All suppliers listed in ABCevents.com have been previously selected on their capacity for hosting professional corporate events.
The rigorous quality standards asked to be listed in terms of location, services, facilities and staff professionalism are the guarantee of success of your event.
You may find incomplete supplier information files which correspond to suppliers in basic listing: They have been selected by us for their services or facilities but are not full members of ABCevents.com.
The letters D.M.C. stand for Destination Management Company and provides ground handling services for its destination. This can include airport meet and greet, transfers, transportations, hotel and restaurant reservations, tours, conference venues, team building activities and logistics.
A D.M.C. offers genuine location expertise, knowledge of suppliers, contact network with up-to-date knowledge on all the latest developments.
Provides an agent or personal representative to meet the needs of your incoming group in the destination where the event is to take place.
Speaks the language of your selected destination.
Gives you a creative and tailor-made form of programme planning.
Acts as a chef d'orchestre, making sure all services run smoothly.
Demonstrates neutrality if not involved in other businesses.
Can have a "buying power" with suppliers because they contract them a lot.
Normally prepares alternative plans in case of unforeseen circumstances.
It depends very much on the chosen destination of your existing contacts onsite, and the amount of time you have available to organize your event
Obviously a D.M.C. will charge you for services but will greatly help you to solve all "time consuming" problems such as finding transportations onsite, reserving restaurants, negotiating with venues, audiovisual support, entertainment, interpreters, ..
An educated and dedicated D.M.C. will, if it does its job right, reduce your workload as a meeting planner and become a valued member of your team.
Check ABCevents.com and find previously checked DMC's
Get recommendations from people you know
Research on-line or from books and publications, and ask for references from previous, satisfied customers.
Do not choose one until you are satisfied with all the answers to the following questions:
Does this particular D.M.C. speak my language?
Is there a dedicated staff within the organization?
Do they operate in multi-destinations and, if so, do they have branches in all of these? (If this is not the case, then perhaps you need to look again)
Do they have previous experience you can find out about, and can they provide references?
How long have they been established as a company?
Do they also work for individual leisure businesses?
Do they offer all aspects of DMC services or are they specialists?
Another point to remember is that a D.M.C. can be brought in at different stages during the planning process. However, it is recommended that a D.M.C. be appointed as early as possible since their experience and expertise can ensure you avoid the many pitfalls and unnecessary expenditure which are frequently encountered during the early stages of conference planning.
Incoming Services Companies and D.M.C.s are usually considered together because they both provide knowledge of their destination and the services they are able to offer.
While an Incoming Services Company is certainly able to cater for the needs of individuals or groups, particularly those interested in leisure, a D.M.C. can handle all aspects of meeting needs whether it is a corporate special event or an international congress with thousands of participants.
You should be aware, though, that many companies call themselves D.M.C.s in order to get event business although they are not really D.M.C.s since they do not have dedicated staff for this purpose. You will need to ask for references of previously organized events in order to avoid later problems.
An intermediary works on behalf of one person or party for a fee or commission payment.
These middle men, could be or represent a Travel Agency, a Destination Management Company or a Professional Congress Organizer, for example, all of whom work on behalf of their clients.
The kind of activities in which an intermediary is involved normally includes planning and organization of meetings or congresses, incentives and events. More specifically:
Developing a programme for the event.
Contacting suppliers (onsite and offsite) and requesting quotes from them.
Negotiating prices & making reservations.
Inspecting the venue.
Organizing activities onsite: catering, dinners and entertainment, finding guides and hostesses, renting A.V. material, insurances, arranging transportation and providing travel management.
Any other kind of activity related to event management.
The obvious answer is yes if you do not have the knowledge, resources, time or technical facilities. An intermediary normally offers:
Inside knowledge of the destination, accommodation options, details of transport companies and local services.
Buying power, as they are normally "Power buyers"
Payment guarantees to suppliers onsite.
P.C.O (Professional Congress Organizers): As their name suggests, these specialize in Congresses, Conferences and Conventions as their core business, and are suppliers who can arrange, manage and/or plan any function or service for an event.
INCENTIVE HOUSE: This is a company that runs incentive programmes, often involving travel, for other companies.
SPECIALIZED TRAVEL AGENCY: These travel agencies have a dedicated department or fully specialize in organizing conferences, incentives and business travel in general.
D.M.C. (Destination Management Company): For all onsite organization as the name suggests, a D.M.C. provides ground handling services for its destination. This can include airport meet and greet, transfers, transportation, hotel and restaurant reservations, tours, conference venues, team building activities and logistics.
CONVENTION BUREAU: This is a not-for-profit organization, often supported by governments or private membership, which assists in the long-term development of an area promoted through the corporate events held there.
Its members include hotels, D.M.C.s, travel agencies, P.C.O.s, conference & exhibition centres, restaurants, AV companies, ...
P.R. AGENCY: A Public Relations Agency is responsible for handling and maintaining a positive relationship with the media. It supports Event Managers by helping to ensure the appropriate image of their company at the event.
A P.R. Agency plans and implements press launches, prepares press kits and materials as needed, and writes press reports detailing media activities and upcoming activity.
FULL SERVICE CONTRACTOR: They are experts in concept and design, project management, production, graphics and decoration, installation and dismantling, transport and warehousing, ...
The criteria for selecting an intermediary should include having a professional image, offering a clear exposition of what they can do for you and providing evidence of previous achievements through references.
An important question to ask is how they will want to be paid (a set fee, commission or hourly payment).
Here is a checklist on what you should do when selecting an intermediary to work on your behalf:
Make sure you do your homework. Do not choose anyone until you are satisfied they can achieve your objectives.
Draw up a short list and give out an R.F.P. (tender document) which specifies your requirements. After receiving the proposal, arrange an interview with the chosen intermediaries.
When satisfied, obtain a written contract which makes clear exactly what the intermediary will do for you.
Know in advance what you are going to pay for their services (a set fee, commission or hourly payment). Make sure there are no hidden extras.
Maintain constant communication - it is vital to keep in touch at all times.
A P.C.O. or Professional Congress Organizer is a company or individual who specializes in the management of conferences, congresses, and conventions. The company will act as a consultant to an organizing committee, implementing its decisions whilst utilising the experience and knowledge it has gained over many years in organizing events.
Many other companies offer P.C.O. type services, including travel agents, D.M.C.s, Convention Bureaux, Marketing and P.R. companies and even Convention Centres.
If there are areas of conference management for which you cannot provide the knowledge, resources, time or technical facilities, then a P.C.O. will handle these for you. A P.C.O. will also act as a link between different committees and suppliers. The committee or association will normally retain control of the event and set the policy, with the P.C.O. acting as Project Manager and ensuring that the administration runs smoothly. In addition, they will provide advice on all aspects of conference management, and work with you in partnership to ensure the success of your conference.
A P.C.O. can be brought in at different stages during the planning process. However, it is recommended that a P.C.O. be appointed as early as possible, as their experience and expertise can ensure you avoid the many pitfalls and unnecessary expenditure which are frequently encountered during the early stages of conference planning.
In the earliest stages, a P.C.O. can offer advice, help, knowledge and administrative support in both venue research and feasibility, as well as in establishing a preliminary budget, short-listing suppliers, and developing a timeline for the planning and organization of your conference. They can also offer help in the preparation and presentation of bids to win a conference for a particular destination; this may be in partnership with the local convention bureau where appropriate.
In order to identify the most appropriate P.C.O. for your needs it is helpful to seek information from a number of companies. The process would normally involve various steps:
Create a short list of P.C.O.s and check if they are accredited (all ABCevents suppliers are). Also check the following:
General experience with similar conferences (size, type).
Image and reputation.
Affiliations to/membership of professional associations.
Number of years in operation - do they subcontract?
Send the selected P.C.O.s as much information as possible (you can use the ABCevents R.F.P) if you wish to receive a proposal for your event.
P.C.O.s listed on ABCevents will contact you within 48 hours but in order to receive all the information you require and to provide an estimate of fees, you should allow them at least 2 weeks. Do not ask P.C.O.s to make any reservations on your behalf before you have decided which one you will contract.
Evaluate their answers and refine your choice: If fees have been quoted in a similar way then it will be easy to differentiate between the least expensive and most expensive services on offer. You will also have more detailed information on the type and level of service that each company can offer.
Obtain references and make sure Congress Organization is their core business: Ask P.C.O.s for references for similar, previously organized events, and follow up.
Presentations & Interviews: Ask the P.C.O. to make a presentation of their services to you. Ask questions and try to detect any deficiencies in their proposed programme. Prepare for the session with written questions and provide them with all your requirements beforehand. You should also evaluate their financial capacity, staff, the type of contracts they offer, whether or not they are insured, whether they subcontract their services, whether they have legal issues with past clients, and what their procedure is for any unforeseen circumstances that may arise.
Selecting the P.C.O. The P.C.O. you select will become your partner for the conference or congress along with the project manager. It is vital to know exactly whom you will be working with, and a visit to the office of the P.C.O. to meet the team who may be assigned to you is highly recommended. Do not forget to get a clear, written contract which will specify the work to be done by the P.C.O. It is essential to clarify who will be responsible for event payments and who controls the accounting. Always make clear on the contract that all conference incomes are your property and that you are the final decision-maker on all matters.
General conference and exhibition management: Preliminary outline plan, help in defining objectives, feasibility study, advice and consultancy service, post-event evaluation.
Accommodation and venue: finding, price negotiation, food and beverages, decoration, security, signalization, technical material (A.V., recording, translation, videoconferencing, ...).
Finance: Budget planning and financial consultancy, sponsorship, exhibition, loans, registration fees. Financial control of the event. Closure of conference accounts.
Operational management: Office facilities, liaison with production companies, registration processing systems, speaker liaison, on-site staffing, liaison with airlines, delegating transfers, on-site transportation, insurance cover.
Communication & Marketing: marketing and public relations, press office, design and print, web design, gifts and conference accessories, sponsorship.
Social events, tour programmes.
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