I hate to sound presumptuous, but I think we’re embarking on the DMC evolution of change, and we’ve been very fortunate to be leading the way. Let me explain.
When I started Red Velvet Events almost 15 years ago, we were a full-service meetings and events planning firm with no formal destination management arm. Then in 2007, we were encouraged by some Austin hotels to start offering our services as a preferred Austin DMC and as they say, the rest is history.
However, something I want to openly discuss, since I haven’t before, is how to balance being a full-service meeting planning firm and an Austin DMC without crossing boundaries. It really hasn’t been done before, so I want to uncover that today. As some of you may already know, we don’t advertise through traditional mediums (magazine ads, Yellow Pages, etc). Our entire business is built through relationships.
Relationship-building is an integral part of our business and culture. We’d never do anything to hurt those relationships. As a DMC, we frequently have clients who are third-party event planners, who hire us as their preferred Austin DMC. We, in return, white-label our DMC services to this third party so that they can continue building their relationship with the end client. I think it’s very important to note the lines drawn between who we consider our client and the end client. We would never even think about surpassing our client (the third party) and work direct with the end client. Doing so would be ethically wrong, and it would seriously damage our relationships. Forgetting our loyalties would not ever be worth it.
So why, as a DMC owner selling Austin, do I attend FAM trips, like the one I attended last weekend in Scotland with Global DMC Partners (GDP)? It’s pretty simple: (1) I really enjoy bonding with the GDP clients that have been considering Austin for a while but are on the fence or don’t know much about the destination. (2) With my meeting planner hat on, I’m able to experience a new destination and share what can be done with our own meeting planning clients in a destination that they may not have considered before. (3) Last but not least, I truly get inspired by experiencing what other destinations consider creative incentive outings. After all, we are always learning.
I document these FAM trips on our Instagram story, so be sure to follow us if you’re ever curious what these action-packed trips entail. And if you have an incentive program you’d like to bring to Austin or have us plan outbound, please contact us today!