Corporate Events

Destination Management Trends

As Phoenix’s hottest Destination Management Company, Vermilion is always looking for not only the hottest trends but ones that lead an improved program for your program.
As Special Events magazine releases its latest list of top DMCs, the big companies with big insights in the event business list the top trends.

Lisa Hurley | Jun 20, 2017

See the full story in the Summer issue of Special Events. Not a subscriber? We can fix that; just click here.

“In an increasingly unpredictable global landscape, one of the most important things DMCs can do is anticipate the unexpected,” management says. “Being prepared, consistent, and providing alternatives–whether they be programmatic, or altogether different experiences in other locations if necessary–are key to maintaining client confidence and the ability to deliver under any circumstance.”

“Lead times on pending business continue to trend in a positive direction,” management says. “For example, we have more 2019 business contracted and pending than we did for 2018 and 2017. This trend continues to assure us that incentive and meeting business is on the rebound. Additionally, sustainability requests in our program content is growing among our majors clients as a common expectation.”

“We’re excited to see the booking window grow and, although we continue to have last-minute requests, we have significant business already contracted for 2018 and beyond,” management says. “Additionally, we’re seeing clients increasing budgets in the 11th hour with add-ons to entertainment, activities and gifting being the most common. Requests for custom content or experiences versus the standard off-the-shelf tours, teambuilding or entertainment options continue to grow as well.”

“Across all of our markets, there seems to be a consistent trend towards engaging guests in new immersive experiences,” management says. “Programs do not happen in a vacuum, and clients are finding that their guests want to learn about the world around them and have an authentic experience within the meeting’s destination, which may include a welcome gift of local items, behind-the-scenes city tours, and evening receptions at venues that epitomize the destination. Additionally, with the influx of millennials attending these events, experiences need to have a quality that guests want to ‘write home about.’ In other words, social media-worthy.”

The big trend: “The need for DMCs to approach their roles as providers of design solutions for each customer’s unique goals and challenges,” management says. “DMCs that operate simply as a broker of group services will ultimately fail to survive the challenges of our evolving industry.”

“Emergency preparedness continues to be at the forefront of the event industry,” management says. “Conversations regarding preparedness are now occurring as a regular part of the planning process. We are also seeing a shorter planning window for events in 2018 and beyond attributed to the geopolitical climate.”

“We are seeing a higher priority being placed on the overall comfort and engagement of the attendees, so we are creating atmospheres and environments that are ‘cool’ instead of ‘corporate,'” managements says. “This rolls into entertainment, speakers, messaging and F&B choices. Designed networking atmospheres like coffee shops or craft breweries aren’t seen as big ‘splurges’ anymore because brands are seeing a huge value in the quality of interactions they encourage.”

It’s a “tech explosion in every facet and corner of the event and DMC experience for our customers,” management says. “Every element of our industry continues to become more and more connected, from planning, onsite social engagement, meeting collateral, execution and especially interactivity surprises when customers don’t even expect it. It’s a digital world, and we are pushing the envelope every day on what is new and never been done before.”

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