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Business Ethics and Trusted Partnerships

The Importance of Business Ethics and Trusted Partnerships

It is imperative that planners can trust the business ethics of their contracted vendors.

Diane Hamilton, President and Creative Director, Relevé Unlimited

2017 marks the 26th year Relevé Unlimited has been in business as a destination management company (DMC), and the importance of business ethics remains a cornerstone of our company culture.

When BETA (Business Executives Travel Association) was growing from a soft adventure company to a full-fledged DMC, we received most of our RFPs via thermal-paper fax machines or via snail mail. Lead times were measured in weeks (or months), not days. And most destination management proposals tended to be one-size-fits-all: Personalization meant changing the client company’s name and logo on the DMC’s standardized list of offerings for a destination.

Evolving technology raised expectations for everyone — our stakeholders and bosses expect more, faster and better from us. The ready availability of event planning resources on the Internet opened the floodgates for unqualified, sometimes unscrupulous, vendors to take advantage of meeting planners sourcing activities in new destinations.

One vital characteristic remains, though, and that is the importance of business ethics. When meeting planners are looking for destination-specific events that are suitable for their groups, they are putting their reputations on the line to guarantee the safety and enjoyment of their guests. It is imperative that planners can trust the business ethics of their contracted vendors.

While Internet listings level the playing field somewhat for activity, attraction, and event vendors, the same listings and ease of technology make it easier for some vendors to claim that they can “do it all” to produce all the individual puzzle pieces of a destination event.

As the owner of a leading destination management company, though, I can tell you that Relevé Unlimited relies on the trusted partnerships that we’ve developed in each of the destinations we serve. Similarly, our vendors place their trust in us, often adding added-value enhancement that we pass on to our clients.

Our gratification in a Relevé Unlimited “job well-done” is enhanced by the knowledge that we behave in an ethical business manner throughout the proposal, production, and billing process. Our clients recognize our ethical standards when they encounter our pricing transparency and our “bespoke” program design.

Yes, it takes time to develop tailor-made program proposals. It takes time to develop trusted partnerships. But our clients love it, and they are worth every minute. Our greatest thrill is always when a client trusts us with their business, whether it’s the first time or the 40th time.

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