Starting June 1, Robert Lee, DMCP, will be part of the Hosts Global team, joining the alliance of destination marketing organizations as vice president, global sales. After living in Europe for more than 20 years, most recently leading business development for Spaintacular DMC in Barcelona, Lee will be working out of an office in Rhode Island.
We caught up with the DMC veteran to ask him about the challenges ahead for the industry.
MeetingsNet: In addition to executing new health and safety requirements, how will DMCs operate differently as we get back to meetings and events this year and next?
Lee: I believe that one of the biggest differences will start at the contracting stage. I think we will see an increased demand for venues that offer flexible cancellation terms, and DMCs will be able to provide value to customers as the local experts in venue search and selection for options that offer this flexibility. Likewise, I think that DMCs will be tasked with finding new and creative ways to use space at hotels for group activities, as some customers might not want to go off site due to safety concerns.
MeetingsNet: It’s not enough to just meet anymore. Organizations want engagement and return on experience. What is the most challenging part about delivering those results?
Lee: With increased reliance on smart phones, it seems that attention spans are getting shorter every day. In addition to creating captivating content for guests in vignette formats, there is a need to deliver new and exciting forms of engagement. I think that we will see more technology incorporated into live events, from gamification to applications that encourage guests to connect. The challenge that I foresee will be providing these additions within customer budgets.
MeetingsNet: What would people be surprised to learn about you?
Lee: Although my background is mostly in DMC sales, I have had the opportunity to work on the proposal development and operations sides of a DMC as well. This experience helps me to appreciate all the components that go into creating a successful program, from the initial development stages through program operation and invoice reconciliation.