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Big DMCs Reveal Top Trends in Special Events

Big destination management companies share top trends – better business practices, tight turnarounds, and the power of technology – in the event industry today.

Special Events are at work on the ninth edition of their “25 Top DMCs” list, an overview of the biggest DMCs in business. An essential part of the story: the forecasts we hear for major trends shaping this critical segment of the event industry.

Here are some snippets on the latest on rebounding business, the power of technology, and the threat of “disintermediation.”

It’s high time for high tech in special events

Look for sophisticated on-site events, integrated use of technology–iPads, tablets–for teambuilding activities, and recyclable/reusable items such as centerpieces.” —ACCESS Destination Services, San Diego

“As decision times get tighter and tighter, experience, technology and relationships grow even more critical. Our proprietary software and data entry investments allow us to meet new response time requirements while maintaining a creative edge.” –Hello! Destination Management, Orlando, Fla.

Business—last-minute, that is—is getting better:

“The economy is picking up, with last-minute bookings.” —Briggs Inc., New York

“Business is definitely back, with shorter turnaround times for proposals. Clients are looking for more from a DMC than just local knowledge. They rely on us to be efficient, reliable, creative and cost-effective.” —Destination Concepts Inc., San Diego

Despite shorter event programs, “the quality of content is improving and organisations are finding ways to streamline. Technology is rapidly improving and creating more efficiencies on a variety of levels for the event/meeting management.” –MetroConnections, Minneapolis

“Major trends affecting our markets are still a short-term confirmation window, but with that, we are now experiencing group requests for high-end, one-of-a-kind experiences. They are awarding their top producers once again.” –RMC, Aspen, Colo.

Beijing is back: After several years of China business going to second-tier cities, “Beijing has become the ‘hot’ destination in China again. And, with direct flights from Europe and the Middle East, Chengdu is becoming a centre for business meetings.” —Destination China, Beijing

And don’t leave out London: “More recently we have been experiencing increases in numbers to some of our programs, which we think is as a result of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations and the everlasting images seen during the London 2012 Olympics. People are working harder than ever to qualify to get here and see London for themselves.” –SPECTRA, London

The power of partnerships: 360 sees “the request from clients to being an integral part of their team in brainstorming, planning and execution of the programs. Partnerships are back, and clients are selective to choose the right vendor that really stand outs in a crowd, no matter what location.” –360 Destination Group, Irvine, Calif.

The DMC business isn’t for the faint of heart: “DMCs are the last to be booked and the first to be eliminated due to budget. Forecasting and staffing are the most difficult for us.” –Destinations by Design, Las Vegas

DMCs’ margins are shrinking as the local market becomes “more savvy,” management says. “DMCs are evolving to provide a full spectrum of MICE services to remain competitive.” –Pacific World, Singapore

And the bad word of the day: Disintermediation—also know as “cutting out the middleman.” Many vendors are trying to sell direct to the customer, bypassing agents and brokers, notes Ovation Global DMC, Dublin

Source : http://specialevents.com

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