July 01, 2002
Meetings & Conventions: Incentive News

Terry Epton Members of the Association of Destination Management Executives steer more than $500 million in business annually to other suppliers, according to a recent survey conducted by the Denver-based group, with transportation firms and hotels receiving the largest spend.

Overall, ADME’s 183 members handle bookings of more than $28.5 million in transportation and more than $23 million in guest rooms and function space for special events each year.

In other findings:
• The average annual buying power of each ADME member is slightly more than $3 million per year.

• Respondents have been in business 18 years, on average, and more than two-thirds are the original owners of their companies.

• Member DMCs employ an average of 27 people.

• Corporate meetings and events make up 45 percent of the members’ business, followed by incentives (28 percent) and association meetings and conventions (19 percent).

Respondents also ranked industry issues in order of importance. The top three were competition from outside the DMC community, customers requesting proposals and then using the ideas themselves, and lack of awareness of DMCs within the meetings industry.

Terry Epton, CITE, president of ADME, attributed member concerns about increased competition to the current business climate. “DMCs are getting competition from other suppliers, such as catering firms and hotel catering departments,” he said. In one instance, he added, a company that traditionally had provided child care for association conventions was now branching into administering spouse programs for the group.

“This happens during a soft year; people look for additional revenue streams,” Epton said.

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