Destination management company

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The destination management company (DMC) is a liaison between the out of town client and all of the services of a destination that the host property does not offer. DMCs range from those that provide very specialized services to full service firms capable of handling all logistics. For instance, some companies provide only ground transportation (such as buses, limos, and vans), while others can handle personally, or can subcontract, everything a client needs. For instance, full service firms can book entertainment, plan theme parties, coordinate tours and spouse programs, and handle off site events (including catering) at museums and other local attractions.

Full service firms can also provide personnel. For instance, exhibitors may want to hire local models to work exhibit booths. Trained registration personnel can also be hired. And ‘moving decor,’ such as costumed models, caricature artists, and celebrity look a likes, can be used to help carry out an event’s theme. Generally speaking, it is much cheaper for the out of town corporate and association clients to hire these persons locally than to pay transportation and per diem maintenance for company employees.

DMCs are oftentimes used to secure props for theme parties. For instance, a DMC can see to it that a 1960s party has a vintage Mustang or Corvette display. This intermediary can also coordinate appropriate balloon art and pyrotechnics displays.

Many out of town clients are willing to pay a local DMC to provide guidance in an unfamiliar area. It is very difficult for a client to judge the quality of services available if he or she has never visited the area. This intermediary can relieve the client of this burden. Furthermore, it can handle negotiations and oversee every detail, thereby ensuring a successful event.

Clients whose events are held in a different area every year prefer working with DMCs. These intermediaries have made it easy for clients to indulge this preference by locating themselves in major convention cities. In fact, some national firms, such as USA Hosts, have local offices in several major convention cities that provide large corporate clients one stop service as well as favorable quantity discount prices for this service.

Of course, there are independent DMCs that work only in one part of the country. Because of their specialized approach, clients may find them to be the best option. The Association for Destination Management Executives (ADME) can be visited at:


Shock, Patti J., & Stefanelli, John (2001). On Premise Catering: Hotels, Convention & Conference Centers and Clubs. John Wiley & Sons, Inc.


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