Do you ever feel left out? Getting down on yourself because it seems like people don’t need you anymore? Some nefarious practices seem to be swirling about the destination and events industry as people are trying to bypass DMCs to save a few pennies. It’s beginning to feel like someone asked you for Cheryl’s number to invite her to the party, but your Evite to the party got lost on the way to your inbox.
More and more planners are trying to go direct these days, but some are still trying to dupe DMCs into giving up the names and contact information of their trusted suppliers and vendors. There is one elementary and fundamental way to stop this from happening: stop giving out the names of your vendors. If it means you have to work harder creating explanations of venues and services to sell clients on an experience, so be it. Don’t feel bad about it either; when someone asks for your recommendations and goes around you, it amounts to a theft of services.
Not to mention, planners won’t get the same quality of services without the help of a DMC, even if they cherry pick vendors.
In a recent post we touched on the importance of proving your value to customers. Below is what we deem a pretty excellent list — if we do say so ourselves — of concrete ways you can quantify the value of a DMC to customer.
Established relationships save money beyond the fixed rate.
DMCs work locally. They are repeat customers. They bring massive amounts of volume sales to local vendors. Vendors trust DMCs and are always willing to go to the extra mile to ensure a good relationship. To put it frankly, when planners book directly, vendors view them as a one hit wonder at best or someone to take advantage of at worst.
DMCs can leverage those relationships. If planners book 20 people on an event and a last minute change means only 12 are coming, vendors will still charge for 20. Not so with a DMC. Vendors won’t risk that valuable relationship because DMCs will be back. Vendors will likely go after every penny they can from planners because the likelihood of them returning in a meaningful timeframe is pretty minimal.
Insider knowledge you can’t get on Google.
DMCs are a vault of knowledge. They know more than just the lodging, catering, and recreational activities. They are local insiders who can tell you everything from how traffic patterns may affect getting to and from venues to how the weather is likely to impact an event. That’s not stuff you can find out by searching the web. DMCs know all the ancillary planning factors that are often the difference between a successful program or a complete failure, which serves to eliminate costly errors in decision making and programming.
Eliminate lost opportunity costs.
At what point is mediocre service no longer sufficient? Is it when ten percent of guests are unsatisfied? Five percent? Two percent? Likely any number of unsatisfied people is too many. It reflects poorly on everybody involved, from vendors to planners. If a vendor has to answer to a DMC, again a repeat customer not a one-timer like a planner, they will know that a single unsatisfied client is one too many.
Sometimes scouring for a cheap deal leads to what looks like a cost savings opportunity, but more often than not cutting corners to save a few pennies up front means losing at least a few dollars on the back end. Blindly cutting costs consistently leads to exponentially diminishing returns. Excellence will always have a higher ROI than frugality and mediocrity. DMCs ensure excellence; it is their mission to deliver it.
Time is money.
It can be talked about ad nauseam, but time is the most valuable resource there is. Whether it’s a professional planner who has 100 events on his/her plate or an executive assistant charged with planning an event, time spent organizing the fine details of an event is time not spent doing the various other tasks they are faced with.
Without a DMC to help, planners are forced to double check venues, confirm transportation options, rearrange reservations as numbers change, and make emergency modifications to itineraries. Needless to say, that’s a daunting task. DMCs are there to do the heavy lifting and keep track of all the seemingly mundane tasks and details so you don’t have to. Planners should invest their time where it’s most valuable while letting DMCs invest time where they are experts.
Exclusivity, opportunity, and premium level service.
DMCs have access to exclusive opportunities including unadvertised pricing structures and programming options that aren’t available to people who plan directly. Many of these exclusive opportunities aren’t public knowledge, and they certainly can’t be found with a vague search query on the web.
DMCs are the key to every hidden opportunity to find the perfect option for an event. With all the return service DMCs bring, vendors are willing to pull out all the stops for platinum level, premium service and options that aren’t normally available. DMCs provide the knowledge and peace of mind that comes with knowing no opportunity will pass by.
Now that we’ve outlined some of the concrete ways DMCs can quantify their value, it’s up to you to prove it to your client.
Like we said in a recent post, prove your worth and the business will come. Put together some marketing materials that you can give directly to your client. Whether it’s an email detailing what you can do, or a section you include in a proposal, be ready to truly show clients how you bring value and worth to the table. Don’t expect that clients will keep doing business as usual, give them a reason to choose you.