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Mike Lancaster, Conference Co-ordination of CAT Publications
The perils of going direct to DMCs
The March edition of M&IT hit my desk on a bad day. Most of the day to that point involved resolving issues with so-called sector-leading destination management companies (DMCs).
The article on page 13 (News) covering the presentation by Hugo Slimbrook of Ovation at the International Meetings & Incentives Conference (IMIC) in Athens did little to assuage my mood. He reportedly expressed the view that clients will increasingly cut out the middleman, working directly with DMCs (surely middlemen themselves). I wish the clients who tread that tricky path the very best of luck.
First, the proliferation of DMCs across the globe is relentless and, inevitably, creativity and quality of delivery varies enormously. Second, the fact that a DMC is well established appears, at times, to go hand-in-hand with unseemly high prices as deluded senior managers overestimate the added value they provide.
Successful agencies will work with carefully selected and proven DMCs in the very best interests of their clients - that's how they keep their clients. It's almost impossible for a client with a relatively small number of events to make an informed selection of a foreign DMC.
Hopefully, DMCs that encourage clients to work with them directly will not have a place with agencies - let alone the unwary client.
Stephanie Carrington, Indeprod of Campaign PR
Huw Edmunds of iS Events
Terry Epton, CITE, DMCP of USA Hosts
Olga Xanthou-Kondo of Premier Destination Management Co Ltd
Quick poll - Olympic fair pricing
Visit London and the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games is to create a framework for a fair pricing charter in time for the 2012 Games. Organisers and suppliers who sign up to the charter will be promoted to the International Olympic Committee.
Is this the best way to ensure London makes the best of the opportunities from the Games? What are your thoughts on the charter? Will you be signing up?
Tracy Hogan of AXA
Tim Cocking of vca consultancy
Sue Gill YES – Your Event Solutions of CAT Publications
Poor loo and attitudes
I was interested to read your article on Country House hotels (Off the beaten Track, M&IT, March). I held an event recently at Bosworth Hall in the East Midlands for 120 people. We hired mini-marquees in the grounds for exhibitions and a large marquee for the gala dinner.
It’s such a shame that a venue in a good location, with a good impression as you drive up, is such a disappointment when you then arrive.
My room had someone else’s remnants left in the loo and the bath water left in. (Not good after a busy day in London and two trains and a taxi to get there!) We found the team unhelpful and inflexible for what we felt a super piece of business with the clientele in attendance (ie future business leads).
The numbers reduced considerably a few weeks prior to the event and there was no reduction whatsoever in food & beverage bill (as if they had bought the chicken in weeks before!) We were dealing with revenue-led personnel who didn’t care what future business we held. We won’t be recommending Bosworth Hall in a hurry.
Now Stapleford Park is a different story... albeit I have seen too many changes in management over the last few years. It seems the house is settling down and with Amanda Maskell back in the sales seat, business at Stapleford always seems appreciated and valued. I love Stapleford Park; I am yet to find somewhere as perfect for an exclusive use venue in middle England.
admin Voller of CAT Publications
Richard Kidd of Yell Limited
Why is it that every potential supplier thinks they have the right to bombard you with irrelevant emails. At one level we have to be open to new ideas and opportuntities but there are limits. I have never expressed any interest in hotels in the far east or anywhere outside the US and Europe yet they all seem determined to send me a stream of material. I am not a technical expert on training, in 15 years I have probably only bought chocolate commercially a couple of times and I have never hired an exhibition stand.
So much of my time is now taken up with blocking email from irrelevant sources and 'unsubscribing'(is there such a word?) from email lists that I find it hard sometimes to concentrate on getting any real work done. I checked my system and in the last year I estimate I must have blocked well over 1000 email addresses.
My pet hate are those companies that don't provide the facility to notify them that they have got the wrong man. Just occasionally I can track down a director of the email database company behind the list and there is a certain small pleasure in emailing him requesting I am removed from his list permanently. Whether it works I have no idea but it helps with the pain of trawling through so much dross.
I don't have a solution, in fact I cannot see the situation improving in the future. Sadly I suspect the intensity of email marketing will continue to increase over the next few years until the industries realise its limitations.
Anyway if you were, thanks for reading this - getting it off your chest is therapeutic even if it is at the expense of adding to your personal email mountain.
To post this mail I had to register on this site. I wonder how many additional emails that will generate before the end of the day?
Peter Turnbull of Corperactive Event Business
Atlantis - Royal Towers - Bahamas
Anybody out there operated an incentive to the Royal Towers of Atlantis Bahamas who can give me any tips. The place is huge!!!! I am hiring walkie talkies for my team....but I was just wondering whether anyone else has any tips to pass on to me before I travel in April.
Katherine Simmons of CAT Publications
Music in meetings – a quick poll
Do you use music in your meetings/events/awards to motivate or relax your audience?
Which songs work for you? And which tracks do you hate? I’d also like to find out which song gets your vote as the cheesiest tune of all time. Celine Dion? Tina Turner? Robbie Williams?
Over to you…
Mike Bell of Mike Bell