The Trade Show Advantage

In an ever-growing world of digital communications, deadlines and rising cost of business travel, justifying attendance at trade shows to the ‘money man’ can be challenging.  Explaining how much value you gain from attending, apart from simple sales leads, can be incomprehensible to someone who sees the world in simple ROI and dollars and cents.

Of course, everyone expects to see a return on investment for money spent on marketing and promotion, and every dollar needs to be justified and accounted for.  However, the ROI of attending a trade show should be calculated in far more than the money out/money in model.

Face to Face Meetings

The management of group and incentive travel is still a very personal affair.  Whereas holidays and individual trips can be booked online through a myriad of booking sites, the bespoke requirements of an incentive trip make this a virtual impossibility.  Trusting a group, no matter how small or large, to an unknown person or company is a risk, so recommendations and personal knowledge of those providing on-the-ground services are key.  Trade shows still provide the means to meet decision makers face-to-face, on both sides of the industry.  That is a great reason to send your best people to trade shows, not simply order takers or PR executives.

Stimulating Creativity

Attendance at trade shows introduces you to new ideas and perspectives.  Allowing time in your busy schedule to walk around and see what others are doing is key, even if you don’t have time to sit in on presentations and briefings.  Pick up marketing material, look at the different stands, see what is popular and which stands are attracting the most attention – it’s all contributing to your knowledge and understanding of the market and current business climate.

Ask Questions

Talk to the show organisers and your peers, find out what the business trends are; the newcomers and the no-shows.  Again, this all contributes to market knowledge. Simply being amongst your peers, your clients and your competition can give you a boost, stimulate creative juices and re-energise you, particularly if you often work remotely or in an isolated location.

The Network Advantage

Participating in a trade show with a network or professional association gives you access to the vast wealth of knowledge shared by your fellow members, their experiences and their networks.  Make the most of this time and get to know your colleagues, talk about industry challenges, operational ideas and the state of markets and business.  Broaden your knowledge of the world, the people and the industry.  Participating with a network also alleviates those potentially lonely evenings after the show, giving you like-minded people to meet with after the day’s activities, even if only for a drink.

You Get What You Give

The old adage ‘you only get out what you put in’ holds true with trade shows, and your pre-show preparation is as important as your post-show follow up.  Make sure your appointment diary is full with verified meetings; be prepared for those meetings; follow up as soon as possible after the show – but that is all part of trade show attendance.  The additional benefits you receive come from the effort you make during the trade show to learn as much as you can, talk to as many different people as possible, and gather new ideas and intelligence to help you move forward successfully in business.

 

Trade shows should be energising and invigorating, and not a chore to be endured.

 

Footnote

World of DMCs participates in IMEX Frankfurt and IBTM Barcelona every year, with between 12 and 20 members joining the stand each time.  Many more members exhibit on their country stands, or with other networks, but find the time to join our members dinners and meetings.  To be part of this network, reach out to info@world-of-dmcs.com and register your interest in joining.

World of DMCs Welcomes New Board Members

May 2019:  World of DMCs members recently welcomed a new President and Board of Directors for a 2-year term, commencing 01 June 2019.

World of DMCs is a not-for-profit network of global destination management companies, whose activities are overseen by a President and Board of Directors appointed every 2 years.  World of DMCs members are established destination management companies representing 36 countries worldwide.

At the Annual General Meeting, held 20 May 2019 immediately before IMEX 2019 in Frankfurt, the outgoing President Johan Dorssemont, DMC Cuba – Cuba for Travel, welcomed the newly elected President Gaby Seikaly, DMC UAE- Gulf Circle Tours and two new Board Members.

WODCs Board Members 2019

(L-R:  Olivier Didonna; Chakib Bouzid, Amalia Stepanyan, Johan Dorssemont; kneeling: President Gaby Seikaly) 

On accepting the appointment, incoming President, Gaby Seikaly, said:

“World of DMCs has allowed Gulf Circle Tours, DMC UAE, to forge a new network of global partnership alliances as well as introducing multiple new business opportunities.  I am delighted to have been invited to become President of this prestigious network and look forward to further extending our services and connections to new DMC members as well as new business partners for the benefit of all our members”

The World of DMCs Board for 2019-2021 consists of :

President

Gaby Seikaly                      Gulf Circle Tours                          DMC UAE

Board Members

Amalia Stepanyan               Event Solutions Incentives           DMC Armenia

Johanna Schmikal               Imperial Connection                     DMC Austria

Johan Dorssemont              Cuba For Travel                           DMC Cuba

Olivier Didonna                   Boutique DMC                              DMC Iceland

Chakib Bouzid                    Across Morocco                             DMC Morocco

 

Retiring Board Member, Ola Pietras, DMC Poland, was thanked for her support and extensive activities during her lengthy term in office.

Board Members can be contacted via the network email address info@world-of-dmcs.com or via their respective destination management companies, available on the website.

Network Membership Advantages

As World of DMCs members gather this coming week in Frankfurt for IMEX, one of the major meetings and incentive trade show forums of the year, we will also be coming together as a network for our annual general meeting and a members’ dinner the eve before the show.

As someone who has spent years on the road, doing sales calls, trade shows and exhibitions for hotels, I know first-hand what a lonely life that can be.  Yes, you meet lots of people and can generally talk the hind legs off a donkey, but when everyone goes home at night, so do you.  Most often to sit in a hotel restaurant or hotel room, alone with your laptop.

One advantage of belonging to a network such as World of DMCs is the company you have when attending these trade shows.  Our members benefit from sharing their time with like-minded people; people with whom they can swap stories and ideas; people who understand them – and people they do not have to ‘sell’ to at the end of the day.  This is only one of the many advantages of belonging to a professional group or network such as World of DMCs.

Even if you do not attend the two or three trade shows we manage stands at every year, there are so many other ways to stay in touch with other members.  We use a private Facebook Group for members to share their ideas, problems, successes, and to ask questions; we have WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and of course Email.  You could also simply pick up the phone – or Skype.  Our members share their contact details for exactly this reason – to help each other, to support one another, and to simply exchange ideas.

Then there are the business reasons to join a network such as World of DMCs.  The self-managed page you get on our website; the social media marketing support; the database for regular network newsletters; advertising opportunities; editorial opportunities; group rates for attending smaller trade shows around the world; not to mention the advantage of using a recognised logo on your communications and collateral to identify you as a reputable DMC worthy of your client’s business!  We receive RFPs through the website, via email and through social media platforms that are forwarded directly to the DMC concerned. No commission taken, no involvement, just straight referrals, and on we go!  We also have our own stand at IMEX and IBTM, and this year joined CONFEX in London for the first time – all at reduced rates, subsidised by membership fees.

By accepting just one member per country (or US State), we avoid conflict and competition.  We ensure that our members are indeed reputable and professional before we accept their application – a process some complain about, as it involves a fair amount of paperwork, but in this way we are able to confidently recommend our DMC services worldwide, comfortable in the knowledge that professional standards are maintained by everyone.

World of DMCs is not focused on recruiting members to boost numbers, although of course we welcome new countries and new colleagues, rather on supporting the members we already have.

If you would like to know more, come and see me on the World of DMCs stand at IMEX 21-23 May 2019 (Frankfurt).  Stand D500.  Or just drop me a line, and I can explain all the many other benefits of belonging to our amazing network of professional destination marketing companies worldwide.

Oh, and don’t forget to sign up for our regular newsletter, and follow our social media platforms for up-to-date news and information from our members and their destinations.

See you at IMEX!

Caroline Tapken

Executive Director – World of DMCs

World of DMCs Welcomes New Members

April 2019:  World of DMCs recently welcomed 4 new members – Caucasus Travel, Georgia; MR Congress & Incentive GmbH, Germany; Target Motivation, Italy; and Elite Travel & Tourism, Oman.

Caucasus Travel, Georgia, will be joining the World of DMCs team at IMEX 2019 in Frankfurt 21-23 May 2019 on Stand D500, along with members from Armenia, Cuba, Iceland, Morocco, Poland, Russia, South Africa, Turkey, UK & Ireland and Vietnam.

What is Incentive Travel – and how can a DMC help?

 

Incentive Travel is defined as a holiday arranged by the employer as a reward for performance achieved, or as a powerful motivational tool.  Research shows that a well-planned incentive trip yields high ROI in not only job performance but also in loyalty.  Well-rewarded employees stay longer and perform better.

The Millennials in the workforce value ‘experiences’, so the reward of a trip will likely motivate them more than a simple monetary bonus.  The trip, however, must be something they value; something they are unlikely to have access to by themselves.  This is why a good DMC (Destination Management Company) is an essential partner in any destination. Even in a well-frequented holiday destination, a good DMC will be able to arrange exciting experiences; experiences that are inaccessible on a holiday booked by individuals.  Value lies in unique experiences delivered in exciting ways, creative activities, and desirable locations.

Incentive travel is NOT a business trip for meetings.  Carefully planned, however, the time for networking, team building and unscheduled discussions will be invaluable to all involved.

When selecting your DMC partner, be sure to allow enough time for venues to be thoroughly researched and matched to your expectations; activities must be planned, and budgets carefully managed.  Your DMC partner can do everything ‘on the ground’ in your chosen location, from airport transfers to hotel bookings, event conception and creation, dining and excursions.

Every member of World of DMCs has a positive track record in group and incentive travel, and a professionally creative mindset.  So this is a great place to start when looking for your next destination partner!

What We Learned from International Confex 2019

International Confex (London Olympia, February 26-27, 2019) was an amazing expo for event professionals seeking suppliers, ideas, products, and services, but not so great for those seeking UK or International Venues and Destinations.  Having said that, World of DMCs was located in the International Pavilion, and as one of the few International Destination Suppliers, had exclusive access to those visiting event and meeting professionals looking for new partners.  We came away with over 25 strong connections with firm groups in the next 12-24 months!

We also talked to an awful lot of ‘event industry’ students who didn’t have a clue what a DMC was. (that is Destination Management Company for those who don’t know the abbreviation!).  So we helped to educate some of these impressionable young minds, and hopefully guide them towards working with DMCs when they join the workforce.

Behind our stand was a small presentation area, so we were also able to listen in to some of the speakers throughout the show (something we can rarely do when managing the stand at an exhibition).  One of these presentations was on Millennials and their attitude to Incentives.

Millennials are those born between (approx) 1977 and 2000.

The following points are key when talking about travel incentives to this market:
  • Almost 50% of millennials would be more inclined to make a purchase if their purchase supports a cause. This applies to travel too. Activities that involve ‘giving back’ or ’causes’ are very popular.
  • 69% of Millennials crave adventure
  • they want Experience not things; the incentive travel experience must be something they could not find when travelling with family or friends.  It must be unique. it does not have to be expensive.
  • Destinations that would not be ‘first choice’ or even affordable if travelling alone/with friends are preferred
  • Images depicting experiences and activity attract the most attention, not landscapes or buildings
  • millennials take their own photos for social media, and can spot ‘Shutterstock’ type images = brand becomes less attractive if the images are not authentic and unique.

We would thank the person making this presentation, if only we could remember who it was, but thank you anyway!

Food for thought when considering your sales pitch, proposal, and images for your website and social media.  And yes, we are now working on incorporating more ‘action’ into our own website and social media images.

Next stop, IMEX Frankfurt.  See you there!

Update on Zimbabwe

Dear Valued Travel Partners, 

In light of recent events in  certain areas of Zimbabwe, we would like to take this opportunity to reassure you that all our guests currently traveling in the tourism areas of the country are perfectly safe.  

Popular tourist destinations such as Victoria Falls, Mana Pools and the Hwange National Park are far  removed from cities such as Harare and Bulawayo, where there has been unrest.  

Victoria Falls is operating as normal, and through our Zambian office the issue of unavailability of the internet has been resolved. 

Our team in Zimbabwe and myself are monitoring the situation closely, and we shall advise you accordingly should anything change.

Should you have any queries regarding travel to these regions please do not hesitate to contact us at reservations@bushtracksafrica.com 

All the best,
Christopher Tett

Bushtracks Africa

Why Hire a DMC?

First of all, let’s look at what a DMC is:  A destination management company, or destination management services company is your ultimate outsource partner, whether in your own home town, or a land far away.  These specialised professionals are an extension of your company, working with you to ensure that every aspect of your meeting, incentive, convention, conference or group outing goes according to plan.  Whether it is a corporate incentive trip, a wedding party or a multi-national convention with delegates from around the world, a DMC is essential.

What does a DMC do?

A good DMC is the ultimate logistics and event expert in their destination.  They source and book venues and locations, create experiences, negotiate costs, arrange transportation, cater to special requests and generally ensure that everything works from beginning to end (and not just for the time you are actually there!).

So why hire a DMC? 

If you have an unlimited budget, plenty of time, and a large team with varied expertise and knowledge of your selected destination, perhaps you do not need a destination management company.  However, the chances of that being a reality are probably quite slim.  This is where a professional DMC steps in.  Your destination management professional is your eyes, ears and feet on the ground, with an intimate knowledge of the destination and the contacts to make everything happen.

The real question is, can you afford to be without a DMC?