8 Key Things to Look for When Choosing a Destination Management Company (DMC)



October 5, 2023

Choosing the right Destination Management Company (DMC) is pivotal for event success. Beyond being a service provider, it’s about selecting a partner aligned with your vision, capable of transforming your events into an unforgettable experience.

Whether it’s a corporate event, incentive trip, networking reception, sales retreat, special event, a convention, or the many other ways a DMC supports corporate and association events in a destination, consider these eight crucial factors when choosing a DMC: 


A great DMC takes the guesswork out of bringing a destination to life. They will transcend information you may have already been provided by Convention Visitor Bureaus (CVBs) or hotels. Utilizing their deep destination knowledge, creativity, and strong local relationships they will navigate the intricacies of the destination down to the last detail while making your program vision a reality from concept to completion.



Choosing a destination management company (DMC) with local resources is crucial, but a single-destination DMC may struggle to manage during city-wide programs or when numerous events occur simultaneously. Choosing a nationally recognized DMC with globalized resources like CSI DMC is a strategic move you can count on. As a privately-owned company with offices across the USA and vast global connections, CSI DMC ensures you are not only working with a core local team that is intimately familiar with the destination – we can tap into additional skilled personnel and resources further afield when needed. This extra layer of support can be invaluable during shortages, ensuring qualified staff, material shortages or vendor overwhelm can be more effectively mitigated. You can feel good about supporting local businesses while ensuring a backup strategy is simply part of the plan.


You already know that great relationships rarely just happen. Viewing and engaging with your chosen DMC as a strategic partner, grounded in integrity, creativity, and capability, sets the foundation for success. At CSI DMC, we take this commitment further with a comprehensive approach designed to meet our clients where they need us to be our best, operating as an extension of their team. We delve into understanding your organization’s goals for each event, communicate proactively, and establish a foundation built on capability and trust. We understand it is in our mutual best interests to propose creative ideas and realistic solutions that seamlessly integrate with your vision. Whether for a single event or a series across multiple destinations over several years, our holistic approach supports a partnership that transcends collaboration and evolves into a journey of remarkable moments, shared stories, hard work, and exceptional experiences.


When selecting a Destination Management Company (DMC), prioritize opting for one with a dedicated creative team that has proven experience in shaping impactful events. Forward-thinking DMCs understand that innovative program design capability is more than a luxury; it’s the key to authentic, curated content that fosters attendee satisfaction—the bedrock of designing successful programs. These are the modern types of DMCs that go beyond logistics management. So, how do you find these expert organizations capable of translating your vision into a compelling attendee experience? If working with a DMC for the first time, consider how they allocate their resources within the company. You could start by requesting a portfolio of recent inspirations to kick off your communications. CSI DMC sets the bar in producing these types of materials based on real research and trends, curated by maintaining a deep bench of creative designers who focus on conceptualizing close to 1,000 events annually for clients worldwide, in an average of 65 destinations a year.  A further checkpoint in your selection should be to review the type of awards the DMC has from reputable sources.

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Finally, ask for contactable client references that are prepared to speak to the DMC’s creative process across multiple destinations and different event types. This proactive approach to selection ensures your chosen DMC is genuinely driven by creativity, serving as a guiding force in shaping their client’s events to meet attendee experience goals.


Longevity is not the same as stability. When selecting a DMC, experience is important, however the way business operates is critically so. CSI DMC was established in 1987 as Capitol Services Inc, so there is a wealth of experience, however maybe more importantly its actively involved leadership team has long tenure, the organization has a quality reputation with financial institutions, appropriate insurance, and a robust level of technological security measures. These factors all tie into stability, the ability to overcome adverse economic conditions that have impacted the hospitality industry, financial stability, and an organization with demonstrated nimbleness and sound business planning.


If your organization is one of many who are now committed to creating sustainable events, working with a DMC that can provide feasible solutions will not only enhance your organization’s reputation but also positively influence the impacted destination. It is important to communicate your sustainability goals early. Organizations like CSI DMC who have strong community connections, will then help you play a pivotal role in crafting events that meet your goals, utilizing their expertise in eco-feasible program design. This will save you considerable time and expense later on.


As your partner in sustainable event design, the DMC should be able to take a holistic approach to your event design and share solutions that, at a minimum, positively impact your goals to reduce, reuse and recycle, minimize waste and carbon impact. Beyond environmental benefits, these choices will demonstrate support for the local community, foster attendee engagement, and align with your organizational values.

Consider also the DMC’s internal environmental impact management, including policies within their own organization that promote reduce, reuse, and recycle practices. These might include minimizing single-use plastics, energy efficiencies, discouraging unnecessary printing, supporting work-from-home options, and paid time off for local volunteerism. Collaborating with a DMC that not only helps you create more sustainable events but also upholds sustainability values internally allows more organizations to significantly enhance their positive impact on the environments they impact.


When assessing a DMC, a tip from experienced planners is to inquire about the training and development of the organization’s personnel; it provides valuable insights into the culture of the company and its tangible commitment to best practice development for their team. A DMC’s commitment to encouraging employee participation in industry organizations further reflects the organization’s dedication to serving the hospitality and tourism industry and the growth of its future leaders.


CSI DMC has a long-standing reputation as an innovative leader in Destination Management best practices. A well-structured approach to employee onboarding, continuous learning and development, and regular skill-based training across all parts of the organization support its position. The collaborative style and inclusive mindset across the team support hands-on learning, and the company’s robust internship program provides a pathway for entry-level professionals to gain experience working alongside seasoned pros. A considerable number of our employees play integral roles in esteemed industry organizations such as SITE, MPI, ILEA, PCMA, ADMEI, and AMA, underscoring CSI DMC’s commitment to fostering industry connectivity and advocacy.

A further tangible commitment to training and development is evident in CSI DMC having one of the highest rates of holding formal industry certifications across the Destination Management industry. These include Destination Management Certified Professional (DMCP), Certified Meeting Planner (CMP), Certified Incentive Travel Professional (CITP), and Digital Event Specialist (DES), all recognized by the Events Industry Council (EIC). Opting for a DMC like CSI DMC, deeply invested in training and education, ensures that their team not only possesses the necessary skills but embodies the values crucial for consistently delivering exceptional event experiences.


When selecting a destination partner, sometimes experience matters most in the toughest of ways. Companies like CSI DMC, with decades of experience producing programs in hundreds of destinations and countless venues, are equipped to identify potential challenges unique to the destination. This includes understanding local regulations and weather patterns, as well as the impact of government shutdowns, marches, strikes, and various other region-specific factors. In these cases, strong relationships with local vendors and suppliers can facilitate quicker responses and potential flexibility in the face of unforeseen circumstances. By coordinating with local authorities, fostering vetted vendor relationships, creating best practices, and maintaining up-to-date insurances, we ensure a proactive and collaborative approach to handling unexpected events. This multifaceted strategy, combining local insight, meticulous planning, and strong partnerships, means we can help our clients navigate challenges proactively, ultimately contributing to the overall success and safety of the events and programs we produce for them.