July 01, 2002
Meetings & Conventions: Planner's Portfolio July 2002 Current Issue
July 2002 ChecklistPLANNER'S PORTFOLIO:




The following checklist was compiled with the help of Madelyn Marusa, DMCP, vice president of industry relations, PRA Destination Management, 1903 Wright Place, Suite 320, Carlsbad, Calif. 92008


  • For what type of program are destination management company services being sought? Different types of services and expertise will be needed depending on whether the project is an incentive program, a corporate meeting, a special event, a new product launch or an annual convention.
  • Determine what DMC services will be needed, including site selection, airport transportation, special events, team building, themes, entertainment and/or customized excursions.
  • Draw up a group demographic profile. Include information about program history, venues utilized for past programs, size and average age of past groups.
  • Determine the timing and duration of activities and services.
  • What staffing requirements will be needed?
  • What is the program budget?
  • What is the time frame for the program, including all schedules and deadlines?

  • Once the destination has been selected, contact the hotels or convention bureau to ask for DMC recommendations.
  • Refer to member directories of industry associations such as the Association of Destination Management Executives for listings of DMCs.
  • Evaluate the DMC’s longevity and reputation. How long has the firm been in business, and do local hotels and suppliers recommend it?
  • Check out the DMC’s resources, risk management and liability policies, as well as insurance coverage.
  • Does the representative of the DMC exhibit professionalism and expertise of the destination and various program elements? Are staff members required to have industry certifications such as DMCP (destination management certified professional)?
  • Does the DMC have systems in place that allow fast response for pricing questions and billing?
  • Ask for at least three references from groups with similar programs handled by the DMC.
    Evaluate the following when receiving a response to a request for proposal.

  • Are the DMC staff easy to reach and is their response time quick? Choose a DMC that will be accessible and have ready answers to critical questions during the planning process.
  • Has the DMC offered a program that utilizes your specified budget in a creative way?
  • Do program outlines and suggestions target the needs and interests of your particular group?
  • Does the proposal show attention to detail? From planning to execution, can the DMC handle last-minute changes and keep the program running smoothly?
  • Ensure that confidentiality will be a high priority if the function and/or the group are high-profile. Ask if the DMC has experience handling events that require a high level of confidentiality or security.
  • Make sure the DMC does not handle any other clients that would be considered a conflict of interest for your project.

  • Include an outline of the program summary and services desired, time lines, pricing and other details.
  • Specify deposit (refundable or nonrefundable) and cancellation clause details as agreed upon.
  • State what the payment method will be, and by when payment will be made.

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