What is dominating your thoughts at this very moment?
How to make it all work, reorganise myself and spend more time with family and friends wherever and whenever possible…. Life is running along like a racing car for most of us today and it seems like there is no time to sometimes really slow down and enjoy the most desirable ‘panoramic drives’…. to stop here and there to enjoy the slow moments.
As a leading supplier to the industry in the region, what are your impressions of the industry today?
It has been a great pleasure to experience over the last decade and a half all the major changes of the M&I industry in the region! When we started not many knew what we were doing and why we were doing it; today everybody is moving in the same direction and there is the feeling that everybody is dancing to the same song. That’s good in a way for the industry, brings us as well as everybody else to a more important level when there are issues within the region about the economy or any higher level commercial discussions. Individually speaking, however, we generally see no higher quality if everybody runs to dance to the same song – so we at Dubrovnik Travel have once again chosen to play and dance to our own song!
What is a DMC agency’s role in the future of the meetings industry?
The future is already in the world of DMCs. As a good DMC one has to be one step ahead, working in the future, and feel comfortable being there. Always look for cost effective and creative solutions, be able to read minds and jump before others jump. A DMC is not needed when one can guarantee that everything – and I really mean everything – will be ok, that success is guaranteed. But who can guarantee this today? – nobody! Everything can be fine when all is smooth and easy, but this is certainly not the rule. So, to be on the safe side, a good DMC is one to have through good times and bad…. A good DMC as a partner is like a very good long term investment for clients!
What organisational changes have you implemented and what have been the results?
We have implemented a mix of standard ‘theoretical’ actions with a huge amount of experience from our past events and collaborations with leading event and incentive houses from all over the world. The results are obvious; today we are proud to say that we can handle big and small group movements in the region – and when I say big I mean big with a capital B – with the same quality and service as is expected for any smaller size, high-scale incentive group. Our numerous multilingual staff are completely dedicated from beginning to end of the event, with the support of the DT management that is today still involved in all events that we operate for our partners and clients. This is crucial and shows our complete responsibility for the business that is handled by our company.
In the future, why should a DMC agency be chosen over similar service providers?
Well, a DMC is not only a re-named local travel agency nowadays, although many travel agencies do like to call themselves a DMC and have stunning websites and sometimes nice cars too etc. It’s very important to be careful and professionally check the DMC many times over before choosing the one to work with. Local service providers (hotels, guides, restaurants, transport companies etc.) need DMCs as local partners just as much as clients need us for their event. Real DMCs help the service providers to deliver higher quality and often service providers use the local DMC as a bridge to make an event cost efficient for themselves and to ease communication, ensuring high quality service overall. Service providers do know who is a real DMC and they know how to value the good ones.
What is a DMC agency’s promotional role compared to public bodies officially active in the destination’s promotion?
The public bodies are very passive (as all public bodies are supposed to be – don’t do much as you have to work more). Public bodies have to spend the money, their budgets, as if they don’t the next year they will receive less. On the other hand we, the agencies, we look how to save money and how to invest wisely. A real DMC fights for its own interest but also participates actively, very actively, in the destination promotion. We move quicker and we make our targets tangible. Statistics are not our interest – our interest is only a full platter of many satisfied customers and some profit on the side!
What will a successful event look like in the future?
It will look just like a good one today, where all parties are winners. Due to the economic situation today, less and less people are impressed with luxury and sophisticated entertainment. We see more investment in education, communication and making an impression.
How will you be able to measure the success of your events?
It is very easy for us: we always look our customers, our clients, in the eye and we speak to them and we ask questions and are all the time with them – there is nothing better than when one can measure the event directly like that. As a DMC we have no direct contact with delegates, so our job is to ‘measure’ our client, the organiser’s, satisfaction, and we do it one-to-one.
How important for your business is partnership with Ovation?
Firstly we are talking about a great team that has great experience – so it is a real pleasure to be able to work closely with Ovation. They are important to us, we respect highly all of our global partners today and Ovation is really a good partner to work with.
… and a final message for our Kongres magazine readers?
2012 has begun, we need to be ready for the new challenges and new standards. Many markets have changed, new markets are emerging, new trends too. In this business of ours it is too expensive to ‘wait and see’. I wish you all a very successful 2012 – keep moving!