What Does a Destination Management Company (DMC) Do?

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What Does a Destination Management Company (DMC) Do?

By Beth Buehler

One of the first things I remember tackling when becoming editor of Colorado Meetings + Events magazine was figuring out the various acronyms used in the meetings and events industry. There are businesses and organizations that fall under the DMC and DMO realms and associations known in brief as NACE, MPI, PCMA, IAEE, SGMP and HSMAI with various chapters based in Colorado and around the United States and world.

Instead of deciphering the entire alphabet soup at once, let’s zoom in on DMCs. What does a destination management company (DMC) do? Then we’ll look at how Destination Colorado Meetings and its member DMCs can assist in making Colorado meetings and events exceptional instead of subpar occasions.

Definition of a DMC

Rather than fumbling through creating my own definition, here’s an explanation from the Association of Destination Management Executives International (ADMEI)—yep, another acronym. “A destination management company is a professional services company located in its destination and specializes in local expertise and resources. The DMC is a strategic partner to provide creative local experiences in event management, tours/activities, transportation, entertainment, and program logistics.”

ADMEI goes on to explain that DMCs are at the core of the MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions) industry. “The services they provide to their clients also provide business to their local supplier partners. They can and often do literally touch every aspect of a program from logistics to safety, from branding and theme creation to providing local experiences.”

How DMCs connect on a national level

ADMEI is a membership association for DMCs, serving as the voice of DMCs and a resource for education, standards and practices within the destination management industry. It also provides credentialing, including the Destination Management Certified Professional (DMCP) program and Accredited Destination Management Company (ADMC) designation.

Why mention this? I believe it is helpful to understand where DMCs are getting their own education and credentials and how they are involved. A large majority of Destination Colorado’s DMC members are members of ADMEI.

Reasons to hire a DMC

While there are many reasons to hire a DMC, three of the biggest in my mind are tapping into the best local resources, providing key expertise, and serving as an extension of a meeting and event planning team.

Instead of guessing what accommodations, venues, activities, caterers, transportation companies, A/V suppliers, speakers and more will work best for your group in a chosen Colorado destination, consider hiring a DMC to make the selection process quicker and easier. With attendees now expecting local experiences to be part of the agenda, DMCs can provide a menu of destination-specific options catered to your group’s demographics, interests and business goals.

Not sure what insurance you will need for a certain type of event, the best way is to move your group from Denver International Airport to the mountains, or the latest in contract language? A DMC can help. In addition to providing key expertise such as this, DMCs offer an organization’s planning department with extra hands on deck without hiring additional staff. DMCs can oversee entire programs or pieces of the planning puzzle. They also can help dial in return on investment (ROI) to demonstrate value of gatherings to upper management and boards of directors.

Colorado DMCs

Over the years, I’ve interviewed many Colorado DMCs for articles, they have served on my editorial advisory board, and I have observed their work in action at various conferences and events. Truly impressive is the best way to describe their teams, creativity, expertise and involvement.

ACCESS Colorado, CSI DMC, Imprint Events Group, Operation Altitude, and RMC are all active members of Destination Colorado Meetings and cover a wide variety of destinations in the state. Most have multiple offices in Colorado and in many cases beyond our borders.

These companies are Colorado experts and partner with many other Destination Colorado Meetings members to provide best-of-the-best experiences for groups, whether it is an incentive trip, executive retreat, sales team meeting or association conference in the Centennial State. And don’t be afraid to ask these pros about “What does a destination management company do?” as they’ll likely dial more into the specifics.

Destination Colorado Meetings

Just as DMCs help bring many partners together to help achieve a successful meeting or event, Destination Colorado Meetings has a similar but very different role as a nonprofit organization that provides time-saving resources, budget-friendly options and valuable connections between meeting and event planners and suppliers (including DMCs).

Celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2023, Destination Colorado Meetings is the primary resource for meetings and events in Colorado. The organization’s members represent in-demand amenities for groups as well as destinations, venues and service providers that offer inspiring experiences and value-focused options. In addition, Destination Colorado Meetings provides educational information and programming, industry trade shows, cooperative advertising programs, requests for proposal (RFPs) services, and strategic partnerships.

While you may need a code sheet to remember all the acronyms used in the meetings and events industry, for now just focus on a few like DMC and sneak in a Google search now and then!


Photo: DMCs can help plan farm to table dinners and all sorts of memorable gatherings during meetings and events. Courtesy Vail Resorts/Jack Affleck. 

Colorado native Beth Buehler has been editor of Colorado Meetings + Events magazine for 18 years, helped launch Mountain Meetings magazine, and is on the team introducing Southwest Meetings + Events this spring. She has planned numerous meetings and events and enjoys exploring Colorado.