by Shannon Gardner | June 20, 2019

Destination management companies offer a wealth of services for groups meeting in a destination, whether for the first time or the 15th time. They provide a range of services to enhance a corporate event, tapping into local expertise and exclusive access to venues and experiences to allow a group to get more out of a destination than they would be able to experience by trying to put it together on their own.

But with that said, theres till remains a number of misconceptions about the value and services that DMCs provide. As president and owner of a DMC (Accent Indy, A DMC Network Company and CTC Destination Management), I'd like to clear up a few of these.

Common Misconceptions About DMCs

DMC Misconception No. 1: DMCs charge crazy fees

Shannon Gardner, Accent Indy
This might sound crazy, but just like the majority of our clients and the businesses they represent, we need to make money to keep our doors open. I'm not afraid to say it: we are a for-profit company. You're not just paying us for the food and beverage; you're paying for the "higher than the law requires me to carry insurance, so in the event something awful happens, I've got great coverage." You're not just paying me to sign off on all the vendor contracts. You're paying me to attend seminars and network with industry colleagues to learn about contract language, so I won't sign off on something that gets us both into trouble. You are not just paying me to figure out where the bar goes. You're paying me for working with the best technical platforms, so I can put our vision on paper for you to present to your stakeholders.

DMC Misconception No. 2: We'll use your budget to our advantage

Some clients are reluctant to share their true budgets, for fear we will just use that number as an end price. In reality, we will fight to use every dollar of that budget to help make the event the best that it can be -- oftentimes, providing a little more on our dime --. just so we can complete the vision. We want the event to be just as successful and impactful as the client. If nothing else, we want a picture-perfect photo for our Instagram page.

DMC Misconception No. 3: It will be easier to go direct

"I can always go search the internet on my own", has been known to be uttered from time to time. Well, if I relied on WebMD to make all my diagnoses, I'd have died from a terminal illness about fivetimes already! We search the web to get general info. We go see a doctor to get professional help. Why not do the same for your most important events?

DMC Misconception No. 4: What even is a DMC's product?

Our product is our knowledge. We know the best vendors with which to hire and we know the ones to avoid. Our product is our experience. I love to tell clients, I've been working for you, long before you even knew who I was. The events and programs we've been producing and managing for the last 25 years have allowed us to repeat things when they go well, and learn from mistakes to avoid future pitfalls. Our product is peace of mind. Clients need to focus on so many other aspects of their job and not worry about a Plan B. We plan for things to go wrong and we have solutions if things don't go as planned.

DMC Misconception No. 5: DMCs are not for everyone

Well actually, this one is true. You need to trust your DMC or the relationship will be doomed from the beginning. Some clients prefer to do things on their own. Sometimes it's genuinely a budget thing. My response to that is, too often, you're not saving money, you're buying regret. But I do understand that every company operates differently -- a DMC may simply not be for you. Maybe you're just not that into me!  But if the idea of saving time and hassle intrigues you, why not give us a go? We're there for you when you are ready

Shannon Gardner, DMCP, is president and owner of Accent Indy and CTC Destination Management and 2018 Winner of the ADMEI Destination Management Professional of the Year award. This article originally appeared on the DMC Network blog here.