amenities, exclusive transportation, speakers and unique experiences,” management says.
NOTEWORTHY EVENTS Highlights of the past year have included a software company incentive at the USS Missouri featuring a USO show, and a Hawaii-theme incentive for a skincare company where guests could select local amenities such as aloha shirts, pareo wraps and Maui Jim sunglasses. “A CSR to a local Hawaiian taro farm allowed attendees to give back to the community by building a learning center and clearing the taro patches to allow the plants to flourish,” management notes. “The event ended with a sunset farewell dinner featuring the children from the CSR at the taro farm as hula dancers to say ‘mahalo’ for their generosity.”
TRENDS TO WATCH In the wake of the COVID crisis, “Thankfully, most of our clients have opted to shift their dates for later this fall or in 2021,” management says. “The work that our team has done on the programs will be applied to the groups’ new set of dates. All of the custom events we’ve put together--activities, amenities and team-building events--will stay the same. We are looking forward to welcoming our groups to Hawaii in the spirit of aloha!”
DESTINATION CONCEPTS INC.
A Global DMC Partner
TOP OFFICERS Brynne Frost, Ana Reilly
AVERAGE NUMBER OF PROGRAMS PER YEAR 1,500 plus
ESTIMATED 2020 REVENUE $28 million to $29 million
CAPABILITIES This “creative solutions agency” combines event design/production, logistics, experiential agency and DMC services “to deliver the most dynamic brand experiences in the business,” they say. “We are a certified women-owned business and the largest DMC in the West, operating for over 20 years in the hottest destinations for meetings and events.”
NOTEWORTHY EVENTS DCi started 2020 off strong with a 1,700-person buyout of a San Diego beachfront venue, a custom gallery built for a tech conference, and feel-good activities like puppy yoga, but, “Our team was quickly forced to pivot to life in the new normal with the onset of COVID-19,” they report. “Our team shifted focus on providing clients that were facing this new unknown with our same level of high-touch service and an empathetic approach, so they saw we had their best interest in mind. 2020 became the year of ideation, trying something new and delivering new options to our clients in order to set ourselves, our vendor partners, and clients up for a prosperous and successful fall/winter.”
TRENDS TO WATCH “Trends for the year are most definitely virtual meetings, gifting and team-building,” management says. “We hope there will be a balance of face-to-face and virtual meetings in the future as the overall energy of a live event is hard to re-create, but we are doing our best to figure out how to deliver that to our clients. F&B trends will incorporate safety and health precautions. We may begin to see more touch-free activations and social distancing incorporated into design in a playful way, as well as smaller capsule meetings for 25 to 50 people to accommodate social distancing and space needs.”
DESTINATION SOUTH MEETINGS AND EVENTS
A DMC Network Company
TOP OFFICER Cynthia Alford, DMCP
AVERAGE NUMBER OF PROGRAMS PER YEAR 150
ESTIMATED 2020 REVENUE $5 million to $7 million
CAPABILITIES Large-scale event concepting, planning and execution have become Destination South’s “calling cards in our market,” management says. “DSME is also unique in our market for providing in-house event marketing, design and production, experiential activations, full-scale content services and meeting planning, as well as race and festival planning and production.”
NOTEWORTHY EVENTS Highlights of the past year include a 2019 holiday party for 6,000 for one of the globe’s brands headquartered in Atlanta; the 2019 Atlanta Science Festival Exploration Expo for 18,500; and Stibo Connect and GFKO in Copenhagen. “By collaborating with Hadler DMC Scandinavia, we were able to produce two back-to-back conferences in under two months,” management says.
TRENDS TO WATCH “The effect of COVID-19/coronavirus is the most unprecedented single major force impacting the industry this year,” they note. “However, our team saw the predictions and projections and began quickly helping our clients adapt their meetings and events to hybrid or fully virtual formats.”
DESTINATIONS BY DESIGN
TOP OFFICERS Melissa Aupperle, Chris Coaley, Debby Jacobs Felker, Allison Hart
AVERAGE NUMBER OF PROGRAMS PER YEAR 370 to 400
ESTIMATED 2020 REVENUE $25 million to $35 million
CAPABILITIES In operation since 1990, Destinations by Design provides high-quality destination management, event and design services to the incentive and corporate markets. Recent clients include Fortune 500 companies as well as major hotels and casinos in Las Vegas. Now 100 percent employee owned, DBD operates a 130,000-plus-square-foot facility, which supports both current business and growth for the future. The space is home to the company’s more than 100 employees with all departments--warehouse, floral studio, design studio, entertainment, sales and operations--under one roof.
NOTEWORTHY EVENTS Highlights of the past year include “Pandemonium,” a one-hour custom production for 3,000 attendees showcasing 20 dancers and 11 specialty acts; “Momentum,” which took 5,000 guests across multiple resort pools with competitive ping pong, specialty velocity performances, games and activations; and “Tech Takeover,” which saw 16,000 attendees take over a Vegas resort and casino consisting of six venues, seven restaurants, two garage-level transformations, 12 activations and 30 entertainment elements.
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 Jun Takeda
AVERAGE NUMBER OF PROGRAMS PER YEAR 1,000 to 1,500
ESTIMATED 2020 REVENUE $3 billion
CAPABILITIES This network includes 13 DMC companies covering 140 destinations over five continents, management says. “Our strength lies in our professional employees who have knowledge of their destinations, latest industry trends, preserving the environment, their customers’ needs and have long-lasting relationships with their partners and vendors. We can offer flexibility across our network because we truly are ‘one group,’ aware of each of our companies’ specialties.”
NOTEWORTHY EVENTS Highlights of the past year have included support for the Rugby World Cup 2019, the Imperial Enthronement in Tokyo, Asian Football Cup for Lawyers, World Veterinary Poultry Association Congress 2019, Shilla Duty Free Fan Festival with TVXQ, and the global forum Innovation for the Future of Nuclear Energy.
TRENDS TO WATCH “We have seen an increase in the amount of leisure trips from Asia Pacific into Western Europe over the course of the last three years,” management says. “Political factors such as the relatively easier availability of e-visas has made it easier for APAC travelers to visit Eastern Europe, but also the U.S.A. and Canada.” And the team is responding: “We have adapted to new markets and offered new unique venues, products, services and—also, importantly—digital solutions.”
HELLO! DESTINATION MANAGEMENT
TOP OFFICER Paul Mears III
AVERAGE NUMBER OF PROGRAMS PER YEAR 4,150 (normal business cycle)
ESTIMATED 2020 REVENUE $145 million (prior to COVID-19 disruption)
CAPABILITIES “The COVID disruption will bring renewed focus to stability and long-term planning,” management says. “Our position as the only national brand that is privately held by a single family offers unique advantages for our clients. Without the disparate leadership priorities and financial positions inherent in private equity and network DMCs, we are powerfully positioned to manage this period prudently while focusing on continued improvement for our people and capabilities. We are defining priorities and moving towards them rapidly with unanimity of purpose. Our clients will feel that cohesion and capability across our brand, regardless of destination.”
NOTEWORTHY EVENTS Hello’s award-winning event “Wanderlust” was created to solve the client’s challenge of transforming a ballroom space as an alternative to an off-property event. This digitally immersive culinary experience featured a “cloud” entrance emerging into an event space surrounded in floor-to-ceiling white material. Ceiling-mounted projection cast custom live images from seven regions of the world in succession, each projection session enhancing a food-and-beverage course reflective of that region.
TRENDS TO WATCH “During dramatic market contractions, DMCs’ success is greatly affected by their financial prudence prior to the disruption and their ability to retain adequate resources to continue improvements to business systems,” management notes. “As the market transitions through this period, a time frame that cannot be anticipated currently, DMCs must provide design/logistics expertise coupled with real-time knowledge of local ordinances concerning how events may occur to accommodate safety practices.”
TOP OFFICER Jennifer Patino, DMCP
AVERAGE NUMBER OF PROGRAMS PER YEAR 1,200 plus
ESTIMATED 2020 REVENUE $295 million
CAPABILITIES Hosts Global’s collection of DMCs “deliver memorable, meaningful and motivating group experiences from every corner of the world,” management says. (Note: At press time, Hosts Global announced that effective May 18, it will temporarily suspend its global alliance of DMCs but will “continue to offer our global expertise to help service our clients.”)
NOTEWORTHY EVENTS Standout events from the past year include Hosts Chicago’s delivery of a “quintessential destination experience” to 4,000 global hospitality leaders through food and beverage, entertainment and event decor, along with Philadelphia-based Roberts Event Group’s production of a multifaceted night full of vibrant art installations, fun activities, local eats, and unforgettable entertainment for the City of Camden, N.J.
TRENDS TO WATCH Hosts Global management offers a concise forecast for major trends: “the impact of COVID-19 and working toward the new normal for face-to-face meetings and events around the world for the foreseeable future.”
IMPRINT EVENTS GROUP
A DMC Network Company
TOP OFFICERs Nicole Marsh, CMP, DMCP; Chris Starkey
AVERAGE NUMBER OF PROGRAMS PER YEAR 1,100
ESTIMATED 2020 REVENUE $20 million (pre-COVID forecast)
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, management says. “Working with a team with more than 600 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. There is nothing cookie-cutter about what we do.” Imprint also owns and operates a full-service entertainment and production company developing bands, unique live acts, team-building programs, and custom shows, along with full-scale AV and production services for meetings and conferences.
NOTEWORTHY EVENTS Clients call for “high-end experiential events,” Imprint says. “What separates us is we take a boutique approach to our events and customize our work for our clients’ very specific needs. Whether it’s a corporate convention, a customized general session opener, an awards gala, or all of those in one week, our work truly can’t be replicated. Each event should have its own identity and communicate the client’s branding and messaging to their audience. With the unification of our sales, operations, digital and creative teams, we create that identity for our client and their company to be felt throughout the event’s entirety.”
TRENDS TO WATCH “As we are in the midst of COVID-19, uncertainty looms for the live events industry,” management says. “We were able to pivot quickly in offering twice-weekly virtual town halls and learning opportunities for our clients and supplier partners. We also developed a full array of online tools and offerings, from virtual meetings to team-building and more. From digital meeting enhancements to virtual incentive trips, we continue to deliver ‘events with identity.’ Our team is also at the forefront of thought leadership surrounding the live events industry’s ‘new normal’ as it relates to seating capacities, food and beverage service, public concerts, etc., educating ourselves, our clients and supplier partners for what is ahead.”
IVI DMC ENTERPRISES
TOP OFFICER Jose-Manuel Garcia
AVERAGE NUMBER OF PROGRAMS PER YEAR 250 plus
ESTIMATED 2020 REVENUE $10 million
CAPABILITIES Since 1986, IVI has provided full destination services for incentives, meetings and events in more than 40 destinations in six Latin American countries (Mexico, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Costa Rica, Panama and Colombia). Management points with pride to its ISO 9001:2015 certification, ADMC accreditation, full-coverage liability insurance, safety and security programs, and a “full commitment” to make clients look great, they say.
NOTEWORTHY EVENTS Management points with pride to a recent event created in collaboration with its Amigos of the Planet Foundation. “We held a CSR event in a school at Playa del Carmen. With the support and donations of more than 250 people from a Canadian food retailer company, a public elementary school was restored,” they explain. “We had a great time carrying out fun activities with the kids, as well as painting a mural and the whole school, cleaning up the garden, reconstructing several areas of the school, and making an enormous piñata filled with candies, which was broken by the kids at the end of the activity.”
TRENDS TO WATCH “Clients today are looking for more events with the corporate social responsibility component as well as authentic experiences in which they can learn about the culture of destination,” management says. “We are also seeing a more specific focus on safety and security.”
TOP OFFICERS David Graves, Mike Graves, Tom McCulloch
AVERAGE NUMBER OF PROGRAMS PER YEAR 1,200 to 1,600
ESTIMATED 2020 REVENUE $20 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, and a fabrication shop, plus a content and video-editing office.
NOTEWORTHY EVENTS The team has been busy over the past year with work for corporate clients and sports events in Minneapolis, including the Minnesota Sports Awards.
TRENDS TO WATCH “With current economic challenges related to COVID-19, the MetroConnections team has shifted their focus and expertise to provide virtual event and conference solutions for clients during a time when teams are unable to gather,” management says.
OVATION GLOBAL DMC
TOP OFFICER Sebastien Tondeur
AVERAGE NUMBER OF PROGRAMS PER YEAR 4,000 to 6,000
ESTIMATED 2020 REVENUE $40 million to $60 million
CAPABILITIES Ovation counts its worldwide reach and standard operating procedures as two of its noteworthy capabilities, management says. The company has offices in more than 100 destinations across five continents; operations comprise 26 wholly owned offices and a wide range of strategic partners. The company serves a broad clientele, from the “biggest brands” in banking, consultancy, automotive, IT and pharmaceuticals through to direct selling. An online learning platform to constantly train and develop the team’s talents has been in place for nearly a decade.
NOTEWORTHY EVENTS Ovation Switzerland won the SITE Crystal Award for the Michelin Guide Premium Driving Experience: Grand Tour of Switzerland--a driving incentive in supercars fitted with high-end Michelin tires across stunning sites in Switzerland along with dinners in Michelin-starred restaurants. The Ovation Spain team continued in its role as a key partner to a number of large corporate clients during the Mobile World Congress 2019. Along with VIP services, Ovation Spain also handled 10,000-plus room nights during the Barcelona-based exhibition.
TRENDS TO WATCH Management points to three top trends: the rise of second-tier destinations, corporate entities choosing to work directly with DMC destination partners instead of their event management agencies, and the growing importance of experiential activities for incentive programs and events. “Food has become an important factor,” they say. “Not just the quality, but the story, local features and presentation that needs to be themed within the events is key.” Also, Ovation has recently partnered with the Michelin Guide, which “sets the tone for cross-sector collaborative involvement of different providers.”
TOP OFFICER Selina Sinclair
AVERAGE NUMBER OF PROGRAMS PER YEAR 4,000
ESTIMATED 2020 REVENUE $75 million
CAPABILITIES The 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 an incentive in South Africa with accommodations in a sustainable safari property and a networking function where various local artisans sold their goods to the guests throughout the evening. The money generated from these purchases went back into the community to support local families. The team is also proud of a high-end incentive in Dubai, where Pacific World secured a fleet of newly introduced vehicles to offer guests a self-drive in the desert. The exclusive experiential program also included golf clinic sessions, seaplane flights over Dubai, and a wine and dine in some of the most exciting venues in the city: Burj Al Arab and the Viewing Deck in downtown Dubai with an amazing view of the Dubai Fountain and the Burj Khalifa tower.
TRENDS TO WATCH “The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated some of the trends we have already identified for 2020 and created new needs for the events and incentive planners,” management says. “We have seen an increase of interest for hybrid events and flexible events setups that include streaming sessions.” They add, “Heath and safety protocols and the sanitary infrastructure available will be key to decide about the destination. Events with corporate social responsibility elements and clients’ desire for wellness experiences sill continue to grow. The desire for connection has never been stronger, and the industry will face challenges but find solutions to continue creating events that bring people together safely.”
TOP OFFICER Mike Fiber
AVERAGE NUMBER OF PROGRAMS PER YEAR 2,000 plus (could be impacted by COVID)
ESTIMATED 2020 REVENUE $175 million to $200 million plus (could be impacted by COVID)
CAPABILITIES PRA offers 29 destination locations as well as a remote strategic account team to collaborate on event program execution worldwide, all with an eye to provide “transformative business experiences,” management says. Through its ownership of events and communication agency One Smooth Stone, “PRA offers end-to-end integrated creative, production and communication solutions for in-person and digital engagements, aligned with business events and local destination experiences.” The team launched an office in the Seattle market in January. All PRA offices receive global sales support, standardized business tools and systems, a quality-assurance compliance program, emergency preparedness and crisis communications protocol, and centralized, proprietary CRM software and other technology “to drive performance and consistency across our business,” they say.
NOTEWORTHY EVENTS PRA worked with the largest managed health care company in the U.S. for its employees’ summit, converting a raw venue space into a community health “mini city” with dedicated neighborhoods for employees, community officials and media to experience partner exhibits and curated conversations. The PRA team transformed the entire first floor, complete with street carpet, Astroturf, photo backdrops, street lamps with custom street names, faux and live trees, park benches, and picket fencing. Multiple green and CSR components were implemented as part of the program, including food and custom furniture donations. The team worked on a tight strategic timeline to execute a smooth load-in and setup, staying within venue timing so as not to accrue substantial fees and fines.
TRENDS TO WATCH “The attendee experience in both digital and physical platforms has changed as a result of the global health crisis,” management says. “Now more than ever, it is important that we redefine what creative means to events, and the approach we take, to create engaging experiences that connect us, even when we can’t be together in person. This new normal of business events will stretch beyond physical environments, resulting in a wider, larger audience we need to consider when creating an environment for deep connections. Events must be designed first by looking through the lens of the attendees--factoring in needs, how the audience will think and feel, and what they will do when they experience face-to-face or digital event experiences. This requires design competencies and alignment with suppliers able to adapt to new business models.”
RMC: RESORTS | MOUNTAINS | CITIES
TOP OFFICER Shawn Thomson
AVERAGE NUMBER OF PROGRAMS PER YEAR 500 to 750
ESTIMATED 2020 REVENUE $32 million to $35 million
CAPABILITIES RMC thrives to “complete successful programs and execute epic events,” management says. “We thrive on the details, from decor and entertainment to the extra enhancements and customization to make each client experience unique,” management says. “We also provide the best customer service in the industry.”
NOTEWORTHY EVENTS In Jackson Hole, Wyo., RMC executed a Moroccan event with full ceiling activation, custom-made bars, and “stunning” event lighting, management says. “We had famous aerialist dancers perform throughout the event, and guests had a blast!” The team also threw a fam event to showcase Montage Los Cabos’ [Mexico] venue space, as well as the hotel’s food and beverage, service and atmosphere, targeting high-end corporate incentive meeting planners. “In addition, we wanted to showcase its decor ability--how we can take special events to the next level with a small budget.”
TRENDS TO WATCH “Clients desire more interaction and guest involvement in their events, such as live bar action stations or magicians who provide sleight-of-hand tricks,” management notes. “On the other end of the spectrum, our larger, high-end clients are asking for simpler, more elegant, yet powerful events where there is little customization/branding and more or a luxury feel. The focus is more about the guest connection to the brand and less about being entertained. Overall, events are becoming more social and focusing more on a sense of community between attendees and the companies striving to solidify their bond and culture.”
SOUTHWEST CONFERENCE PLANNERS
A DMC Network Company
TOP OFFICER James Lammy
AVERAGE NUMBER OF PROGRAMS PER YEAR 600 plus
ESTIMATED 2020 REVENUE $11 million to $15 million
CAPABILITIES The company provides DMC and transportation services throughout Arizona.
NOTEWORTHY EVENTS “We create experiences for guests from the moment they arrive in our destination,” management says. For one, “We had guests picked up in an oversized LED Volkswagen bus and transported down to their LED futuristic event with pop-up entertainment throughout the event. We also create unique twists on themed events by bringing in the natural beauty of the desert. We designed an upscale fiesta evening for guests, where upon arrival, guests were served margaritas in mini Patron bottles and dined under trellises lined in greenery and hanging lanterns. The tables had Spanish influences to them while also accenting the desert scenery. Our mission is to deliver the highest level of service while creating memories of Arizona as a destination.”
A DMC Network Company
TOP OFFICERS Lorenzo Pignatti, Heather Williams
AVERAGE NUMBER OF PROGRAMS PER YEAR 300 to 350
ESTIMATED 2020 REVENUE $7 million to $8.4 million
CAPABILITIES “Some of the top professionals in the DMC industry work for Terraevents in four countries,” management says. “The creativity of our programs and the commitment to create memorable experiences are second to none. The industry certifications and awards to our team and to our company are a seal of guarantee.”
NOTEWORTHY EVENTS Events over the last year have included an incentive program for top performers of a leading South African bank. “Our challenge: to feature the ‘wow’ factor throughout a program combining city and culture juxtaposed with nature and community to create a one-of-a-kind experience,” management says. “Our solution: to showcase the destination’s traditions and ethos with a program of content combining exclusive low-carbon footprint activities, an authentic Tuscan village festa, and a grand gala in an iconic Florentine Renaissance palazzo.” Another highlight: “Porto’s iconic Palácio da Bolsa stock exchange was the designated venue for an exclusive gala dinner for 300 key professionals and government authorities of Portugal’s civil aviation and tourism sectors.”
TRENDS TO WATCH “There is no doubt 2020 will be a difficult year for everyone in the MICE industry and its supply chain,” management says. “Our industry has been incredibly affected and for many, the survival will already be a great success. We’ve guided our ship into safe waters and are now strategically planning to be ready and immediately effective when business returns.”
A DMC Network Company
Los Cabos, Mexico
TOP OFFICERS Lee Chipman, Sunny Irvine
AVERAGE NUMBER OF PROGRAMS PER YEAR 320
ESTIMATED 2020 REVENUE $15 million
CAPABILITIES This year includes expansion with Destination Tahoe Terramar with a focus on Lake Tahoe and Reno, Nev. “Our transportation department continues to expand in Los Cabos along with increased e-commerce efforts for all destinations,” management says. Terramar is also working on “new and fresh ideas that include a very active marketing and promotional material program via social media with a new set of mini videos showcasing all six destinations.”
NOTEWORTHY EVENTS This year focus homed in on working with customers in different CSR programs in Cancun, Panama and Puerto Vallarta that included recycling florals from evening functions to make beautiful arrangements to go to nursing homes, towel giveaways shared with pet hospitals, and a “make a wish” program for an association to support kids with cancer.
TRENDS TO WATCH Management sees an exciting future thanks to the growth in hotels in its markets. “Growth in the hotel industry in Los Cabos and Puerto Vallarta has exploded, with various major brands opening their doors to receive guests,” they say. “In Los Cabos, new builds are Four Seasons, Montage, Auberge Chileno Bay, Zadun Ritz Carlton Reserve, Hard Rock, Solaz and Nobu, amongst the prestigious names.”
THE DESTINATION MANAGER
TOP OFFICER Colleen Horan
AVERAGE NUMBER OF PROGRAMS PER YEAR 500 to 700
ESTIMATED 2020 REVENUE $8 million to $11 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 original thematic concepts such as “Pop Art Cowboy,” “Desert Island” and “Sonoran Safari.”
TRENDS TO WATCH “With the onset of COVID-19, our industry has come to a virtual pause,” management says. “At current moment, we are focusing on preparing and strategizing for the new landscape once recovery begins and group gatherings are allowed. Implementing health and sanitization measures in every aspect of the program is step one.”
360 DESTINATION GROUP
TOP OFFICERS Shelly Archer, Joe Fijol, Trevor Hanks, Sharon Purewal, Pete Samulewicz
AVERAGE NUMBER OF PROGRAMS PER YEAR 1,000
ESTIMATED 2020 REVENUE $60 million
CAPABILITIES Keep on growing: The company launched offices in Austin, Texas, and Las Vegas in 2019 in response to “growing demand” from clients, they say, as well as an in-house creative services division. “We view the addition of this important division as another step at being the best and most innovative DMC in the industry,” management says. “Our creative designs have always been of high caliber, but with this new creative services team focusing on the client’s creative needs, our output will be even more targeted and elevated.”
NOTEWORTHY EVENTS The team points with pride to “Lollapa-YOU-za”--a festival-themed event that aimed to personalize every aspect of the attendee experience. “From customized CSR components to thoughtful interactive entertainment touches incorporated every step of the way, guests embraced a true festival experience,” they report. “Not only was this national sales meeting for 600 one of the first buyouts of the Midwest’s largest rooftop venue, it went from the first phone call to the final invoice in just six short weeks!”
TRENDS TO WATCH In the wake of the COVID crisis, “Virtual meetings will gain more traction, and we anticipate seeing an increase in hybrid meetings,” management says. “Our goal as a destination and event management company is to deliver a holistic experience for our clients, whether it be virtual or live in-person meetings and events. Our virtual solutions are geared toward strengthening the human connection while also delivering the authenticity of each of our unique destinations to attendees.”
Get with the Group
Many DMCs join groups that function as marketing networks to bring in business and provide operations support.
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 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. Members know that “when your clients are not in your destination, their needs are being met by like-minded independent small businesses in sister destinations,” they say.
AREAS SERVED U.S.
DMCs IN SYSTEM 8 plus
2020 SYSTEMWIDE REVENUE FORECAST $11 million to $13 million
TRENDS “The current industry-wide halt of all meetings and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic have created tremendous uncertainty in the industry, as there is no safe projection for when meetings will resume to the full scale that they were produced prior to the ban,” management says. “When the curtain is lifted, it will be a scramble for planners to get fully up to speed in the short term, which will make bringing in local DMCs to support conference teams much more efficient than ever before. As ambassadors of our destinations, we welcome the opportunity to rally around the rebuilding of the meeting industry and showcase our destinations for professionals!”
CEO Dan Tavrytzky
THE BASICS “We are the meeting industry’s only fully member-owned community of destination management companies, operating in 100 global 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 North America, Central America, South America, Caribbean and Europe, with other areas of the world connected through alliances of preferred DMCs.
DMCs IN SYSTEM 45
2020 SYSTEMWIDE REVENUE FORECAST $150 million to $175 million
TRENDS The biggest trend: COVID-19 and its global impact on the meetings and events industry, they say.
St. Paul, Minn.
CEO Wim Crabbe
THE BASICS EDPGlobal is a single-entity representation firm for DMCs. Members receive representation in the U.S., Canada and South America. Requirements for membership include strong reputation; minimum of five years in business; references from clients, vendors and banks; insurance, licenses and permits commensurate with all laws and ordinances for that destination; acknowledgement of RFPs within 24 hours; a guarantee of proposal delivery by deadline; advance disclosure of all policy information regarding site inspections; and accessibility of full-time key DMC staff during program events.
AREAS SERVED Worldwide
DMCs IN SYSTEM 27
2020 SYSTEMWIDE REVENUE FORECAST $15 million to $20 million
TRENDS The big trends: Shorter lead times, growing technology requirements, and the specter of terrorism and political unrest.
CEOS Joe Lustenberger, Huw Tuckett
THE BASICS Euromic members are full-service DMCs who can handle group travel needs completely, whether clients are looking for an end-to-end incentive program or a more à la carte approach. Euromic members “can arrange everything from meeting packages and special events, to ground handling, guest speakers and entertainment, baggage services, audiovisual and anything else that might be required, ensuring an event is truly memorable,” they say with pride.
AREAS SERVED Europe, Middle East, Africa, Asia, Latin and South America
DMCs IN SYSTEM 52
2020 SYSTEMWIDE REVENUE FORECAST $150 million to $200 million (early forecast based on one real quarter of revenue in Q4) (DMCs combined)
TRENDS “At this time of great uncertainty, we want to assure clients we are here working busily, postponing and re-scheduling confirmed business, and working on RFPs for the second half of 2020, 2021 and 2022,” Euromic says. “After 50 years in the DMC business, we have learned to adapt and be resourceful.”
GLOBAL DMC PARTNERS
CEO Catherine Chaulet
THE BASICS Independently owned and operated DMCs pay a fee to join the partnership. DMC members represent more than 500 locations worldwide. Global DMC Partners meets with member DMCs at least four times per year to focus on strategy, best practices, industry trends and standards.
AREAS SERVED Worldwide
DMCs IN SYSTEM 65 plus
2020 SYSTEMWIDE REVENUE FORECAST $275 million to $300 million
TRENDS Although the MICE and travel industry has been hit hard, “We’re seeing extraordinary strength and resilience from our industry during the current global COVID-19 pandemic,” management says. “We all have such an enormous passion and commitment for what we do and for supporting each other during difficult times. As the landscape shifts, our industry is quickly responding and evolving. We’re seeing much more demand for current solutions, such as webinars, as well as a new demand for virtual meetings and virtual site inspections and the technology that can support these new ways of connecting. At the same time, we’re still seeing the need for face-to-face meetings in the future when the pandemic passes. In the spring of 2020, we’re already receiving leads for programs taking place in late
Q3 and Q4 of 2020 and 2021. This gives us a great deal of hope for better days ahead.”
1 DMC WORLD
CEO Paul Stephen
THE BASICS Representing one DMC per country, with admission by invitation. All partners are individually owned and operationally licensed in their destination; they pay a joint marketing fee, for which they receive digital marking support, quality guidance, market intelligence and client communication support.
AREAS SERVED Worldwide
DMCs IN SYSTEM 100 plus
2020 SYSTEMWIDE REVENUE FORECAST $150 million plus
TRENDS Today’s world means it’s a “very competitive market, so we have to deliver creative event ideas, competitive pricing and fast replies to enquiries to win business,” they say. “Incentive and meeting programs are seeking out authentic and sustainable experiences that involve interaction with the local community.”
CEO Marc Schwabach, DMCP
THE BASICS This boutique consortium of select, independent and “highly qualified” European DMCs provides global sales and marketing support to its members. Members are recruited by invitation only and must have ADMEI membership, be well-established, have strong reputations, and hold certification or accreditation. Benefits include sales and marketing support worldwide.
AREAS SERVED Europe
DMCs IN SYSTEM 10
2020 SYSTEMWIDE REVENUE FORECAST $30 million
TRENDS “We can see a clear trend for DMCs to move away from being a ‘order-taker’ purchasing commodities, moving towards being an ‘architect’ or ‘consultant’ who is the expert in the destination,” management says.
Note: All information here is supplied by the companies listed and was current at press time for our Summer 2020 issue. The evolving COVID crisis may well affect data.
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