What the Blank is a DMC!
For the uninitiated, DMC stands for Destination Management Company, a sub-set of full-service event management companies whose expertise is tied to specific destinations.
They are from there, know everyone, know the language and culture, know whom to ask for what, whom to avoid and whom to bribe… and know where to find a three-hole punch at two o’clock in the morning if that’s what you need.
Or put another way… when you hire a full-service third-party event management company to help you anywhere outside of your home country, most likely they will sub-contract a lot of it to a DMC.
Yes, the mark-up upon mark-up thing. But remember… it’s like buying insurance.
The cost of a failure will usually far outweigh the cost of the insurance of having local expertise, and the full-service experts know what they know and what they don’t know.
Or put another way… if you have any sort of event outside of your home country and you do not hire a DMC to handle at least some of it for you… you are asking for trouble.
Or put another way… we had a large group arriving in Acapulco.
An abnormal amount of luggage went missing upon arrival.
The airlines could not find it. The following morning our DMC took us to the “thieves market” in a very non-tourist part of the city and… there they were.
Apparently unopened and being sold as a “set”. I am not making this up.
After a lengthy negotiation in Spanish between our DMC and the “proprietor”, we settled on a reasonable price and brought it all back to the hotel and our attendees.
So I ask you… could you have done that directly and cut out the middleman? I’ve got dozens of war stories like that.
Or put another way… If you have a small well-travelled group and you are not going to do much of anything outside your hotel (and you speak the language or have a local employee that does), then maybe you can take a chance and do it all yourself… find the right vendors, negotiate and sign contracts, have the time to manage it and follow through, and all of that meeting planning stuff.
Anything slightly more complicated than that… at least get some bids from some reputable and vetted DMCs.
Source : Neil Cramer President, All Things Meetings, Inc.
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