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Eight Questions to Ask When Vetting a DMC

Ask these questions to ensure you are hiring a quality DMC for your next event

If you’re considering engaging a destination management company (DMC) to execute your next big event, there are several questions you should ask during the vetting process. You’ll want to ensure you’re hiring a quality DMC that can do everything you expect of them … and more. So, when you’re vetting a DMC, consider these eight questions.

1. How long have they been in business?

When hiring a quality DMC to manage your event, don’t choose a firm that has only completed a handful of events. Instead, choose a DMC that has been around the block and managed events of all sizes and types … from small VIP events to corporate events with hundreds if not thousands of attendees. The more experience a DMC has in executing events, the more likely they’ll be able to execute your event flawlessly. For instance, at Agenda: USA, collectively our seasoned team has more than 100 years of experience in event production, so we know how to handle every detail.

2. How good are their testimonials and Google Reviews?

As you begin vetting DMCs, check out the ones you’re considering even before you speak with them in person. How are their Google Reviews … and how many are there? Do they offer testimonials on their website? If so, more than just a couple? And do their testimonials provide the name and company of the person who said good things about the DMC, ensuring they are legitimate? The more positive things said about a DMC, the better they are likely to be.

3. How responsive are they to your inquiry?

If you reach out to a DMC but don’t get to speak to a live person, consider how long it takes to get a reply. A good DMC team will check emails and voicemails regularly and respond to all inquiries promptly … at least within one business day. If you don’t hear back promptly after sending an email or leaving a voicemail, rethink whether or not that DMC should be a candidate for your business.

4. Is their website professional, with detailed info and good visuals?

A DMC’s website will likely be the first place you go to learn about the firm. Is the website welcoming, informative and easy to navigate? Are there attractive visuals, including photos or videos from past events? Does the website provide the level of detail you’re looking for, like a list of their services, the chance to check out their team, and an easy way to contact them?

5. Do they have relationships with a variety of vendors (florists, décor, entertainment, caterers, AV teams, etc.)?

As you are vetting a DMC, this question may be difficult to discern from their website. Be sure to ask them specifically about the kind of elements you’re looking for in your event in terms of food, décor, entertainment, etc. so you’ll be confident they can accommodate your wishes.

6. What is their reputation?

This may also be difficult to get a handle on when you are vetting a DMC, if you’re just looking at the DMC’s website. So consider checking references by asking other hospitality professionals in the city where your event will be held. The local Convention & Visitors Bureau should be a great resource to help you when it comes to hiring a quality DMC. They will have a solid handle on the quality DMCs in that city.

7. Is the DMC accredited?

This is an important qualification when you are vetting a DMC. When you engage a DMC that has gone to the additional effort to achieve accreditation, you’ll be hiring the best of the best. An Accredited Destination Management Company (ADMC) is a member of the Association of Destination Management Executives International (ADMEI), the premier source for education, standards and practices within the destination management industry. ADMEI has a global presence and a respected reputation, and – through its Certification & Accreditation Board – sets the standards and policies for the ADMC and DMCP (Destination Management Certified Professional) programs. I am proud to say that our Agenda: USA team has earned its ADMC accreditation.

8. Are they active in industry trade organizations?

This is another important qualification to consider when hiring a quality DMC. Any reputable DMC should be a member of at least a handful of key hospitality trade associations since the associations offer a broad array of educational opportunities as well as a terrific way to network with colleagues in the industry. Trade associations also allow a DMC to get to know various vendors and other service providers in the area. In fact, participating in trade associations not only allows a DMC to get to know others in the industry, they get to know which vendors to engage for their clients (who they can rely on to do the job). Not all vendors are cut from the same cloth, and a high-quality DMC will only work with vendors who are reliable, creative and competent. For example, our Agenda: USA team is active in nearly 20 local, regional and national trade associations because they all offer different benefits to our various team members.

Hopefully considering these eight questions when you’re vetting a DMC for your next event will mean you’ll end up with a quality DMC in the city where your event will be held. And please remember that if your event is scheduled for Kansas City or Nashville, we would welcome the opportunity to visit with you! Please reach out to me at kdouglass@agendausa.com for destination management in Kansas City

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