Choosing the right Destination Management Company is critical to your program’s success. It’s not a decision that should be rushed, but once you find the right DMC partner the rest of the process can, and should, be a breeze.
(Not sure what a DMC is? First read our blog post “What is a DMC” to learn more.)
Here are the 5 Qualities to Look for When Choosing a Destination Management Company (DMC):
1. Experience and Expertise
You want to look for an established destination management company with experience in planning events and meetings of similar scope and size to yours.
Learn about their company history, check their portfolio of past events, and read client testimonials to ensure they have the expertise to deliver a successful event.
Once you get a good list of options, ask these prospective DMCs to provide examples of past work that would relate to the event that you are hosting. They want to earn your business and should be happy to provide this information.
2. Local Knowledge
This is rather obvious, but choose a DMC with strong local knowledge of the area. Your DMC should be familiar with the city’s venues, attractions, and local suppliers. Good destination management companies work hard to foster strong local relationships with vendors and venues to help give their clients the upper hand.
You may also want to explore areas beyond the destination/city itself, so be sure to talk to them about their knowledge of group experiences around the region. In our case, our knowledge is not just of Seattle, but of the Greater Seattle area, Washington State, and the larger Pacific Northwest region. This spans south to Portland, Oregon; east to Spokane, Washington and into Idaho (Coeur D’Alene), and north to Vancouver, BC; with ample experiences to be had everywhere in between.
3. Range of Services
Consider the range of services the DMC offers, including event planning, transportation, activities, and tours. A full-service DMC can help with all aspects of your event, from start to finish, so be sure to confirm that your DMC can provide all of the services you need for your event.
Most DMCs list their services on their website, but it’s helpful to ask about specific services or unique needs. Just because it’s not listed doesn’t mean they don’t provide it, so be sure to ask.
4. Budget / Cost
Your budget will guide the scope of work that your destination management company will propose, so make sure that you have a budget estimate when inquiring with DMCs, and share it upfront. They want to help, so the more information that you can provide the better. Also, your DMC should be able to offer you a range of options that fit within your budget.
The greater clarity you have on your budget and scope of work from the beginning, the smoother the process will go for everyone involved. It will save you a lot of time in reducing back-and-forth and time waiting for proposals and revisions. But, of course, we all know that revisions and finetuning are always a part of the process.
Look for a destination management company that is flexible and creative in their approach to program design and planning. They should be willing to customize their services to meet your specific needs, and provide creative solutions to any challenges that may arise. Chances are that you want your events to stand out and be unique, so you’ll want to build up your team with a DMC that can bring creativity to the table.
By considering these five factors, you can select the best Destination Management Company for your event or meeting, and ensure the best experience for your group.
Please contact us if you have any questions about choosing your DMC, or if you’re interested in working with us. We are a proud member of the DMC Network, and are happy to connect you with the right partners even if you’re not coming to the Pacific Northwest for your program.