How to get the most from a DMC
Many requests for incentives have three things in common:
- A desire for WOW experiences
- The necessity of having the proposal the next day or sooner
- Not enough information to meet either requirement
The road to WOW is paved with great information.
Here is a roadmap to the winning proposal you seek as fast, and as complete, as you seek it.
We know names can be a sensitive issue. Increasingly companies do not want their names revealed. Or an incentive house might have been burned when suppliers attempted to go direct to the end user. But if you are dealing with a reputable DMC, this is not a risk. DMCs know about discretion. We also know which side of our bread gets buttered.
Why is it so important to have that name rather than just the industry? The corporate culture of FIAT is different from that of Tesla. Apple and Microsoft have totally different mindsets. One company might like its name festooned on everything from a hot dog stand to the side of a boat while another prefers to keep even the signs at the airport anonymous.
And should we be able to use a name with your permission in the planning stages, a DMC can deploy that information to great advantage.
Examples in New York:
- Audi’s showroom on Park Avenue hosted a complimentary cocktail party for top UK dealers, and lunch for service personnel.
- Forbes Magazine invited Jaguar dealers to pre-theatre dinner and a curator’s tour of the Forbes museum.
- Chrysler, the key supporter of restoring Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty, was granted permission to hold a dinner in the base of the Statue.
Knowing the company name can also avoid touchy situations:
-Some firms do not wish to be booked in a hotel where the parent company has a corporate account.
-Most pharmaceutical companies do not want to share a breakfast buffet with one of their rivals.
-Hotels want to avoid booking a cigarette company on the same weekend the American Lung Association is holding a strategy meeting.
A DMC will use your information wisely to take advantage of local hospitality, and make sure there are no potential problems while waiting for omelettes to cook.
Often one key piece of information can help close a deal. But you need to pan for that gold.
Ever ask your clients what their hobbies are? Ever enquire about what guests liked best about the last incentive? Ever fish for what they didn’t like?
- A client whose passion is cinema? Easy: A tour of sites from famous movies. Further customized with juicy gossip about his or her favourite actors. Sometimes cheese can be turned into gold.
- For car dealers, a visit to the factory that stretches limousines, timed for the moment when a vehicle is sliced in two.
- For an elderly WWII veteran who had trained in Hoboken, a visit to the mayor’s office at that New Jersey town.
Sometimes these elements are free of charge. Often they are elements that money can’t buy.
Who’s sleeping with whom, or not. Is the group made up of individuals, or are they couples? Are family members permitted as guests? Believe it or not, some requests do not include key information about room types. Here’s basic bed vocabulary for New York:
Single: One bed, usually bigger than a European or Asian narrow bed
Double: One bed, big enough for two.
Double/Double: Two full or queen size beds.
King: No explanation necessary, but for a client who’s more than six feet tall some hotels offer “California kings.” Better than sleeping on the diagonal.
When it’s 09:00 in Germany, it’s 03:00 in New York. You needn’t wait until the time zones are in sync. The quicker the DMC receives the information, the better. For example, NYC hotel sales teams usually meet each day at 08:30 or 09:00. By the time the meeting ends, it’s almost 16:00 in Frankfurt. If we have your request at 07:00 or earlier local time in NYC, you might have your proposal before the end of your day.
Without a budget, designing a trip is like shooting an arrow at a target while blindfolded. Take the blindfold off and your chances of hitting the bull’s eye improve dramatically. A DMC does not raise margins to take advantage of a generous budget. Instead, we pack everything in we can. We also want to help you win for all of us. So it’s in everyone’s interest to share this valuable piece of information. Bottom Line is always the Bottom Line.