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Catherine Chaulet

Safety, Value, Peer-to-Peer Sharing: 3 Top Takeaways from Global DMC Partner Confab

When top DMCs gather, top-flight plans emerge. Here, takeaways from the Global DMC Partner 2017 meeting.

Washington-based Global DMC Partners, the global network of DMCs that is included on the latest Special Events “25 Top DMCs,” has announced three main takeaways uncovered during the Global DMC Partners Connection 2017, which ran from Aug. 24-26 at the Bellagio Resort and Casino in Las Vegas.

For the first time, the education at Connection 2017 was focused primarily on peer-to-peer sharing and learning through interactive sessions. A global audience of meeting planners, DMC leaders, hoteliers and other event industry veterans were challenged during roundtable discussions and industry-specific breakout sessions to come together to share best practices and develop actionable takeaways on key industry topics.

From the many ideas that were shared throughout the 2 ½-day event, three important takeaways were revealed:

1. Safety remains the No. 1 concern for meeting planners. Therefore, it is becoming extremely important to work alongside local hotels, DMCs and government entities to develop a crisis management plan for every event--large or small. Many meeting planners are also looking to invest more in additional security through private security agencies to add another layer of protection to their large events.

2. Meeting planners must go beyond only measuring event ROI to show their true value and gain recognition. Due to current challenges, such as budget constraints, compliance issues, and new employee regulations (especially in the U.S.), new responsibilities--such as staffing and managing employees--can fall onto the onus of the meeting planner. Along with meetings analytic tools, project management technology is becoming increasingly vital to track and provide insight into a meeting planner’s enormous workload and time-consuming tasks. 

3. Peer-to-peer sharing is becoming the preferred way to learn new information. Speaker-led sessions are not always effective since event participants crave interaction and information-sharing with their peers. Ninety-two percent of Connection 2017 attendees gave the "Learn from Your Peers" breakout sessions and the "Interactive Roundtable Discussion on Creativity" the highest ratings in post-event evaluations.

After numerous conversations with our Customer Advisory Board and our DMC partners, and after evaluating our pre-event survey findings, it was clear that we needed to provide open discussion forums whereby attendees could learn hands-on solutions from their peers.

The conference consisted of in-depth round-table discussions, an interactive panel discussion on hotel negotiation, meeting planner breakouts by industry, and DMC breakout sessions by locality. A keynote presentation--“A Year of Disruption”--was delivered by Michael Dominguez, chief sales officer of MGM Resorts International, who updated the audience on the state of the global industry and top trends.

Our main goal for Connection 2017 was to facilitate multiple opportunities for participants to have productive and meaningful conversations where they could learn from one another's experiences. From the buzz and excitement in the room throughout the roundtable discussions and breakout sessions, it was clear that meeting professionals don’t often get to have these types of candid conversations with their peers.

At the end of the conference, Global DMC Partners announced that Connection 2018 will take place in Warsaw, Poland, from Aug. 16-19, 2018. For more information on how to qualify to attend, please email your Global DMC Partners sales advisor or [email protected].

Catherine Chaulet is president of Washington-based DMC network Global DMC Partners, which represents DMCs worldwide. It is included on the 13th annual Special Events "25 Top DMCs" list. Prior to Global DMC Partners, she worked for Fidelity Investments, where she was in charge of two of their subsidiaries. She also serves as a French trade advisor (conseiller au commerce exterieur) and is a board member of the French-American Chamber of Commerce in Boston.

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