Top 5 mistakes DMCs make


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DMC Hello Scotland identify the top 5 mistakes that DMC's can make, and how to avoid choosing a DMC who makes these mistakes.

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Top 5 mistakes DMCs make

  1. 1. The  Top  5  Disastrous  Mistakes  a  DMC  Can  Make…   (And  how  to  avoid  DMCs  who  make  these  mistakes!)   Brought  to  you  by  Hello  Scotland  (©  2011)  
  2. 2. The  Top  5  Disastrous  Mistakes  DMCs  Can  Make…   (And  how  to  avoid  DMCs  who  make  these  mistakes!)  Dear Reader, !Firstly, many thanks for choosing to download our report. In over 15years in the industry we’ve seen everything from the best DMC service tothe worst and everything in between!! What  is  a  DMC?  This report will arm you with the right questions, expectations and First  thing’s  first,  what  is  a  DMC?  Many  of  you  who  are  warning signs you need to know when you’re choosing a DMC partner. ! reading  this  will  of  course  know  exactly  what  a  DMC  is   and  what  they  do,  but  for  those  who  are  perhaps  new  to  Even if like us, you’ve been in the industry for a long time, it can be easy the  industry,  here’s  a  brief  outline…..  to get caught up in your own world and miss the warning signs that thisreport points out – even during the writing of the report, we all took astep back to evaluate our own decision making processes!! A  DesHnaHon  Management  Company  (DMC)  is  an  In the following pages you’ll find out how to avoid DMCs who:! professional  service  company  who  have  extensive   experHse,  knowledge  and  resources  within  their  local  1.  Don’t offer a comprehensive duty of care to visiting groups! desHnaHon.    2.  Suggest and sell activities / venues / concepts they can’t deliver or are unfamiliar with ! A  DMC  provides  ground  services  to  their  clients  through  3.  Are not up front with their costs and who hid ‘extras’! the  design,  creaHon  and  implementaHon  of  corporate  4.  Don’t communicate effectively with the program suppliers! events,  acHviHes,  incenHves,  product  launches  and  the  5.  Don’t understand the dynamics of the relationship you have with your accompanying  logisHcal  program,  for  example,   own clients ! accommodaHon,  venues,  restaurants,  team  building   acHviHes,  transfers  and  incenHve  rewards.    Please do take the time to read each dilemma and the ‘avoid’ solution foreach DMC problem – it will save you time, money and effort in the long DMCs  differ  from  tour  operators  in  that  they  don’t  run!! normally  deal  with  the  end  client  (the  buyer),  but  rather   through  agents  –  who  may  be  tour  operators.    Warmest wishes!Bill Thomson!Hello Scotland Ambassador! Brought  to  you  by  Hello  Scotland  (©  2011)  
  3. 3. The  top  5  disastrous  mistakes  DMCs  can  make   (And  how  to  AVIOD  DMCs  who  make  these  mistakes)   Why  would  I  use  a  DMC?  When  most  of  us  book  holidays  we  go  straight  to  the  internet  for  advice  and  booking,  for   •   FrustraHng  for  you  as  you  have  lifle  Hme  to  bond  and  build  a  rapport  with  your  example,  Skyscanner  for  flights,  for  accommodaHon  –  not  forge]ng  trip   client  as  you  are  pre-­‐checking  and  doing  the  jobs  a  DMC  would,  meaning  you  can’t  a)  adviser  to  see  what  others  have  to  say  about  our  chosen  desHnaHon  or  resort.     tend  to  their  needs  efficiently,  or  b)  build  a  lasHng  relaHonship  with  them  That’s  fine  when  you’re  booking  it  for  yourself  and/or  your  family  and  if  anything  goes   •   Not  as  you  or  your  client  had  expected  it  to  be  in  terms  of  the  venue  atmosphere,  wrong,  you  might  have  a  bad  holiday,  but  that’s  the  end  of  repercussions.     service,  creaHvity  and  overall  experience  –  resulHng  in  disappointed  parHcipants  But  when  you’re  booking  it  for  a  client,  they  are  pu]ng  their  faith  in  you  to  make  the   What’s  the  answer  to  stop  all  of  these  scenarios…choosing  a  local  DMC  who  has  skills,  right  choices  for  them…that  puts  a  lot  more  pressure  on  you  as  the  agent  than  you  as   experHse  and  knowledge  to  give  you  a  professional  service  and  a  soluHon  to  your  the  ‘family  holiday  booker’!     clients  needs.    Consider  the  average  number  of  desHnaHons  each  client  asks  you  to  present  to  them,  it  could  be  1,  it  could  be  3,  heck  we’ve  even  know  it  to  be  as  many  as  6  desHnaHons!     About  the  DMC  Industry  Imagine  managing  all  of  the  opHons  (including  accommodaHon,  venues,  acHviHes,   There  are  some  great  service-­‐driven  and  creaHve  DMCs  out  there  and  transfers  etc)  for  up  to  6  desHnaHons  you’re  mildly  familiar  with,  for  each  of  your  clients,   the  compeHHve  nature  of  the  industry  means  that  organizaHons  have  for  each  of  their  potenHal  groups?!   had  to  find  ways  of  adding  extra  value  for  their  clients  through  best  Enter  your  local  DMC…!  DMCs  are  like  an  extension  of  your  own  office,  a  ‘local’  part  of   pracHce  and  high  quality  offerings.    you  in  another  desHnaHon.  Their  knowledge  of  the  local  market  should  be  second  to  none,  making  your  job  of  presenHng  the  possible  opHons  to  your  client  easy.     This  is  great  news  for  travel  buyers,  but  unfortunately  the  law  of   averages  means  there  are  always  going  to  be  a  few  rogues  in  the  pack  A  service-­‐driven  and  efficient  DMC  should  offer  you:   who  aren’t  up  to  the  standards  of  the  rest.    •   Local  experHse  on  accommodaHon,  venues,  acHviHes,  transfers  etc   This  guide  will  help  anyone  looking  for  a  new  desHnaHon  partner  •   Excellent  relaHonships  with  local  suppliers  for  best  prices  and  flexibility   weigh  up  the  risks  of  who  to  choose,  through  explaining  the  top  5  •   The  ability  to  translate  your  clients  needs  into  a  logisHcally  possible  ground  program   mistakes  that  DesHnaHon  Management  Companies  can  make  with  Without  choosing  to  partner  a  DMC  your  client’s  trip  could  be:   your  group’s  booking  –  making  it  a  vital  read  for  business  travel   professionals!  •   Much  more  stressful  for  you  in  the  planning  stage  as  you  juggle  the  desHnaHon  choices      and  all  of  the  communicaHon  /  provisional  bookings  with  venues  &  suppliers   Not  only  will  you  learn  what  these  mistakes  are,  but  you’ll  discover   how  to  spot  the  early  warning  signs  and  avoid  DMCs  who  could  make  •   A  logisHcal  nightmare  with  late  /  early  transfers,  or  a  program  that  doesn’t  flow   these  mistakes  that  put  the  success  of  your  incenHve  /  business  travel  smoothly  as  a  result  of  language  or  cultural  barriers  between  you  and  the  local  suppliers   arrangements  at  risk.     Brought  to  you  by  Hello  Scotland  (©  2011)  
  4. 4. The  top  5  disastrous  mistakes  DMCs  can  make   (And  how  to  AVIOD  DMCs  who  make  these  mistakes)   Disastrous  Mistake  Number  One   The  DMC  doesn’t  offer  a  comprehensive  duty  of  care  to  visiCng  groups    The  travel  industry  is  parHcularly  prone  to  external  crises  with  recent  events  like  volcanic  ash  disrupHon  and  industry  strikes  reminding  us  of  the  potenHal  disrupHon  traveling  groups  can  be  exposed  too.    It’s  always  going  to  be  difficult  to  plan  for  unpredictable  events  and  although  many  DMCs  may  have  sound  crisis  communicaHon  plans,  process  and  risk  scenarios  in  place,  there  are  some  disasters  that  are  simply  unavoidable.    This  doesn’t  mean  that  in  the  middle  of  a  crisis  your  DMC  can  step  back,  hold   AVOID!  up  their  hands  and  say  ‘there’s  no  way  of  predicHng  this  would  have  happened  –  it’s  out  of  our  hands  and  there’s  nothing  we  can  do  to  help’,  yet   There’s  a  simple  soluHon  to  avoiding  the  stress  of  having  to  sort  out  some  DMCs  may  give  you  lifle  help  in  a  disaster  situaHon.     problems  on  your  own  –  make  sure  you  don’t  choose  a  ‘sleeping’   DMC!  In  truth  most  groups  will  enjoy  travel  without  any  real  crisis,  but  you  would  hope  that  in  any  problem  situaHon,  your  DMC  would  offer  you  support  for   Ok  that’s  probably  easier  said  that  done,  but  by  asking  your  even  the  smallest  on-­‐site  problems,  for  example  delayed  /  cancelled  flights,   potenHal  DMC  two  simple  quesHons  during  the  tendering  process,  lost  luggage  or  illness.     you  can  either  be  safe  in  the  knowledge  that  you’ll  have  their   support,  or  a  concerned  that  you  will  not.    No  mafer  the  scale  of  the  problem  your  DMC  should  offer  you  a  sufficient  level  of  professional  &  accessible  care,  through  open  and  honest   The  two  quesHons  are:  communicaHon.     1.  What  is  your  duty  of  care  to  visiCng  clients  in  the  case  of  any  For  example,  the  most  common  occurrence  encountered  is  lost  luggage.  It’s   crisis?  not  life  or  death  but  can  be  a  stressful  Hme  for  the  individual  concerned.   2.  What  on-­‐site  support  guarantees  do  you  offer?    Your  DMC  needs  to  be  able  to  react  to  this  in  a  compassionate  and  caring  way,  whilst  keeping  in  constant  contact  with  you  and  the  airline.     If  they  can’t  answer  you  or  you’re  not  confident  in  their   response,  you  should  consider  whether  using  their  services  is  Other  more  serious  incidents,  like  stranded  passengers  will  of  course   going  to  be  the  right  choice.  demand  the  full  afenHon  of  your  DMC,  to  assist  you  in  helping  your  client  through  a  crisis.     Brought  to  you  by  Hello  Scotland  (©  2011)  
  5. 5. The  top  5  disastrous  mistakes  DMCs  can  make   (And  how  to  AVIOD  DMCs  who  make  these  mistakes)   Disastrous  Mistake  Number  Two   The  DMC  has  suggested  and  sold  you  acCviCes/venues/concepts  that  they  are  unfamiliar  with  The  scenario…  “You’re  planning  a  unique  and  exci?ng  incen?ve  trip  for  a  high  profile  group  and  you’ve  requested  something  ‘out  of  the  ordinary’  from  your  DMC.  They  present  you  with  fantas?c  awe-­‐inspiring  ideas  that  everyone  loves.  But  what  you  don’t  know,  is  that  the  DMC  have  never  ran  the  program  before,  or  they’ve  never  been  to  the  venue,  despite  their  seemingly  good  knowledge.     AVOID!  None  the  wiser  you  arrive  and  something’s  not  quite  how  they  had  sold  it,  or   Like  mistake  number  one,  you  can  avoid  this  risk  by  really  listening  how  you  had  expected  it  to  be.  Your  client  is  disappointed  and  you’re  leJ   to  your  DMC  when  they  tell  you  about  the  program  they’re  answering  why  it’s  different  that  what  you’d  told  your  client  it  would  be.”   suggesHng.  If  they  get  excited  about  it,  have  quirky  or  personal   insights,  can  discuss  previous  examples  and  have  videos  and  A  DMC  can’t  be  expected  to  know  100%  of  everything  in  their  desHnaHon  –   images  to  show  you,  then  you  can  be  sure  that  they  are  providing  unless  they’re  some  kind  of  Super  DMC!  But  that’s  ok,  as  long  as  they’re   you  with  an  incenHve  soluHon  that  has  been  ‘tried  and  tested’.    honest  with  you  and  tell  you  why  they  don’t  know.     If  they  can’t  give  you  an  in-­‐depth  descripHon  of  the  program  or  For  example,  perhaps  your  client  has  an  unusual  request,  or  there  is  a  new   venue,  then  you  should  most  certainly  ask  for  images  and  videos  to  venue  that  your  DMC  hasn’t  worked  with  yet.  These  are  acceptable   back  up  their  proposal.  If  you’re  sHll  not  sure  then  simply  ask  them  reasons…as  long  as  they  are  open  and  upfront  about  it.     if  this  is  new  for  them?  If  they  are  honest  and  acknowledge  they  don’t  have  experience  with   They  should  have  idenHfied  this  at  the  beginning  of  your  something,  you  should  expect  them  to  do  further  research  for  you.  For   interacHon  with  them,  so  if  you’re  not  convinced  of;  example  to  liaise  with  the  supplier,  perhaps  do  a  quick  FAM  trip  for  you,  or  suggest  you  can  visit  it  together  on  a  site  inspecHon.     a)  their  openness,  and   b)  their  ability  to  provide  you  with  a  sound  incenCve  program;   Then  you  should  consider  another  DMC  that  gives  you  confidence,   is  honest  about  their  limitaHons  and  offers  you  a  soluHon.     Brought  to  you  by  Hello  Scotland  (©  2011)  
  6. 6. The  top  5  disastrous  mistakes  DMCs  can  make   (And  how  to  AVIOD  DMCs  who  make  these  mistakes)   Disastrous  Mistake  Number  Three   The  DMC  isn’t  upfront  with  their  costs  and  they  hid  ‘extras’  There’s  nothing  worse  than  agreeing  costs  and  finding  out  during  or  aker  your  group  have  travelled  that  there  were  hidden  extras.  You  won’t  have  budgeted  for  these,  and  if  you’re  working  on  behalf  of  an  end  client  the  chances  are  you  could  end  up  absolving  the  addiHonal  cost,  as   AVOID!  you  didn’t  make  them  aware  of  it  earlier.     There’s  no  sure  way  of  finding  out  if  a  DMC  is  trustworthy  with  Your  chosen  DMC  should  always  make  you  aware  of  ALL  costs  that  are   their  costs  unHl  you’ve  done  business  with  them.  However  there  involved  in  your  program  including  any  surcharges,  variable  costs  (like  drinks)   are  some  warning  signs  you  can  look  out  for  and  a  few  things  you  and  VAT.   can  request  from  your  DMC.    If  they  don’t  inform  you  about  all  costs  in  advance  of  you  making  the   Analyse  their  communicaHon,  their  program  and  costs…does  it  booking,  there  are  either  problems  in;     appear  ‘slap-­‐dash’,  messy,  full  of  mistakes  or  unprofessional?   If  so  there  could  be  a  forgelul  /  inefficient  culture  within  the  a)  Their  communicaHon  process  or,     organisaHon  which  could  increase  the  chances  of  errors  in  your  b)  The  integrity  of  their  organizaHon   costs.  A  more  comprehensive  communicaHon  system  and  a  clear   program  means  a  befer  chance  of  comprehensive  costs  up  front.    Either  of  the  above  can  be  detrimental  to  your  own  business  acHviHes  and  the  success  of  the  travelling  group.     Also  consider  their  general  percepHon  and  evidence  of  previous   business  and  saHsfied  clients  –  case  studies,  tesHmonials  and  It’s  crucial  to  avoid  organizaHons  who  operate  in  this  way,  but  it’s  also   social  media  menHons  are  a  good  way  to  gauge  their  difficult  to  determine  their  business  acumen  in  advance.  The  advice  opposite   trustworthiness  in  the  marketplace,  from  both  clients  and  should  help  you  miHgate  against  this  risk.     suppliers.   Finally,  ask  your  DMC  for  ‘line-­‐by-­‐line  costs’  so  you  can  see   exactly  how  much  money  is  allocated  against  each  element   of  the  program  –  minimising  your  risk  of  hidden  extra  costs.   Brought  to  you  by  Hello  Scotland  (©  2011)  
  7. 7. The  top  5  disastrous  mistakes  DMCs  can  make   (And  how  to  AVIOD  DMCs  who  make  these  mistakes)   Disastrous  Mistake  Number  Four   The  DMC  hasn’t  communicated  effecCvely  with  the  program  suppliers  The  scenario…  ‘You’ve  worked  hard  to  understand  what  your  client  wants  to  achieve  from  their  incen?ve,  it’s  purpose  and  their  expected  ROI.  You’ve  then  spent  ?me  communica?ng  this  to  your  DMC,  who  despite  the  language  barrier,  seems  to  fully  understand  the  underlying  theme  of  the  incen?ve  or  business  trip  and  have  presented  you  with  some  op?ons  that  seem  to  fit  the  bill  perfectly.     AVOID!  Like  in  disastrous  mistake  number  two,  you  arrive  on  site  with  your  client  and  things  aren’t  what  you  expected  and  suddenly  you’re  in  a  very  difficult   Like  most  of  the  AVOID!  soluHons,  ge]ng  recommendaHons  from  posi?on  with  your  client.  They’re  not  happy  with  the  program,  but  there’s   tesHmonials,  online  media  etc  is  a  great  ways  to  gain  iniHal  trust  very  liSle  you  can  do  as  the  group  have  already  arrived!’   from  a  DMC.    This  is  definitely  a  mistake  that  you  want  to  avoid  as  it  can’t  be  fixed  once   A  site  inspecCon  is  the  best  way  for  you  to  see  the  relaHonship  you’re  on-­‐site  with  the  group,  but  you  can’t  possibly  be  involved  in  all  of  the   between  the  DMC  and  the  venues  /program  acHvity  suppliers/communicaHons  between  your  DMC  and  the  local  suppliers…otherwise   accommodaHon.  A  site  inspecHon  will  allow  you  to  :    there  would  be  no  point  in  partnering  a  DMC  at  all!   a)  Analyse  the  rapport  between  DMC/Supplier  to  give  you  an  Instead  you  must  be  able  to  trust  your  DMC  to  communicate  your  client’s   indicaCon  of  the  strength  of  the  relaConship  requirements  effecHvely,  which  can  be  difficult  to  do  if  you’ve  never  worked  with  them  before.   b)  See  how  the  DMC  has  communicated  the  underlying  theme,   expectaCons  &  expected  ROI  to  the  supplier.    A  DMC’s  relaHonship  with  their  local  suppliers  is  crucial…in  fact  it’s  one  of  the  reason  why  organizaHons  choose  to  partner  DMCs  in  the  first  place!   If  the  rapport  is  strong  and  the  supplier  understands  what   you’re  trying  to  achieve,  you’re  DMC  has  communicated  your   expecta?ons  effec?vely  and  you’ve  got  nothing  to  worry   about  on  this  front!   Brought  to  you  by  Hello  Scotland  (©  2011)  
  8. 8. The  top  5  disastrous  mistakes  DMCs  can  make   (And  how  to  AVIOD  DMCs  who  make  these  mistakes)   Disastrous  Mistake  Number  Five   The  DMC  doesn’t  understand  the  dynamics  of  your  relaConship  with  your  client  By  it’s  very  nature,  desHnaHon  business  travel  like  corporate  incenHves,  have  a  long  chain  of  involved  organizaHons,  starHng  with  your  client  at  the  very  top  of  the  chain.    The  management  of  each  relaHonship  in  the  chain  is  criHcal  to  the  success  of  the  project  for  everyone  involved.  You  would  expect  that  any  DMC  would  have  a  clear  understanding  of  this  relaHonship  chain,  but  if  the  last  4  Disastrous  Mistakes  have  taught  us  anything…you  should  be  prepared!   AVOID!  Your  DMC  should  understand  what  we  call  the  ‘tri-­‐part  relaHonship’:   Expect  most  DMCs  to  have  a  comprehensive  understanding  of  the   relaHonship  between  you  and  your  client.    The  DMC  –  You  the  Agent  –  Your  Client     However  to  double  check  you  don’t  choose  a  DMC  who  will  let  you  Unfortunately  if  DMC  lacks  understanding  of  this  and  the  intuiHon  needed  to   down,  you  need  a  lifle  intuiHon  of  your  own!  facilitate  and  manage  everyone’s  expectaHons,  you  many  not  discover  this  unHl  it’s  too  late  and  your  client  is  on  a  site  inspecHon  with  you,  or  worse  sHll   Communicate  as  much  as  you  can  with  your  DMC  to  get  a  feel  for  the  group  have  arrived.     how  they  do  business  and  listen  carefully  about  how  they  talk   about  your  end  client.  This  can  present  an  awkward  atmosphere  for  everyone  involved  so  it’s  best  to  avoid  this  if  you  can!   Do  they  understand  that  you’re  not  the  final  decision  maker?  Are   they  offering  you  informaHon  to  help  you  help  your  client?   For  example  can  they  provide  you  with  unbranded  informaHon  for   the  group?    E.g.  important  travel  info  for  their  desHnaHon.   The  answers  to  all  of  these  quesHons  should  give  you  an  overview   of  how  the  DMC  operaHons  and  what  their  understanding  of  the   ‘tri-­‐part  relaHonship’  is.   Brought  to  you  by  Hello  Scotland  (©  2011)  
  9. 9. About  Hello  Scotland   The  Hello  Scotland  ‘CUSTOMER’  Guarantee   CreaCvity  Hello  Scotland  is  a  dynamic  DMC,  dedicated  to  giving  you  creaHve,  handcraked   Handcraked  incenHve  programs,  individually  brainstormed  to  include  experiences  that  deliver  value  and  long-­‐lasHng  impressions.   innovaHve  &  fresh  ideas,  unique  to  you  Your  visit  to  Scotland  will  be  planned  and  delivered  by  a  team  whos  excepHonal   Unprecedented  Quality  levels  of  afenHve  hosHng  brings  a  uniqueness  to  your  Scotland  experience,   Standardised  operaHng  processes  means  you  receive  the  same  level  of  making  it  an  unforgefable  visit.     service  and  consistency  for  every  incenHve  For  the  last  15  years,  the  team  at  Hello  Scotland  have  been  passionate  and   On-­‐Site  Support  commifed  to  bringing  you  the  finest  Scotland  has  to  offer,  in  a  way  that     We  promise  the  personal  touch,  so  you  clients  have  a  designated  Project  perfectly  fits  your  requirements  and  budget,  so  you  get  the  best  ROI  for   Manager  on  call  24-­‐7  during  their  visit,  so  you  can  relax  incenHves  and  corporate  events.     We  Talk  to  You   By  conHnuous  communicaHon  and  listening  to  client  feedback  we  can  Hello  Scotland  specialise  in  assisHng  you  with  the  following  types  of  travel  to   improve  our  processes,  moHvate  staff  &  efficiently  problem  solve  –  giving  Scotland:   you  a  fine-­‐tuned  &  proven  service  •   IncenCve  Travel   Achieving  Your  ObjecCves  •   Product  Launches   We  create  a  program  that  is  specifically  designed  to  help  you  achieve  the  •   SporCng  Event  Support  Services  (Team  /  Board  &  Sponsors  /  Supporter  Groups)   goals  &  objecHves  for  your  incenHve  •   Conference  Support  Services     Member  Experience   We  share  knowledge,  experiences  &  ideas,  giving  you  programs  created  by   individuals  with  years  of  experience  in  the  industry  Hello  Scotland  143  Dalsefer  Avenue   That  Li^le  Bit  Extra  Glasgow  G51  8TE     It’s  the  small  things,  with  no  cost,  that  someHmes  create  an  emoHonal  and  +  44  (0)  141  944  7224   memorable  experience.  Tell  us  what  will  add  value  for  you  or  your  clients!  Website:   Our  Responsibility   In  2008  we  were  the  first  UK  DMC  to  be  awarded  CarbonNeutral®  status.  We   conHnued  to  operate  with  these  values,  seeking  greater  sustainability  &  Blog:  hfp://   responsibility  to  local  communiHes.  Follow  Us  on  Twifer:  hfp://   Brought  to  you  by  Hello  Scotland  (©  2011)