What Makes This Destination Management?

Thoughts and exploration from YOURGB’s Katie Smeaton

When the term “Destination Management” began regularly dropping into the Events Industry vernacular, it seemed something ‘other’ than experiential or events; something a bit magical, evoking more than a whiff of whimsy around the word ‘Destination’, which had me imagining something from ‘Back To The Future’.

I worked in Formula 1 Sponsorship when I first heard the term.  My job involved organising events across multiple international locations, so “Destination Management” for me at that time translated to a support team handling guest transportation in each region. However as time progressed, the shape and role of the traditional service evolved, and now it seems somehow, the worlds of Events and Destination Management have collided, and often the facets of each are inextricably linked.

So for the layman, what exactly is a Destination Management Company or, DMC for the cool kids, (not to be confused with RUN-D.M.C. the rappers, for the even cooler kids).  The official definition of a DMC is as follows: A professional services company with extensive local knowledge, expertise and resources, working in the design and implementation of events, activities, tours, transportation and program logistics. It involves the strategic oversight of all the elements that make a place attractive to tourists, and considers the needs of visitors, local residents, businesses, and the environment.

When Cutty Sark Whisky celebrated their 100th Anniversary, they came to us from their head office in France to bring to life their iconic brand beneath the belly of their namesake ship in Greenwich, London. Around 400 attendees travelled internationally to our second home – London – where we utilised our extensive local knowledge to manage their travel by bus and boat(!) as well as their accommodation in multiple hotels across the capital. The logistics and management of the guests was an extension of the experience itself; a 360 execution of experiential, brand design, production, build, running and de-rig of the event. On top of this, we managed their gifting, special requirements, social itineraries and personal comms, all whilst we designed and technically produced the world-class event.

So my question is… what service is this? Brand Experiential Design or Destination Management? A moosh of both?

Drone show of two stags dancing

Another example might be… A high-profile and very lovely Australian couple came to YOURGB to plan their dream wedding across an exclusive estate in the north of Scotland. This momentous celebration involved transporting circa 200 international guests on a whirlwind adventure all delivered by us: a Coldplay concert, a Jacobite-style dinner within Edinburgh Castle, a lochside barbecue, a live-streamed mountaintop wedding ceremony(!), a prohibition-style jazz party, and a bespoke drone display. The logistics were monumental, encompassing travel and accommodation bookings, meticulous event planning, guest comms, gifting, design and management of a dedicated guest website.

Yet another example is when the pizza oven brand of dreams – Ooni –  came to us to help bring to life a celebration of their 10th Anniversary. This event was set to be the first time all of their 300+ team, based all over the world, were brought together under one roof in the UK. The event comprised of conferencing, luxury awards gala and brand experiential. Aside from the creative production, YOURGB created a bespoke branded event website which helped us track all attendee registrations and their requirements. With this information, we were able to book flights for guests travelling from overseas including destinations in Europe, America, Australia and the Philippines.  We also managed all hotel bookings and ground handling needs. 

So YOURGB is a DMC?! There, I said it. Furthermore, dare I say… we’re an excellent one (we won “Best Events Agency” Award recently, so you don’t just need to take my word for it). It turns out we have been shaping destination-led initiatives for over a decade, but just not talking about it. And even with so little said, we’ve been earning a remarkable reputation for our services in this field. 

As the ‘boots on the ground’ experts, we possess an unparalleled depth of local knowledge, contacts and cultivate the essential relationships required to deliver bespoke, premium, meticulously detailed, and truly exceptional experiences throughout Scotland and the UK, and on top of that our networks and experiences also connect us solidly to activating beautifully throughout Europe and America.

So, although YOURGB is best known for our exceptional experiential productions, technical event design and our approach to sustainability and carbon management – don’t forget that we can do ALL the other stuff too. 

If you or anyone you know might be in need of some logistics that would make Doc Brown proud, come to us.  We’re a DMC (apparently?!).

Thoughts and exploration from me, YOURGB’s Katie Smeaton. Feel free to drop me an email to say hello – ks@YOURGB.co.uk

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What Makes This Destination Management?


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