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Special Events State of the Industry: Part 10

In the final segment of this series, the DMC pros predict trends for 2023


Being post-pandemic, we find ourselves focusing on the best ways to take the lessons (and growth) experienced from the past few years and use them to re-calibrate our focus on the future. Despite talks of a recession, the DMC industry remains strong. While the pendulum of change has swung heavily, the current pace for 2023 is in line with the high demand we have experienced in 2022.

With a growing demand for DMC support, we are seeing a shift in the needs of our clients. There is a need not only to provide critical local insight, as venues and providers re-emerge post-pandemic, but to help fill in the gaps where our clients may have previously had in-house support. With this, DMCs recognize that their teams and intellectual property are their greatest asset. There is a slow but definite shift toward supply chain purchasing and how much work a DMC will put in before requiring a financial commitment from clients. It is necessary to evaluate each opportunity and the overall effect on the company before spending critical resources. This has resulted in us not leaping at every opportunity presented but taking a strategic approach in aligning our values and strengths with an opportunity to provide a consultative service to our client partners. The need to be more selective reinforces how incredibly important long-term partnerships are in our business.

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An event produced by Access DMC. Photo courtesy Access DMC

Managing client expectations remains one of our greatest opportunities. Communication, education, and clear expectations should be part of the conversation at every level. We sometimes forget that our clients live in other industries, some who have experienced significant growth in the past few years. With this, labor will continue to be a determining factor in all business, especially in hospitality. Service is its own form of currency right now and the staffing levels of the hospitality industry from 2020 are no longer the reality.

The Access DMC Team. Photo courtesy Access DMC

This presents an even greater need to be laser-focused on creating a workplace environment where employees want to be. This could mean taking a step toward strengthening the core of who we are: our people, by highlighting the specialized talents of our team and vendor partners, to best serve our clients. Providing opportunities for talented employees is essential to keeping them motivated and fulfilled in their careers. Employees expect to grow and develop during their tenure with a company, and the clearer the career path we can set for our employees, the more they envision a future with the organization and plan to stay long term.

The future of our industry is strong, but not without more work to be done. Driving consistency through employee retention and acquisition will be key in 2023, as our industry strives for a healthy balance of employee, vendor, and client partnerships to generate business while delivering unparalleled experiences.

Editor's note: As we head into 2023, we are aware of the challenges the industry faces. But unlike 2020—and even 2021—we know that we can survive it using creativity and flexibility, and by relying on each other. People need events, and it is the hard work of professionals like yourselves that creates that shining beacon of light as the world moves forward.

Click here for a look at the rest of this 10-part series.
To view part 9, click here.

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