As seasoned meeting and event planners will tell you, developing a relationship with suppliers can go a long way to ensuring successful events. Destination management companies (DMC’s) act as brokers between planners and suppliers and vendors. It’s important, especially for event planners, to work with companies that they can trust. After all, a meeting or event’s success relies heavily on the suppliers involved.

Apart from industry events, you don’t see a lot of DMC’s advertise. And there’s good reason for that. It’s because they know that the bulk of their business is going to come from referrals. Most meeting planners will ask for referrals from contacts that they trust. So a lot of the DMC’s reputation stems from experience and networking to ensure that their company’s name is always top of mind. That can take time. Full disclosure here: I am a co-owner of the DMC (see my bio below).

So What Is the True Value of Using Destination Management Companies?

As Cindy Y. Lo, Director of Communications for ADMEI (and Owner of Red Velvet Events, a Global DMC Partner), tells  “The added value of partnering with a professional DMC is their inside knowledge of the city permits and regulations; personal relationships with dependable suppliers; and best part of all is their ability to create the true VIP and unique experience without you having to make multiple site visits and calls which results in cost savings to your bottom line.”

Three Resources for Selecting Destination Management Companies

Hotel Sales Contacts – a hotel contact is one of the first relationships that meeting and event planners establish. A good hotel sales contact knows the best suppliers in their market. So naturally they’re going to refer suppliers that they know won’t let them down. After all they’re putting their own reputation on the line here.

Convention and Visitors Bureaus (CVBs) – many of the top industry suppliers are members of their local CVB. Many people argue that CVBs are obliged to only refer their members, therefore restricting the selection. While it is true that CVBs have a policy of only referring their members suppliers, don’t forget that these suppliers would be the top in their markets. So it’s pretty safe to say that a member of a CVB is a serious player in the industry. If they weren’t, word would get around quickly.

Association of Destination Management Executives International ADMEI – establishes industry standards and best practices. ADMEI supports ethical business practices and promotes the value of destination management companies. So, naturally, ADMEI is an excellent resource for sourcing destination management companies. ADMEI vets all of their members and is a great place to start when looking for your next DMC partner. Recently, they rolled out a universal DMC Supplier Application so that a meeting planner can easily screen who would be their best DMC partner in their program’s city.

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Destination management companies act as a meeting and event planner’s local representative. It’s their job to understand the planners needs and requirements and then match them with the appropriate suppliers. So it’s easy to understand why trust is an important factor in the relationship. Knowing where to look for referrals can go a long way to ensure a meeting or event’s success.

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