Destination management companies see events from start to finish — from the first meet-and-greet till last call at the final-night gala. And they've seen a strong year in 2006. Taken as a group, our “25 top” DMCs report an 11 percent increase in the number of events they have handled this year over last, plus a healthy 14 percent increase in revenue. Read on for the full story …

ACCESS DESTINATION SERVICES

Irvine, Calif.

top officers Christopher H. Lee, DMCP, CEO; Candi Bisconte, DMCP, president

phone 619/299-2200

CLICK HERE! Web site www.accessdmc.com

average number of events handled per year 1,000 plus

annual revenue from DMC services $16 million

capabilities Market coverage includes Los Angeles, Orange County, Palm Springs, San Diego and Las Vegas. Services range from event concept and design to program management and on-site coordination, entertainment services, meet-and-greets, transportation logistics, event production and recreational activities.

recent noteworthy events For a major U.S. automaker, the Access Orange County (Calif.) office used the East Room exhibit at the Richard Nixon Presidential Library in Yorba Linda, Calif., to re-create a state dinner complete with herald trumpeter, an active-duty color guard and a society orchestra. For a Fortune 500 insurance company client, the Access Palm Springs (Calif.) office held a “State of Your Health” fair offering healthy cuisine, an oxygen bar and stations providing dream interpreters, aura photography and crystal healers, all in a carnival setting complete with Ferris wheel.

ALLIED EUROPE

Paris

top officer James Hensley

phone +33 1 44 55 05 70

Web site www.allied-europe.com

average number of events handled per year 250 to 300

annual revenue from DMC services $20 million to $25 million

capabilities With offices in Barcelona, Biarritz, Florence, London, Monte Carlo, Paris and Rome, Allied Europe can “completely cover” five major European destinations — France, Spain, the U.K., Italy and Monaco, management says. Clients have access to the company's in-house event management software.

recent noteworthy events Events this year have included the launch of the new Ford Focus and, for the second consecutive year, a U.S. insurance company's incentive program for 5,000 taking place simultan-eously in London and Edinburgh over the course of four weeks.

ATLANTA ARRANGEMENTS

Atlanta

top officer Susan Henderson

phone 404/443-5959

CLICK HERE! Web site www.atlantaarrange.com

average number of events handled per year 300

annual revenue from DMC services $8 million

capabilities This DMC is proud of its record winning awards for its corporate work.

recent noteworthy events Recently completed an art-themed team-building event for a major phamaceutical company in which each team had to design a logo for a new drug, assisted by local art students.

BASKOW & ASSOCIATES

Las Vegas

top officer Jaki Baskow

phone 702/733-7818

Web site www.baskow.com

average number of events handled per year 650

annual revenue from DMC services $11 million to $12 million

capabilities Thirty-year-old company specializes in star power, offering customized tours, VIP concierge service, entertainment/celebrity broker service and transportation.

recent noteworthy events Baskow & Associates took the spotlight itself this year as its shopping center party wound up on TV's Discovery channel. “We do fun for a living,” they say.

BOB GAIL SPECIAL EVENTS

Los Angeles

top officer Bob Levine

phone 310/202-5200

CLICK HERE! Web site www.bobgail.com

average number of events handled per year 275

annual revenue from DMC services $5.1 million to $5.5 million

capabilities Founded in 1978, company offers DMC services augmented by decor, props, entertainment, rental and floral design capabilities.

recent noteworthy events Busy with events, meetings and incentives for clients including AIG SunAmerica, Kaiser Permanente, Deloitte & Touche, Amgen, Ritz-Carlton, Hyatt, Starwood, Northrop Grumman, American Cancer Society, Siemens Business Services, American Airlines, Sony Pictures, Earthlink and Hewlett-Packard.

CAPITOL SERVICES INC.

Falls Church, Va.

top officer Jill McGregor

phone 703/584-2460

CLICK HERE! Web site www.csi-dc.com

average number of events handled per year 256

annual revenue from DMC services $7.5 million

capabilities Covering Washington and Baltimore, CSI has consulted on high-profile jobs including presidential inaugurations, government meetings and international events. Capabilities include events, meeting management, transportation tours, entertainment and other convention services needs.

recent noteworthy events CSI kicked the year off by planning the World Travel and Tourism Conference in Washington and providing DMC services for the Volvo Ocean Race in Baltimore and Annapolis, which drew corporate groups from throughout the world. CSI managed all hotel negotiations and reservations, transportation, customized tours, boat cruises and high-end lunch and dinner events.

DALLAS FAN FARES

Dallas

top officer Kaye Burkhardt

phone 972/239-9969

CLICK HERE! Web site www.dallasfanfares.com

average number of events handled per year 60 to 100

annual revenue from DMC services $9 million plus

capabilities Company provides DMC services with specific capabilities including meet-and-greets, creative design, on-site management, contract negotiation, customer service and financial management “to name a few,” they say.

recent noteworthy events Work this year has involved Super Bowl, the U.S. Open and Masters golf championships, and incentive programs both in the U.S. and abroad.

DECO PRODUCTIONS

Miami

top officer Sharon Siegel

phone 305/558-0800

Web site www.decoproductions.com

average number of events handled per year 100

annual revenue from DMC services $8 million

capabilities Company takes pride in its special event decor, theatrical lighting, floral, specialty linen, stage sets, team-building, tours, dine-arounds and other service capabilities.

recent noteworthy events Busy this year with big pharmaceutical events and incentive programs.

DESTINATION CONCEPTS INC.

San Diego

top officer Brynne Frost

phone 800/272-3775

CLICK HERE! Web site www.destinationconcepts.com

average number of events handled per year 220

annual revenue from DMC services $9 million to $11 million

capabilities Southern California specialists, DCI covers San Diego, Palm Springs, Dana Point, Laguna Beach, Huntington Beach, Anaheim, Los Angeles and Santa Barbara. Services include event design and production, general sessions, awards ceremonies, entertainment, day activities, registration and transportation.

recent noteworthy events Highlights this year have included events that stormed a beach with hydroplane vehicles and transported 1,600 guests in luxury cars. “We are redefining destination management in southern California,” management says.

DESTINATION NASHVILLE

Nashville, Tenn.

top officer Rhonda L. Marko, CMP, DMCP

phone 615/851-9190

Web site www.destinationnashville.com

average number of events handled per year 1,250

annual revenue from DMC services $7.25 million

capabilities “Music City” experts and the preferred vendor for giant Gaylord Opryland Resort, this DMC operates two offices in Nashville offering “total” destination management services, specializing in customized events, transportation and tours.

recent noteworthy events Focusing on the meetings and convention industry, big events for Destination Nashville this year have included the “Black Tire Affair” for 2,200 guests of a nationally known tire manufacturer, a 1,200-person dine-around visiting a total of 22 restaurants and — for the ninth consecutive year — the VIP pre-party and other elements for the Country Music Association Awards show.

DESTINATION ST. LOUIS

St. Louis

top officer Julie Greenspoon-Kelly

phone 314/727-2400

CLICK HERE! Web site www.destinationstlouis.com

average number of events handled per year 500 to 600

annual revenue from DMC services $4 million to $5 million

capabilities The largest purchaser of leased transportation in the metro St. Louis area, this DMC specializes in the upscale special event market and is the exclusive preferred DMC at the Ritz-Carlton St. Louis, the Renaissance Grand & Suites, and the Westin St. Louis.

recent noteworthy events Busy this year with transportation for State Farm Figure Skating Championships; transportation and events for Medicine Shoppe meeting; and events and transportation for 10,000 attendees of PartyLite Gifts.

IVI DESTINATION MANAGEMENT

Cancun, Quintana Roo, Mexico

top officer Jose-Manuel Garcia

phone +52 998 887 1578

Web site www.ivi-mexico.com

average number of events handled per year 200 plus

annual revenue from DMC services $10 million plus

capabilities In business since 1986 offering DMC services in Mexico, Costa Rica and Panama; management takes pride in its ISO 9001:2000 certification.

MAC MEETINGS AND EVENTS

St. Louis

top officer Pat Schaumann, CSEP, CMP, DMCP

phone 314/421-2005

CLICK HERE! Web site www.macmeetings.com

average number of events handled per year 1,000 plus

annual revenue from DMC services $5 million

capabilities The second oldest DMC in North America, the company says with pride, MAC's strengths are ground transportation, event management, mobile marketing management, and Web-based technology capabilities, management says. Last year, MAC's employees won “Best Innovative Event” and “Best Recreational Activity” honors from ADME while president Pat Schaumann received the first-ever “DMC Professional of the Year” award.

recent noteworthy events Highlights of the year have included work on the launch of Macy's Midwest, the NFL 2006 draft, the Red Hat Society convention, and arranging transportation and airport arrivals/departures for FAA events in St. Louis.

MANA, ALLISON & ASSOCIATES

San Francisco

top officers Glenn Allison, Dave Mana

phone 415/474-2266

Web site www.mana-allison.com

average number of events handled per year 300 to 350

annual revenue from DMC services $8.5 million

capabilities Services offered include special event design, production and management, wine country and Monterey/Carmel (Calif.) events, dine-arounds, sightseeing excursions, golf, team-building, airport meet-and-greets, charter transportation, and hospitality desk and staffing.

recent noteworthy events Events this year have included parties for 3,000 guests on an aircraft carrier. Specialty is showing off the treasures of the San Francisco Bay area, from the city to Napa Valley wine country.

ME PRODUCTIONS

Pembroke Park, Fla.

top officer Hal Etkin, CEO; Jim Etkin, president

phone 954/458-4000

Web site www.meproductions.com

average number of events handled per year 600

annual revenue from DMC services $5 million

capabilities In business more than 25 years, ME specializes in national and international corporate events, business theater, staging, audiovisual, music and entertainment.

recent noteworthy events Event roster this year has included annual International Association of Airport Duty-Free Stores show, Miami Heat basketball team Family Festival, Furniture Fashion Show and multi-day event at the Hilton Daytona Beach resort for a publicly traded health-care company.

METROCONNECTIONS

Minneapolis

top officer Sam Thompson

phone 612/333-8687

CLICK HERE! Web site www.metroconnections.com

average number of events handled per year 1,000

annual revenue from DMC services $10 million

capabilities Three divisions — event production, conference services, and transportation and tours — each overseen by one of the company's owners, are combined in one strategic group. Company owns a 35,000-square-foot event production facility including a prop and set warehouse. The conference services department offers Web-based online registration, logistical planning and management, while the transportation and tours department provides shuttle service and award-winning tours.

recent noteworthy events Noteworthy events this year include creating a transportation plan for a medical technology company using 108 buses to transport 4,300 employees from 10 different locations to the Minneapolis Convention Center; a big Halloween event for Town & Country Club, including 14 outdoor haunted scenes; a MASH-themed event for a prominent airline's sales staff of 250 people; and continued event planning and brand themed events for Target Corp., which named Metro “Supplier of the Year.”

OVATION GROUP

Dublin, Ireland

top officers Patrick Delaney, CMM; Pàdraic Gilligan

phone +00 353 1 2802641

CLICK HERE! Web site www.ovation.ie

average number of events handled per year 135

annual revenue from DMC services $10 million

capabilities With offices in Dublin and Belfast, Northern Ireland, Ovation offers destination, conference and event management and holds the “dominant position” in the DMC marketplace in Ireland, management says. Along with technical skills, company prides itself on its people skills: “We know many weird and wonderful people! A key element of success for any DMC is to know interesting people who, in turn, can open doors to unique experiences.”

recent noteworthy events Ovation has been busy this year consolidating its position as one of Europe's leading event and destination management companies, operating events in Boston, Berlin, Athens, Rome and Dubrovnik in addition to work throughout Ireland. Highlights have included a private performance by Carole King on a Mediterranean cruise, the EORNA Congress, which brought more than 4,000 intensive-care nurses to Dublin, and a SITE Crystal Award-winning event for SONY themed around “The Da Vinci Code.”

SOUTHWEST CONFERENCE PLANNERS

Scottsdale, Ariz.

top officer James Lammy

phone 480/443-3505

CLICK HERE! Web site www.swcp.net

average number of events handled per year 200 plus

annual revenue from DMC services $8 million to $10 million

capabilities Company will be celebrating “20 years of destination management excellence” in 2007, management says.

recent noteworthy events SWCP produced DMC services for seven consecutive meetings encompassing five different resorts with an average of 700 guests per wave. The team-building activity was a bike-building event with the bikes subsequently donated to a local charity with personalized notes from the team that constructed each bike.

TBA GLOBAL EVENTS

Los Angeles

top officer Robert Geddes

phone 818/226-2800

CLICK HERE! Web site www.tbaglobal.com/destination

average number of events handled per year 1,000

annual revenue from DMC services $35 million to $55 million

capabilities With locations throughout the U.S. and in western Canada, TBA offers program design and management, site inspection and venue selection, decor, entertainment, themed events, dine-arounds, meet-and-greets, customized excursions and tours, team-building and transportation management.

recent noteworthy events In 2006, TBA provided DMC services for events including the BISYS Leaders Summit, Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation National Race for the Cure, IBM PartnerWorld and Cendant.

TERRAMAR GROUPS AND INCENTIVES

Los Cabos, Baja California Sur, Mexico

top officer Kimberly Clapham

phone +52 624 142 9200

CLICK HERE! Web site www.terramardestinations.com

average number of events handled per year 150

annual revenue from DMC services $12 million

capabilities Capabilities include serving the Los Cabos and Baja California Sur areas with multilingual staff and creative events, stage management, dinner cruises, team-building, amenities and gifts, spouse programs, weddings and wellness programs.

recent noteworthy events Company points with pride to its “Baja Outback” tour — an eco-adventure.

THE ARRANGERS

Denver

top officer Nicole Marsh, CMP, DMCP

phone 303/623-1492

CLICK HERE! Web site www.arrangers.com

average number of events handled per year 140 to 160

annual revenue from DMC services $4.5 million to $5 million

capabilities The Arrangers takes advantage of Colorado's breadth of experiences: “We excel at switching modes from one event to the next — formal galas to rustic ranches, limos to motorcoaches, sporting events to team-building, all within a week, days or sometimes even minutes,” management says.

recent noteworthy events Programs this year included a rodeo for 2,800 convention attendees, a Latin Fusion casino night for 1,200, a “Cultural Colorado” event for 3,300 using the Galleria outdoor space at the Denver Performing Arts Complex, a concert at historic Red Rocks amphitheatre for 2,800, and a dinner and receptions for 800 that took over the Denver Museum of Nature and Science.

THE BEST OF BOSTON

Waltham, Mass.

top officer Jonathan Danforth

phone 781/487-0500

CLICK HERE! Web site www.bestboston.com

average number of events handled per year 900

annual revenue from DMC services $6.5 million

capabilities Company is ready to celebrate its 25th anniversary in 2007, offering event design plus meeting, tour and transportation programs.

recent noteworthy events The Best of Boston helped a corporate client celebrate with an event for 8,000 guests at Boston's City Hall Plaza.

THE MEETING MANAGER

San Diego

top officers Terry Hanks, Fabienne Hanks

phone 619/275-0181

Web site www.themeetingmanager.com

average number of events handled per year 300 plus

annual revenue from DMC services $11 million plus

capabilities In business for 28 years, TMM offers expertise in handling events ranging from city-wide programs with 18,000 attendees to exclusive, 20-guest VIP events.

recent noteworthy events This year's event roster has included coordinating city-wide shuttle logistics for more than 18,000 attendees at 24 hotels for the American Thoracic Society's Annual Conference; throwing an exclusive “Dinner with a View” party atop a private penthouse in San Diego for an international automotive company's board; and transforming the parking lot of the La Quinta Resort & Club, La Quinta, Calif., into an authentic 1950s drive-in movie theater complete with jumbo screen and custom cars for guests to dine in.

ULTIMATE VENTURES

Dallas

top officers Laurie Sprouse, CMP, DMCP; Val Lennington, CSEP, CMP, DMCP

phone 972/732-8433

Web site www.ultimateventures.com

average number of events handled per year 120 to 150

annual revenue from DMC services $4.5 million

capabilities Offering expertise in special events, transportation, team-building and customized sightseeing tours, UV “features more industry certifications — including five DMCPs — than any other DMC in Texas,” management says.

recent noteworthy events Highlights of a busy year include converting a hotel exhibit hall into a contemporary garden environment filled with engaging art, music and decor for 1,200 guests from a top automotive company; managing a logistically challenging transportation program for 2,000 people that grew from two to six hotels and by more than $300,000 in revenue within three weeks; and transforming a hotel ballroom into six completely unique elegant settings for simultaneous regional awards presentations.

USA HOSTS DESTINATION SERVICES

Las Vegas

top officer Jim Germain

phone 702/798-0000

CLICK HERE! Web site www.usahosts.com

average number of events handled per year 1,000

annual revenue from DMC services $30 million

capabilities Founded in 1958, USA Hosts owns and operates 11 offices in the U.S. offering custom services for events, incentive group travel, corporate meetings and conventions. (See also the USA Hosts Performance Alliance Partners listing, page 36.)

recent noteworthy events Thanks to its blend of creativity, technical skill and experience, USA promises clients “the best party you've ever had.”

All statistics are supplied by the companies listed unless otherwise noted. Special Events Magazine figures are based on interviews by staff, industry experts and market research. While every effort has been made to ensure accuracy, errors and omissions sometimes occur. All figures are in U.S. dollars.

A GROUP TOUR

Many DMCs band together in systems that range from networks to formal franchise systems; here are some of the biggest players:

DMC NETWORK

Alliance of independently owned and operated DMCs; requires compliance program to ensure customer satisfaction; offers geographic exclusivity; requires annual member fee.

Raleigh, N.C.

top officer Wendy W. Scott

phone 919/954-8123

Web site www.dmcnetwork.com

DMCs in system 27

areas served North America

events handled per year 3,000 plus

annual systemwide revenue $115 million

GLOBAL EVENTS PARTNERS

Partnership of independently owned and operated DMCs; requires performance standard; requires branding; offers geographic exclusivity; offers exposure to potential clients; requires monthly marketing fee and incentives on volume.

Washington

top officer Chris White

phone 202/775-5800

Web site www.globaleventspartners.com

DMCs in system 71

areas served Worldwide

events handled per year 250-300 per DMC

annual systemwide revenue $5 million to $40 million per DMC

PRA DESTINATION MANAGEMENT

Franchise system offering standardized business tools and systems, centralized proprietary DMC software to ensure consistency in delivery to client in each destination. In addition, offers single point of contact for RFPs in more than 35 destinations.

Carlsbad, Calif.

top officer Laura Rednour

phone 760/496-0540

Web site www.pra.com

DMCs in system 18

areas served California, Seattle, Las Vegas, Arizona, Texas, Chicago, Southeast U.S., New York

events handled per year 1,300 to 1,500

annual systemwide revenue $45 million to $50 million

THE CONTACT DMC GROUP

On the brink of celebrating its 30th anniversary, this sales and marketing consortium of independent DMCs offers referral services.

La Jolla, Calif.

top officer Lex Lyon, DMCP

phone 800/648-4709

CLICK HERE! Web site www.contactdmcgroup.com

DMCs in system 21

areas served U.S. and Canada

events handled per year 3,500

annual systemwide revenue $70 million

TRAVEL CONTACTS LTD.

Marketing network; offers referrals and networking among DMCs; requires annual membership fee; screens potential DMC members and monitors client feedback; offers geographic exclusivity.

Malta

top officer Janet Caruana

phone +44 845 230 6566

Web site www.travelcontacts.com

DMCs in system 90 plus

areas served Worldwide

events handled per year 1,000 plus

annual systemwide revenue $150 million plus

USA HOSTS PERFORMANCE ALLIANCE

System of 10 company-owned DMCs plus 16 North American and 14 international partner offices. Offers free referrals and geographic exclusivity; requires fees/commissions to cover marketing/administrative costs; offers branding and promotional support; requires performance standards.

New Orleans

top officer Terrence J. Epton, DMCP, CITE (chief executive officer, USA Hosts Ltd.); Serena Malancon, alliance partner liaison

phone 800/368-4678

Web site www.usahosts.com/performance_alliance

DMCs in system 24 companies serving 40 destinations

areas served North America

events handled per year 2,600 plus

annual systemwide revenue $250 million plus