Thursday, December 6, 2007

ADME Achievement Award Finalists Announced

ADME 2007 Recognition Award Finalists
Winners will be announced at the ADME Achievement Awards Event, Saturday evening, 23 February 2008 at the Sheraton New Orleans.

Destination Management Professional of the Year
Susan Henderson - Atlanta Arrangements, Inc., Atlanta GA
Nicole Marsh - The Arrangers DMC, Denver CO
Deborah Martin - PRA, San Diego CA

Destination Management Rising Star
Teresa Bryant - Destination St. Louis, St. Louis MO
Meghan Norton - Atlanta Arrangements, Inc., Atlanta GA
Liz Watson - PRA San Francisco, San Francisco CA

ADME 2007 Achievement Award Finalists
Best Innovative Event - $50,000 and Under
Destination Nashville, Goodlettsville TN

metroConnections, Inc., Minneapolis MN

The Arrangers DMC, Denver CO

Best Innovative Event - $100,001 to $200,000

Chicago Travel Consultants, Chicago IL

Convention Designs, Greenwood Village CO

GEP Philly, Philadelphia PA

Best Innovative Event - $200,001 and Above

JPdL Toronto Inc., Toronto ON

PRA Destination Management San Francisco, San Francisco CA

Ultimate Ventures, Dallas TX

Best Innovative Event - $50,001 to $100,000

Convention Designs, Greenwood Village CO

CSI - Capitol Services, Inc., Falls Church VA

Destination Nashville, Goodlettsville TN

Best Overall Program

Destination Nashville, Goodlettsville TN

On The Scene, Chicago IL

The Key Event Group, Nashville TN

Best Recreational Activity

Advantage Destination & Meeting Services, Inc., N Miami Bch FL

Atlanta Arrangements, Inc., Atlanta GA

MAC Meetings & Events, St. Louis MO

Best Team-Building Activity

Convention Designs, Greenwood Village, CO

The Arrangers DMC, Denver, CO

Ultimate Ventures, Dallas, TX

Best Tour Program

Atlanta Arrangements, Inc., Atlanta GA

Best Transportation Logistics

Atlanta Arrangements, Inc., Atlanta GA

PRA Destination Management San Francisco, San Francisco CA

The Arrangers DMC, Denver CO

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

ADME Members Shine on Top 25 List

Special Events Magazine has just published their 4th annual 25 Top DMC list. The following ADME member companies are included:
  • Access Destination Services
  • Alan Waxler Group
  • Arrangers
  • Atlanta Arrangements
  • Baskow & Associates
  • Bixel & Co
  • Bonnie Boyd & Co
  • Briggs, Inc
  • Convention Planning Services
  • Destination Concepts
  • Destination Nashville
  • GEP Washington
  • In the Loop Chicago
  • IVI Destination Management
  • MAC Meetings & Events
  • ME Productions
  • MetroConnections
  • Naples Transportation, Tours & Event Planning
  • TBA Global
  • The Best of Boston
  • Ultimate Ventures

Read the entire article.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Are You Preparing to Take your DMCP Exam?

There will be a record number of destination management professionals preparing to take the DMCP exam in New Orleans on Thursday, 20 February 2008. One of these candidates, Tara Thomas, has previously successfully completed her CMP designation. In preparing for that exam, Tara found the best way to do so was to write her own sample test questions and share with other candidates (without the answers, of course!)

So, if you're preparing to take the DMCP exam, and you're interested in participating in an e-mail study group, Tara has agreed to coordinate the assignments for the areas of body of knowledge for the DMCP exam. You can contact her by emailing directly and she'll be in contact with you.

Good luck to all of the DMCP candidates.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Can Destination Management Companies Make a Change in the Carbon Footprint?

One doesn't often think of DMCs being closely aligned with environmental concerns. In fact, visitors are notorious for not thinking as much about the environment as they might do at home.

Here are two DMC initiatives that are addressing this issue...

Team members from PRA Destination Management’s 19 franchise offices recently spent three days in Phoenix, Arizona for its 2007 National Sales Meeting, where this year’s theme for the event was “Green Meetings”. In an effort to be more environmentally responsible, during the meeting PRA Destination Management made a commitment to developing and providing socially responsible programs and practices in each of its destinations to assist clients in achieving their green meeting goals and objectives. PRA is not only committed to providing green options to its clients, but has also committed itself to incorporating environmental considerations in its own daily business practices.

“In the world we live in today, individuals and businesses alike are being challenged to evaluate how environmentally responsible we truly are and steps each of us can take in combating climate change,” explained Laura Rednour, president of PRA Destination Management, Inc. “These ‘green-friendly’ practices are something we as a company are committed to applying and are pleased to extend that same commitment to our clients, who too, are interested in making environmentally-friendly activities a priority in destination programs and events.”

As part of the environmentally-friendly meeting, PRA performance team members took part in a green-themed teambuilding activity, during the annual sales meeting, entitled “Go GREEN!” The activity called on participants to create solar cars from kits provided using recyclable products such as plastic, paper, and cardboard. Teams had to ensure their solar cars worked properly with a test run in the bright Arizona sun. Meanwhile, the teams’ recycled cars were put to the ultimate test with a round robin drag-race tournament to determine the fastest and best-built car. The cars, built by PRA team members, were then donated to the Thomas J. Pappas School in Phoenix along with brand new solar car kits and classroom curriculum.

In response to an environmental initiative by the grassroots organization CHANGE THE MARGINS, Christopher Lee, DMCP, CEO of ACCESS Destination Services announced today that ACCESS will CHANGE THE MARGINS on all applicable documents companywide. CHANGE THE MARGINS, a green issues campaign, is saving trees! By encouraging the adoption of narrower printing margins companies can save approximately 19% on their paper use. Goals of CHANGE THE MARGINS include convincing Microsoft to change the default margin settings to .75 on all sides, challenging five universities to adopt narrower margin settings as the standard for their students and faculty and persuading five corporations to officially sanction narrower margins for all company documents.

ACCESS Destination Services is credited as the first company to officially adopt CHANGE THE MARGINS in the workplace by Tamara Krinsky, founder of CHANGE THE MARGINS. ACCESS CEO, Christopher Lee states, “By initiating this within our business, we can bring awareness to this issue and hopefully influence our clients (some of the largest companies in the world) to adopt similar policies. If you extrapolate it out, and someone has, this could save billions of dollars and millions of trees world-wide, each year!” For more information, visit the following websites and make a difference by signing the petition “Dear Microsoft: Change the Margins.” (link below)

HERE to visit the Change the Margins website
HERE to sign petition to Microsoft to CHANGE THE MARGINS

This is an easy bandwagon for DMCs to step onto... what is your DMC doing to help our environment?

Monday, November 5, 2007

DMC Clients

According to a survey of ADME members earlier this year, corporations account for more than half of the aggregate DMC client base. The breakdown is:
Corporate - 96.9%
Incentive - 20.8%
Association - 16.7%
Tour and Travel - 4.2%

In the other category (1.4%) is a wide range of clientele, including award shows, charities, clubs, churches, colleges, local, non-meeting events, private, prom, social, non-profit, trade shows and weddings.

Clients come from a wide range of sources. In fact, the range is so wide that 47% claimed "Other"! Hotel referrals was the largest specific source at 15% and then repeat business at 12.8% Referrals (closely related to repeat business) is 6.1%.

CVBs generated 5.5% of DMC leads with internet at 4.4%. Prospecting yielded 4.0%

How does your marketing fit into this mix?

Monday, October 8, 2007

Making Connections

Destination Management Companies develop strong relationships with local corporate clients. Corporations recognized that the services that DMCs offer far surpass the knowledge their own staff has about unique venues, local transportation and the wide range of service providers needed to create a dazzling experience. It's not unusual for a DMC client to turn first to their local DMC in hopes of finding another company of that high caliber in another location.

The Membership Directory page of the ADME website is designed to assist anyone looking for a DMC. However, since ADME doesn't have members in absolutely every city, we often get requests for referrals. Recently, we had a question about a DMC in Dubai!

Last week, we received a request from an ADME member in Nevada: One of our clients is going to Aruba next year and is looking for a DMC recommendation. Is there a company you can recommend? We didn't have to look far -- we've been communicating with an ADME member who has a company in Aruba and is in the process of having her key staff member in that company join. We put the two DMCs in touch with each other, and got this response: I just spoke with the DMC you recommended and my client plans to contact her today. This is so great. We have done this client’s programs for the last two years and I always want to make certain I am passing clients along to only the best! This is how it should work between all of us and I think it’s great! Thank you so much!!!

Monday, September 24, 2007

The Scope of DMCs

Each year, ADME surveys its members to capture information about DMC activity. Here are some of the highlights from the 2006 survey:
  • Total Annual Spending by all ADME members is $355,788,866.11
  • Total programs completed by DMCs: 21,065
  • Average number of programs annually per company: 128

In the past year, 88% of ADME members increased their volume of business compared to the previous year.

Not unsurprisingly, the average lead time ranged from 74 days for a U.S. corporation to 220 days for an association. International corporations had a lead time of 94 days and incentive houses an average lead time of 123 days.

The average group revenue showed little difference between a small and medium size group with a significant increase for a large group:

  • Small group average revenue - $24,352.31
  • Medium group average revenue - $31,310.00
  • Large group average revenue - $82,600.36

We'll share more of the survey results in an upcoming post. How does your DMC compare?

Friday, September 14, 2007

Corporate Meeting Planners and DMCs

Meeting News surveyed 413 meeting planners -- including 216 corporate meeting planners. The full results of this survey will be published in their upcoming issue on September 24.

One question on this survey was: How often do you contact a DMC in your meeting location for services or information?
21% said always
29.5% said sometimes
50% said never

Is our glass half-empty or half-full?

"There are times when corporate planners do one day training meetings or legitimately do not have a need for a DMC so why would they call? When a planner does upon a DMC, the dollar volume and amount of services provided is large and vast and that is the impact DMCs make on the meetings industry," noted Ilene B. Reinhart, DMCP, CMP Partner, ACCESS Destination Services, and ADME president.

Another way of looking at this issue would be to ask the corporate planner who DO use DMC services how much time and effort they save while improving the quality and impact of their meetings. Perhaps an industry survey will ask this question in the future.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Welcome to the 11 newest DMCPs!

We're delighted to welcome the newest class of Destination Management Certified Professionals to our ranks. With these 11 new DMCPS, our total number of Destination Management Certified Professionals is now 110.

To earn their DMCP certification, each candidate needed to demonstrate their experience in the destination management field and complete an exam that was held on August 15, 2007, in Phoenix, Arizona. For more information about DMCP certification, the next exam scheduled in New Orleans, LA on February 21, 2008 and how to enroll, check out our website.

Congratulations to:

Beverly Brin, DMCP
Director of Operations
Ultimate Ventures
Dallas TX

Robert Carey, DMCP
PRA Destination Management - Palm Springs
Palm Desert CA

Susan Carey, DMCP
Vice President
PRA Destination Management - Palm Springs
Palm Desert CA

Erica Hesley, DMCP
Director of Product Development
Ultimate Ventures
Dallas TX

Amy Johnson, DMCP, CMP
PRA Destination Management Atlanta
Atlanta GA

Iris Langanke, DMCP
Owner/Director of Operations
PRA Destination Management Orlando
Kissimmee FL

Francine McKanna, DMCP
PRA Destination Management Las Vegas
Las Vegas NV

James Myers, DMCP, CMP
PRA Destination Management
Irving TX

Jeffrey O'Hara, DMCP
PRA New Orleans
New Orleans LA

Mary Swift, DMCP
Senior Program Manager
CPS, Inc.
Orlando FL

Elizabeth Watson, DMCP
PRA Destination Management San Francisco
San Francisco CA

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

My ADME Silent Auction Experience

So often, in the spirit of charity…and personal enjoyment…I purchase exciting weekend packages at industry silent auctions, only to have them expire before I get the opportunity to enjoy them. This one sounded different….2 nights at the Ritz Carlton, airport transfers, show tickets with transportation to the newest Cirque Show, The Beatles, LOVE, and dinner with transportation to Smith & Wollensky. As I inserted a rather large figure to the bottom of the “Las Vegas Package” form at the ADME silent auction in Palm Springs, I vowed to take advantage of this mini vacation before the expiration date brought with it another disappointment. At home, I filed the envelope containing all the goodies neatly away; as I do all the others, in a desk drawer at my home office.

I don’t know if it was the daily emails and telephone calls from my ADME friends and board members or the conspicuous blank pages on my calendar over the long Labor Day holiday weekend that jarred my memory of the ADME silent auction purchase. Whatever it was, I pulled the envelope from the drawer to have another look.

Here it is, Monday, August 27….can we really make this happen by Friday? My first call was to the hotel. The woman who answered the phone at the Ritz Carlton in Lake Las Vegas sounded as excited as I was that we were coming to Las Vegas. After a short time on hold, she returned to tell me we were confirmed on the Club Level. Now for the flight….a quick call to Southwest Airlines and we were booked on a direct flight from Nashville to Las Vegas. Even though we were flying out in 3 days and over a holiday weekend, the fare was so low; it didn’t make sense to use points. With my flight in place and a hotel confirmation, I felt confident that even if the rest of the package fell short….we were going to have a great spa weekend in Las Vegas.

My third call was to AWG Destination Management in Las Vegas, the DMC who organized the package donated to the ADME silent auction. Time was of the essence, so I left a message in the voicemails of both Alan and Alene Waxler. Although I was sure they could arrange for my transportation, getting the tickets to The Beatles LOVE, on such short notice, might be challenging….and it was. Their operations manager, Laura Devine, was just that….DIVINE. She kept me updated every step of the way and ultimately came through with tickets which were waiting for me at Will Call. As a DMC, I knew the hoops she had to jump through to make this happen and can hear the excitement in her voice when she delivered the news.

Although I know it’s not the first time, I must say it’s been such a long time since I was on the receiving end and actually experienced what it felt like to be one of those “incentive program attendees” who we all work with so often. All I had to do was show up and a car was waiting to take me on my next excursion, which I knew was flawlessly arranged by my destination management company.

I’ve learned two things from this experience:
1. No matter how expensive the silent auction package may seem at the time, it’s well worth the investment….if you use it.
2. By sharing my first hand experience as not only the provider, but the receiver of destination management services, I can convince any client how important it is to use a DMC.

Rhonda Marko, CMP, CMM, DMCP
President & CEO
Destination Nashville

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Proposals, Part Two

Our post on August 17 has sparked some discussion.

According to our poll on this blog, 58% of those responding already have information about the proprietary nature of their proposal included; 35% don't at this time, but do plan to add this language. That's a resounding 90%+!

Only 5% of the responders indicate they don't have this kind of language in their proposal, nor will they add it. Paul Ferguson, an ADME member in San Juan, writes: I’ve read the pre-proposal disclaimer and while I applaud the directness of the verbiage, I’m afraid that in a highly competitive environment like Puerto Rico where we fall all over one another sometimes in our eagerness to get close to a potential client, and in an overall climate where the buyers are becoming more and more sophisticated, with elaborate RFIs in order to pre-qualify potential DMCs, using such a statement would be a real turn-off unless our major competitors were to follow the same practice – which will not happen.
If anyone comes up with a kinder and gentler version of the disclaimer, I’d love to see it for our possible usage.

So, to continue this discussion, please take a look at our new poll... and feel free to note your comments in our comments section (just click on the comments link below).

ADME in the news....
Two meetings industry i-newsletters, Meeting News Extra and Corporate Meetings & Incentives have announced the launching of this blog... and noted the topic of proprietary information in proposals as an interesting one to follow.

Meeting News Extra notes:

Tip Sheet
The Dish on DMCs, etc.
There are two new blogs in town. DMConversations is geared to destination management company professionals and is hosted by the Association of Destination Management Executives. One recent posting dealt with a sensitive issue in the meetings industry, that of idea theft. "If there is one issue that all DMCs are concerned with, it is the proprietary information they include in proposals ... and how to make the point to clients that they just can't take these ideas and execute them on their own--or take them to another DMC to execute,"

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

ADMC Program in the News!

The August issue of Corporate Meetings and Incentives has an article on page 6 about the new Accredited Destination Management Company program launched by ADME less than one month ago. See below for the article link.

Why is this important? Because this magazine is read by DMC clients! Already one of our ADME members has reported "we had a corporate client ask us last week on a site if we plan to become accredited!"

This company has already completed their application for ADMC status... and more than 35 companies have already enrolled in the ADMC program. The deadline for the first class is September 30. Companies that successfully complete ADMC process from this class will earn the Charter ADMC designation. More information about this program is available here.

Here's a tip: to qualify for ADMC, a DMC must have an individual with the DMCP (Destination Management Certified Professional) on staff. If you don't currently have one on staff, you can enroll in the DMCP program by October 15 to take the test in New Orleans on February 21, 2008. You can then have your ADMC application submitted by the March 31, 2008 deadline for consideration.

Don't know much about the DMCP Program? Sign up for the FREE webinar, Steps to Obtaining your DMCP that will be offered on September 30 at 1 pm ET / 12 CT / 11 am MT / 10 am PT. To register, email ADME and note in the subject: Registration for DMCP Free Webinar. You will receive confirmation of your registration and shortly before the webinar you will receive the connection information and the outline for notes.

Here's the article from Corporate Meetings and Incentives: Launch Of A DMC Certification
Aug 1, 2007 12:00 PM, By Dave Kovaleski
The Association of Destination Management Executives, Dayton, Ohio, is rolling out a new accreditation program that it hopes will simplify the job of sourcing a professionally run, experienced destination management company. Read on...

Dean doesn't dampen ADME members spirits in Cancun

We're delighted to report that Alicia Astudillo and Jose-Manuel Garcia, IVI Cancun, report that although they received heavy rain and an occasional strong wind, their destination and families are fine. They now have good weather and are ready to "rock and roll!" Be sure to see them at the Motivation Show to convey your own good wishes.

We're checking with the ADME members in Jamaica to see how they fared... we'll share their info with you when we hear.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Proprietary Information in Proposals

If there is one issue that all DMCs are concerned with, it is the proprietary information they include in proposals... and how to make the point to clients that they just can't take these ideas and execute them on their own -- or take them to another DMC to execute!

Recently, an ADME member asked for some language to include in their proposal that might help alert the prospective client to the proprietary nature of this information. A few ADME members collaborated on a paragraph that addresses this point. One member uses this statement on the first page of their proposal every time.

Interested? Go to the Members Only page of to see the entire paragraph. ADME members are welcome to use this language in their proposal. Just a caution... check with your attorney if you have any legal questions.

If anybody else has similar verbiage they're willing to share, please email us at We'll post it on the members only page.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Welcome to DMConversation!

The Association of Destination Management Executives (ADME) welcomes you to its weblog (blog for short).
This weblog is designed to provide continuing information about ADME's activities, plans, recent successes... and issues of interest to DMCs.

Here’s the plan:

Weekly short pieces on:

  • Latest happenings in ADME
  • Plans for future programs and activities for input from ADME members
  • Burning questions -- either from ADME members or from the meetings industry that pertain to DMCs
  • Great publicity for DMCs
  • Other thoughts about DMCs we want to share

Longer essays once a month will be posted here along with other association news.

We’ll also be responding to comments from individuals and welcome lively discussions about destination management company issues.

So, welcome to the new ADME Destination Management Conversations!