Book Review

September 26, 2004

The Guide to Successful Destination Management                                                                                                                                                                            

By Pat Schaumann                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  

J. Wiley & Sons, publishers 

Pat Schaumann, CMP, CSEP, DMCP, is president of two firms, MAC Meetings and Events, a global marketing solutions company specializing in the management and production of meetings, events, mobile marketing, electronic media, sports marketing and destination management; and Current Temp, a global meeting and event temporary staffing company. She is also the author of “The Guide to Successful Destination Management,” which became the first book dedicated to the destination management industry when it was released by publisher J. Wiley & Sons in February 2004.

The guide examines all aspects of the industry, from transportation services to risk management. It is designed as a one-source textbook for destination management companies (DMCs), professional meeting and event planners, hotel and resort destination managers and students within the hospitality industry. According to the publisher, it is the best resource for planners and organizations to learn the criteria for finding the best destination management companies.  Meeting and event professionals learn how to identify, select, work with, and evaluate the DMCs that will most benefit their guests…from planning a simple meeting for board of directors to a major citywide event.

The book also features:
• The Association of Destination Management Executives’ (ADME) accepted practices and guidelines. ADME, the largest international association dedicated to DMC professionals, also endorses the book and receives 100% of the proceeds from book sales.
• Advice and guidance on everything from food and beverage to ethics.
• Sample forms, letters and contracts.
• Real-world case studies.
• A practical ethics quiz.

The book includes testimonials from corporate and association planners as well as DMCs including:

Bill Severson, manager of meetings & special events, Rockwell Automation:

“I have been in the industry for over 20 years and have learned to rely on destination management companies for their expertise in their specific locations.  They have assisted on many of my company meetings and our largest trade show, providing a list of services including ground transportation, shuttles, events, staff support, and many more.  As a meeting professional, I recognize the value of the DMC industry and the professionalism and consistency that they bring to my programs.”

Robert Sackett, marcom manager, enterprise marketing, Cisco Systems

“When (I am) working with partners, including DMCs, it is imperative that they can digitally communicate with my staff and me anytime.  That includes remote connectivity, e-mail and wireless capabilities.  My designated DMC understands my company culture and works with our guidelines and ways of doing business effectively.”

We asked Schaumann some questions about her new book.

Why write the book now?
The Association of Destination Management Executives committed to offering an industry certification to validate experienced and educated DMCs.  There was not a resource book available for candidates to accurately study this industry.  Even colleges and universities offering classes in destination management did not have a textbook to use. The book is a result of the need for an accurate resource for the Destination Management Certified Professional examination.

How long did it take to write the guide?
I began writing the book three years ago.  I met with a dedicated group of destination management company owners who committed to contributing to the project.

Talk about the destination management industry.
Destination management began in North America in the mid-1960s.  Our international counterpart, Professional Congress Organizers (PCOs), is much older yet our disciplines mirror each other.

The destination management industry hit a milestone in 2003 when it topped $1 billion.  Its impact on the hospitality industry is significant, and recognition and appreciation are long overdue.

To whom is the book being marketed?
Our target audience is professional planners, DMCs, hotels, event companies, industry organizations and of course, more than 250 colleges and universities.  The book is available on Amazon.com, at Barnes and Noble, industry bookstores, and of course, directly through the ADME Web site at www.adme.org.

Why colleges and universities?
Many college curriculums include studies in destination management on a peripheral level via meeting management courses, attractions, etc. Within the past several years, more and more independent courses in destination management have been offered and they have a desperate need for a resource book.

What was the best part of writing the book?
That’s easy.  My passion for the industry.  My company has offered destination management since the late 1960s and I am fortunate to have an incredible staff of professionals who constantly strive to improve and make innovations within this niche.  Over the years we have grown into a company that offers more than 30 other capabilities with offices throughout the U.S. and Canada, but destination management is still our signature capability.  Since I serve as an adjunct professor at several universities, I knew what type of textbook I needed, and it was easier to create the outline.

What was the hardest part of writing the book?
Time.  If someone had told me how much time it would take, I may not have taken on the task of writing a book.  Running a company is very consuming and trying to complete deadlines, at times, was very difficult.

And since there were no other books ever written on the topic, a lot of research was needed.
And then there is the chapter on technology.  My motto on that chapter was “here today, gone tomorrow.”  I had to update the chapter monthly, and I am sure it was outdated a week after it was printed.

After the book’s release in February, what has been the initial response?
It is overwhelming.  I have had corporations call telling me that they want to buy multiple copies for their staffs.  I have heard from DMCs in South Africa, England and Beijing requesting copies.  I have been asked to speak at more than 15 association meetings.  I am very pleased for our industry to receive this interest level.

Another book?
It is like having a baby.  During the labor, you say, “Never again,” but after the baby is born, the pain is forgotten.  I am beginning research on another book.  Just don’t tell my family.

Schaumann lives in St. Louis with her husband, Circuit Judge Dennis Schaumann, and her two children—Michael, who manages Current Temp, and Marissa, a college senior.
She also has received recognition as Meeting Planner of the Year from the St. Louis Area Meeting Professionals International; Event Professional of the Year from the International Special Event Society-Missouri Chapter; the President’s Award from the Association of Destination Management Executives; and most recently, she was named one of the 25 most influential people in the meetings industry by Meeting News.

About the author

Joe Clote

Joseph W. Clote is owner of Publishing Concepts, LLC a communications and marketing firm based in Saint Louis, Missouri. Mr. Clote is Group Publisher of MeetMed™ and Missouri Meetings & Events™ (MM&E) magazine, a quarterly publication read by thousands of meeting and event professionals, and producer of the St. Louis and Kansas City trade shows under the MM&E name. Mr. Clote has extensive sales and marketing expertise in the travel, tourism, fine art, insurance, and software development industries.