DMC’s: Fluffing Your Dollar

With the economic downturn everyone, everywhere is looking to find ways to trim back their budgets and save money.  The hospitality industry is no stranger to budget cutbacks and literal business eradication, after suffering through a devastating wipe-out of events/hospitality industry in the first 18 months of the stormy economy.  Established companies went out of business within days due to business simply dissolving into thin air with cancellation after cancellation and corporations going underground to avoid public scrutiny or perceptions that they were holding extravagant events and trips on the taxpayer dime.

But times are a changing and while business most likely won’t necessarily return in the same way, we are smarter, stronger and more aware now than ever before of the value that we bring to the table for our clients. We’ve had to re-evaluate, restructure and find new ways of doing business.  In doing so, we’ve really had to focus on the value that we bring to the table and how to increase what we call the “benefit effect.”

As a corporate event planner, it’s important to understand what really saves you money and what doesn’t when planning your meetings and events.  I want to share some thoughts with you that I am hopeful will  help you better understand the value of a DMC and our services as you are looking for that return on investment and budget accountability.  While  some of theses thoughts are not new, they are good reminders of how much monetary worth a DMC can bring to your programs.

1.       We are local. You are playing in our backyard.  We know the ins and the outs, where the best value can be found, where to go and where not to go.  We are your boots on the ground.

2.       We have relationships. We work with the very people you go to directly thinking it saves you money.  The difference is that we bring our local businesses a lot of money.  Often times we can offer special rates that you won’t get when approaching a hotel or venue without us.

3.      We are a lifeline. When something goes wrong, who are you going to call?  Another vendor off the internet?  DMC’s are your ally.  Your partner.  Your success is in our best interest and more often than not, we can literally be your lifesaver when an unexpected situation arises directing you to a solution that is cheaper, faster and reliable.

4.      Knowledge is power. We know the quality suppliers, the reputable business owners and who aren’t.  With the internet at the fingertips, businesses spring up over night.  We’ve vetted our vendors and worked with our local people.  These are our colleagues and business partners.  We have the relationships to make great things happen when you need them the most.  Take for instance, you are in a foreign country and there is a taxi strike (which actually happened to a me when I was in Rome).  Who are you going to call for transportation?    How do you find out information as to when the strike will end. Your local contact has the know- how and the contacts to create success for you rather than being at the mercy of someone looking to make a great dollar off your misfortune.

5.       We save you money. From entertainment to hotels and transportation, we can save you money.  We work with the local people all the time.  Often times, we can get a special rate with a hotel, a venue, or even a caterer.  In addition, we know what’s available locally so that you can save substantially in travel and hotel costs for elements that can be obtained locally.  The savings we offer you most times more than not offsets the cost of our services AND STILL saves you money.

To maximize the savings, bring your DMC into the loop early. Once you’ve begun negotiating with the hotel, it’s too late for the DMC to get you that special rate.   Pick up the phone and call us as soon as possible.  Bringing us in sooner will only help you save money since most of us base our fees based on the final services that we offer to clients.  The side benefit of that is that it’s only going to make your program stronger but more creative.  As they say, the early bird gets the worm.

I hope that you will find these tips to be helpful as you consider your next destination and the team that you will use to make it your best program ever.  At The VIBE Agency, providing our clients with great value and benefit is one of our biggest commitments.

For more information on the Vibe Agency or your next program in Miami, please contact valerie@thevibeagency.com.  We look forward to helping you make your next trip, an experience of a lifetime.

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