To celebrate DMCs' contributions to the MICE industry, the Association of Destination Management Executives International (ADMEI) created its ADMEI Awards Program. Established in 2005, the program recognizes excellence in DMC "program, component development and delivery," according to the association, which this week announced its 2019 award winners.
Judged by a team of international industry professionals and celebrated during the ADMEI Annual Conference -- which took place Feb. 7-9 in Houston -- the awards span four different categories: Achievement Awards, which identify DMCs that excel in destination management services for a specific program; Excellence Awards, which identify DMCs that excel in a specific component of destination management services for a program; Members' Choice, which is awarded by ADMEI members to one revered DMC every year; and Recognition Awards, which recognize peers and industry leaders for their efforts and leadership.
Among this year's winners, highlights were:
• Hadler DMC Scandinavia, a Hosts Global Member, of Copenhagen, Denmark, which won in the "Best Overall Program" category for its Truck Dealer Excellence - Northern Exposure 2018 program (pictured at top). An incentive trip organized for its top nine achievers, the program spanned three destinations -- Denmark, Greenland and Iceland -- and lasted nine days, during which time participants experienced each destination's unique traditions and culture during experiences like a helicopter tour and an excursion inside a volcano.
• Mosaix Group, a DMC Network Company, of Charlotte, N.C., which won in the "Best Innovative Event - Under $50,000" category for its VIP Appreciation Event, which it organized for a client to recognize and thank 65 of its general managers from across the country. Despite threats from Hurricane Alberto, which caused multiple road closures in the region where the event was located, Mosaix pulled off a successful weekend that included accommodations on a historic estate, a tented dinner that was conceived last-minute when the storm blocked access to the planned dinner venue and an open-air rock concert.
• Red Velvet Events, a Global DMC Partner, of Austin, Texas, and Realize Colorado of Denver, which won in the "Best Collaborative Event" category for their NORCAL Elite Partner Incentive Adventure. The event originally was supposed to take place in one location, which was marketed to attendees; however, the client subsequently insisted on changing the location upon discovering a special resort located two hours away. Knowing that attendees would not come if they knew they'd have to endure a two-hour transfer to their destination, the DMCs partnered to engineer a "surprise adventure" that whisked attendees away to the desired resort in a fun and unsuspecting fashion. In doing so, they turned what might have been an event handicap into an event asset.
• PRA Northern California of San Francisco, which won in the "Best Innovative Event - Over $500,001" category for its Living Art Museum event. Organized in April 2018 for an insurance company, the incentive program for 600 guests turned a private aviation hangar on California's Monterey Peninsula into a "living" art museum that served as the backdrop for a special dinner. The event included 20,000 feet of string lights, custom watercolor prints, and live models who dressed and posed as the famous ballerinas who appear in the works of French artist Edgar Degas.
The complete list of award winners is available on ADMEI's website.