4 Lessons New Destination Management Companies (DMC’s) Must Learn Quickly to Stay Relevant
Is your new or established Destination Management Company relevant in your market? Below are lessons a DMC must learn to stay in business and maintain relevance. This post was originally written for new Destination Management Companies. I have noticed with changing markets from new entrants and others closing, established DMC’s faced similar challenges.
1. Create Unique Products and Services
Creativity wins business! You can make your mark by creating events that distinguish you from your competitors. You always want to present your services as a professional, but more important you want to be unique. It may seem to be a challenge, since you and your competitors sell a lot of the top locations in a destination, but you can stand out with a different spin on your events. For example, you and your competitors all sell golf, however you may sell golf with lessons from a local professional. You and your competitors all offer local tours, however your tours can include scavenger hunts. Do something different!
2. Know Your Destination
Corporate event planning experts must know their destinations. If you are working in a particular city, you need to know the best attractions like the back of your hand. If you are established you should be networking and refreshing your vendors list to see what’s new in the market. If your new to the DMC business, you should be readily familiar with the facilities offered, the types of services available, estimated pricing, and who the contacts are at these locations. Aside from knowing about the event sites, you also need to know all the ins and outs related to attending the site. You should have a good grasp of transportation, hospitality options, and other nearby attractions to entertain guests. In short, you have to become the expert of your territory to be successful at corporate event planning.
3. Select the Right Vendors
Everyone cannot represent you. Its critical to learn how to select the right vendors. This requires you going out to local vendors and gathering information about their services. Before visiting vendors, start off with your standards. You can’t tell vendors your standards if you don’t know them. You should attempt to find at least a couple of vendors for each service or product you will be using at events. Approaching vendors face to face will also allow you to begin building professional relationships “with the business community,” and can clue you in on new services or offerings you were previously unaware of.
4. Get the Word Out
Remember, you are going to have competitors in your market. Your mission when you begin marketing is to let everyone know you are open for business and why you are different. Some ideal places to start are hotels, your local convention and visitors bureaus, association events, and with local businesses. Get the word out about the service you offer and why you are different.
Some of what is mentioned above seems given, however I find that many don’t remember to educate their contacts about their new event offerings. Further we forget to get out and find new vendors which can make our products unique. What makes you different from your competition? If you are losing a competitive advantage, why should a client choose you?