Site International Foundation releases new research focused on Destination Management Companies

The Site International Foundation has released results of the latest Site Index study, Focus on Destination Management Companies. The Site Index compiles and compares data over a number of years to track changes and forecast trends in the motivational events industry. This report expands on data reported in a similar study published in May 2011. While some new questions were asked, many were repeated from the previous study so that changes between 2011 and 2013 could be identified.

“One of the most important findings from this study was the concurrence by DMCs and planners on the importance of various services provided to clients,” stated Mark Bondy, Chair of the Site International Foundation Research Committee. “Creativity and fresh ideas, proposal response time and timely communications were ranked as the top three client services by both DMCs and Planners.”

Key observations

  • There seems to be consensus that planners are bypassing DMCs for some domestic services, although there is a small decline in the number of DMCs and planners holding that view. This could be a reflection of economic recovery wherein the value of time outweighs the cost of sub-contracting, signaling a potential return to a more traditional supply chain.
  • Unlike with domestic programs, planners and DMCs are closer to agreement on utilization of DMCs for the majority of international programs. This presents a notable opportunity for DMCs to invest in international market development, as planners place more value on having representation services available locally to support international program development than in domestic markets.
  • The percentage of DMCs indicating that they want to venture into the realm of offering traditional incentive company services has decreased from 2011, while the majority (60 per cent) of planners continue to believe that DMCs want to become one-stop shops. It appears that more planners think that DMCs are being asked to provide these services, while DMCs are feeling less pressure to do so. This could indicate a returning reliance on third-party services in line with economic recovery.
  • A majority of planners (58.5 per cent) say that DMC local representation (defined as being located in the customer’s market) is not an important service for domestic-placed programs. When asking about the value relating to international program support, planners were split: 50 per cent feeling it was an important service and 50 per cent not important. This may indicate that DMCs are not demonstrating to their clients the value of having representation in close proximity to their customer, or are not fully utilizing or applying the service offerings their representatives can provide in support of their DMCs.
  • There was no real change regarding the DMCs’ view of their role in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programs. However, planners’ view of the DMC’s role as a major proponent and source of these experiences markedly increased from 60.4 per cent in 2011 to 81.4 per cent in 2013. This suggests an opportunity for DMCs to be more proactive in designing CSR programs that would benefit the destination and enhance the industry’s ability to give back.

“Given the dynamic nature of the supply chain, this ongoing study will provide very useful insight over time into how companies are adapting to and viewing constant change, including the developing needs of clients – real and perceived – up and down the chain. Given the financial investments at stake, it is essential to provide all parties with a clear view of how to productively deploy available funds, and to be clear on the service offerings of each and their role in the chain,” stated Jane Schuldt, CITE, CIS, President of the Site International Foundation.

To download the full report, go to Site Index: Focus on Destination Management Companies.

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