Post By DuWayne | Posted On Tuesday, July 2010

We’ve all heard the excuse…”I can’t or won’t use a DMC because they’re too expensive!”  Really?!

In my years in the Industry I’ve found this to be more true in the cases of “Preferred Vendors” and sometimes “Recommended Vendors” but not in every instance.  One of the most important questions for Meeting Planners to ask a hotel or CVB representative is not only “Who would you recommend?” but “Does the hotel, CVB or venue benefit by providing this recommendation?”  In my experience I have been told on more than one occassion that in order for my business (a DMC) to be recommended I would be required to pay a commission or percentage of the total billing to the client. You can only imagine what this does to the costs that I would have to charge the client in my proposals!  At times this percentage has been as much as 25 percent!  Talk about “revenue enhancement”!  I wish I could charge 25% for simply making a phone call and not doing anything else!  I probably could but wouldn’t be able to sleep at night!

Many DMCs work on the business model of negotiating discounted rates from their suppliers.  By negotiating this rate, the DMC can quote a rate to their client that is no more expensive than if their client called the vendor directly. This allows the DMC to become an asset and true partner to the meeting planner and not just another line item expense.  You get the DMCs expertise, knowlege base, history and connections and benefit from their relationship with their vendors!  It is in the vendor’s best interest to do whatever it takes to insure that their continued relationship with the DMC remains intact and isn’t jeopardized!  They have a lot more buying power and influence than your once a year meeting!  You, the Meeting Planner, are the beneficiary of the DMCs history and reputation.

So, to make a long story short (I know…too late!), it never hurts to ask (but sometimes does if you don’t!) and GET IT IN WRITING!  Do your “Due Dilligence” and get at least three competing “closed bids” and compare apples to apples.

Your budget and your organization will thank you!  🙂

More about “closed bids” in a future post!!!