Local knowledge, supplier negotiating skills and logistical experience are all reasons that people choose to use a DMC in the destination they are visiting. Many DMC’s use these elements as USPs (Unique Selling Points) for their business, but in reality, these are ‘features’ of the service that pretty much every DMC offers. The real benefits of choosing a particular DMC come from their ability to match your expectations – so set them high!
Here’s what you should expect from a top of the range Destination Management Company…
First of all, what is a DMC?
A Destination Management Company can be looked upon as an extension of your own organization, in their local destination. They represent the goals and objectives you want to achieve from your business trip, conference, corporate event, incentive trip or team building experience, through using their local knowledge and expertise to ensure you get the level of cost-effective service that you want throughout your business trip.
Key Features (Not Benefits!)
- Knowledge of local environment, including venues, hotels & activities
- Relationships with local suppliers and their negotiating power
- Logistical management skills
These key features are usually taken into account when making the decision of whether or not to use a DMC. When you decide to use a DMC, your choice will depend on the additional benefits & their ability to match, or indeed exceed, your expectations of what they can deliver.
What to expect from a good DMC
A good DMC should offer you all the above standard features, but they’ll then go further than the norm to ensure you get the utmost value for money and satisfaction from your trip through exceeding your expectations.
Here’s 5 things you should always expect from a good DMC, regardless of the destination.
1. A clear understanding of your brand message & incentive objectives
Your event, conference or incentive must reflect your, or your client’s, brand in order to ensure smooth continuity between your home operations and your trip abroad.
Your DMC must also be able to recognise and align to the objectives of your trip so that you receive the best venues, activities and services for your individual requirements.
There's no point in a fantastic program if it's not suited to what you need, or if, for example, it's got your main competitors colours on it!
2. Ability to manage expectations & relationships
In one of Bill’s first posts he talks about the 'Tri-part Relationship' and the important of complementing the authorities in the group through reading the communication and underlying tones between the different dynamics of a client group.
Through experience and intuition, your DMC should at very least be able to meet your expectations through their management of relationships. Really, they should always be striving to use their foresight to not just meet your expectations, but to exceed them.
3. Creativity that allows individual flexibility & unique customisation
Lots of DMCs claim to be able to offer you creative, unique incentive and program solutions. But the question remains, are they really that creative?
No doubt that at some point there has been creative input to formulate their incentive programs, some of which may be exclusive to that DMC, but are they continuously offering you creative insights on how you can enhance your program?
If your DMC is claiming to be creative, then you should expect a ‘creative program elements' from them. Those with the best creativity will offer you the option to experience a completely bespoke trip, with every detail tailored specifically to your requirements, to create something unique. Remember that budget will have some influence over the program!
Ask your DMC how they pull together a ‘creative proposal’ and if they have a ‘creative brainstorming’ strategy.
4. Extra steps for a memorable experience
This is similar to the suggestion above because it’s the creative & thoughtful skills of your DMC that will produce ‘the little extras’. Sometimes it’s the small things, with little or no cost, that make and incentive a positive experience with a long-lasting memorable.
You should be able to ask your DMC for some ‘little extra’ surprises for your group, to make their trip extra special.
Your DMC is expected to provide you with support through the build up and planning of the trip, but what happens when you’re on-site with your group of clients?
You’ll have much better peace of mind and be able to relax more if you have the DMC contact on-site with you during the trip, or at least within 24hr telephone contact. They can do all the pre-checks and organisation, while you take care of your clients.