Five Things to Know About the Destination Management Industry

If you’re new to the Destination Management industry, consider this an introduction. The term “Destination Management Company” or DMC is not one many professionals are familiar with, but if you’ve recently been charged with coordinating an event or meeting for your company, it’s an industry you need to know about.

Understanding What Are DMCs

A Destination Management Company or DMC is defined as a professional services company that is located in a destination and specializes in local expertise and resources for its clients. To simplify it, we like to say that a DMC is a strategic partner that provides creative experiences in event production, tours/activities, entertainment, transportation, and program logistics. It may be simpler to think of us as an architect for events. You wouldn’t build a house without planning and having a point person in charge of all of the moving pieces; it’s the same with your events. 

Examples of DMC Associations

At Agenda: USA, we’re a DMC in Kansas City dedicated to creating a positive experience for every client. Several associations make up the Destination Management industry. 

One of the most important associations that our team belongs to is Meeting Professionals International (MPI), the largest meeting planner and event planner industry association worldwide. MPI members go through a rigorous education program to receive their Certified Meeting Professional (CMP) certification. The CMP certification process is managed by the Events Industry Council. You should confirm that your DMC has CMP-certified staff to ensure that they are up to date with industry standards and training. 

Another extremely important organization is the Association for Destination Management Executives International (ADMEI). ADMEI is a membership association for Destination Management Companies (DMCs) and is considered the premier resource for education, standards, and practices within the international Destination Management industry. ADMEI has a global presence and respected reputation for sharing the value of DMCs with both internal and external stakeholders. Members of ADMEI must pass a stringent test that qualifies them to be considered a Destination Management Certified Professional (DMCP). Agenda: USA has multiple DMC professionals on staff. To locate an accredited DMC in your area, check the ADMEI site. 

In addition to individuals earning their DMCP designation through ADMEI, companies like Agenda: USA that strives to be recognized as a premier DMC can take the additional step of becoming an “Accredited Destination Management Company” (ADMC). To be considered an ADMC, the company must have at least one full-time DMCP professional on staff, have been in business for at least five years, and have a minimum of $2 million in insurance (including errors and omissions). 

What to Know About DMCs

Now that I’ve shared the basics with you, here are five important things you should know about the Destination Management industry:

1. Network of Hospitality Professionals

We’re made up of professionals with deep experience in hospitality roles such as event production, transportation, audiovisual/IT, entertainment, and more. Many Destination Management professionals built their careers in one of these positions, before transitioning to a true DMCP role. So, when it comes to having the expertise needed to ensure your event is a success, you can count on the experience of a professional.  

2. High Standard Membership

Our industry has high standards, and we insist our members adhere to them. As highlighted above, individuals must go through a stringent education process before earning either their CMP or DMCP certification and must recertify regularly. 

For more information about earning a CMP designation, visit the Events Industry Council’s website.  And for more information about the DMCP process for individuals – or the ADMC certification process for companies – visit the above ADMEI website. 

3. Continuous Program Improvement 

We’re constantly working to improve our capabilities and deliver even better programs and experiences. In addition to being members of MPI and ADMEI, many of us are also active members of several other hospitality industry organizations, such as the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA), the Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA), the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) or the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE). 

Our membership in these organizations not only allows us to enjoy networking with other like-minded professionals, but also gives us myriad opportunities for ongoing learning, the ability to hone our skills, and the chance to share valuable information about local vendors and resources.

4. Tight Community of Peers

We’re an industry of close-knit peers who all know each other. We share information and ideas, and we often collaborate to meet the needs of our clients. For instance, if one of us learns about a spectacular new venue, a talented new caterer, or a terrific (but unknown) florist, we’ll share that information with our colleagues. Destination Management professionals all have the same goal of ensuring our clients get the best experience when they visit our destination.

5. Knowledgeable and Resourceful Experts

We know how to get things done and love to get creative! So, tell us your ideas. What is it you’d like your event to accomplish? Thanks to our network of vendors and resources across the Destination Management industry, once we know your goals, we’ll get to work, executing on your behalf. We’ll do everything in our power to ensure you have an extraordinary experience.

The Bottom Line

The Destination Management industry may not be one you had heard of before. But if you’re planning an event, and choose to engage a firm— or an individual Meeting Planner or Event Coordinator – to help you execute on your company’s behalf, you would be well-served to understand the Destination Management industry. The expertise of Destination Management professionals can help you ensure your event will be a success.