What is a Destination Management Company (DMC)?
A Destination Management Company (DMC) is an organization that offers professional event and group-travel related services only in destinations where they are located. Listed below are traditional services provided by a DMC.
DMC’s are well-versed in their local tour options and operators. Everything from chocolate making classes, to behind-the-scenes tours of a theme park, to private tours of top local attractions are common offerings. Location-based city tours, spousal tours, theme park tickets, etc. are also popular options.
The sourcing, organization, and management of guest airport arrivals and departures can be a daunting and time-intensive activity for an inexperienced planner. A DMC utilizes the group manifest (a list of all passenger names with flight number, times, and routes) to pair guests with the appropriate vehicle based on passenger count and luggage, in a timely and service-oriented way.
The tasks of manipulating the guest manifest to make the best use of passenger wait times and keeping costs within the conference budget can often work against each other. Utilizing an experienced DMC to curate the best scenario for your group can be imperative.
Dine-arounds organized by DMCs are offsite experiences at local restaurants, with itineraries where guests visit two or three restaurants and consume a portion of a full course meal at each stop. For example, they may have an appetizer and a welcome drink at the first location, a main course paired with wine at the second, and end with dessert and an aperitif at the last.
The purpose of a dine-around is to provide a broader experience of the local culinary flair instead of a full meal at a single location. DMC’s draw on their familiarity with local cuisine styles, restaurant ambience, and other ‘local’ knowledge to help guests get the most out of their time in town.
Welcome receptions, gala dinners, awards nights, and themed parties are all opportunities for meeting planners to add fun and destination-themed event elements to their conference events. Many times, planners will start a conference with a destination-focused welcome reception.
If they’re in Florida, for example, they may choose a tropical theme. If they’re in New York, they may choose a Broadway theme, and so on. Destination management companies can provide décor, lighting, linens, florals, activities, and more to create the perfect themed event.
The right entertainment for a conference can be anything from an acoustic guitarist at a welcome reception to a Broadway-style show opener for a general session. Destination management companies provide a wide variety of local area entertainment options for any conference event.
When conference guests travel to a destination, they enjoy the opportunity to visit the local sites and attractions. Conference planners take advantage of local DMC’s to help create offsite event opportunities that combine both a local attraction and an interesting event style for their guests.
For example, Orlando, Florida, is a great option for theme park parties. Destination management companies book a specific section of the theme park for after hours and offer your conference guests a lively private party with entertainment, food and rides. Transportation, staff, logistics, booking of the venue, menu selection and more is all provided through the DMC.
What does a Destination Management Company Not Offer?
In the United States, a DMC typically does not offer:
- Content or speaker recruitment for the conference
- Management of, and logistics in, the hotel space
- Management of audio visual for general sessions, breakouts, etc.
- Management of onsite hotel food and beverage
- Registration (conference web site, registration process, onsite registration management)
- Management of hotel rooming lists
- Services outside their local area
Is Blue Spark Event Design a Destination Management Company (DMC)?
Blue Spark Event Design is a corporate events agency that provides a wide array of services that include those similar to a destination management company, such as tours, transportation management, dine-arounds, themed events, entertainment, and offsite events. However, Blue Spark Event Design also offers meeting logistics, audio visual management, registration services, onsite food and beverage management, hotel rooming lists, and more.
We travel with our clients wherever their event needs take them. No matter where they go, we take pride in introducing our clients to the destination, instead of the destination introducing itself to the client.
Most importantly, our team is comprised of experienced event and meeting strategists. We focus on the why of the conference to help clients meet their goals by providing carefully curated experiences that fulfill their event mission and appeal to their guest demographics. We are big-picture-aware and detailed focused.