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Planes, trains and automobiles… just some of the many travel options your groups or attendees have in traveling to, from and during your event. For some eventprofs, transportation plays a big role in the experience you provide to your guests. Building a flawless transportation plan can be a big undertaking, but with a few important reminders you can keep your event running smooth.
1. Have a Plan
Planning, it is what we do for a living, and it is also the best way to start out in your transportation process! Having a quality plan will give your guests a great experience and an opportunity to enjoy the event even more.
Be very detailed and create a document that will show your entire team the in’s and out’s of your travel process. Be sure to include every detail that might need to be referenced during the event.
2. Be Ready for Changes
Inevitably changes will arise at some point during your event. As with every aspect of event planning you need to be ready for these speed bumps. Ensure you have a backup option for getting your guests from point a to point b.
Perhaps a road is closed near your venue, or your driver becomes ill. The scenarios that can throw off your plans are endless, but being prepared for these challenges to arise is key. Do your best not to panic and utilize the backup options that are available to you.
3. Always be a People Person
When you are transporting large groups of busy attendees it can become stressful and at times, hard to keep your mind on customer service. Even in these challenging situations you must be able to keep your cool and interact with your guests in a positive manner.
Make it a priority to provide each person with an incredible experience. When you go out of your way to make a guest feel welcomed and appreciated, they can often times forgive a small mishap in your transportation or overall event.
4. Follow Up Constantly
Follow up is the name of the game when you are working with vendors, but in transportation you cannot risk anyone forgetting where or when they are supposed to be providing service to your group.
Following up with your transportation vendors right before the event begins is vital, along with giving them an hour or a 30 minute warning. If something goes wrong or changes in that last bit of time, it at least gives you, as the planner, an opportunity to implement your backup option.
5. Communicate, Communicate, Communicate
Communication is not just for the vendors and service providers. You must make sure that your staff are always in the loop on what is planned for transportation. If something changes, contact the entire team and have them adjust their schedule.
This is very critical when it comes to multiple pickups, if for example you have a variety of guests flying in and out. Flights are always changing or delayed and making sure your guests aren’t stuck hanging around waiting at the airport will go a long way in their first, or last, impressions of your event.
6. Be Firm, Yet Professional
Sometimes you have to take a stand in order to get things accomplished in this industry and the transportation aspect of events, is second to none. If you have paid for a transportation service, they should arrive on time and be attentive to the needs of your guests.
Stay firm and don’t allow transportation companies to push you around. They often times have many clients that need a vehicle on a given night, and this can lead to delays in service, but they should never discount the value of your business. Many times if you follow up and communicate you can avoid any issues that might arise. Do you best to build a lasting relationship with vendors and they will make it a point to provide you with high-quality service.
7. Evaluate Your Routes
We all take the time to do a site visit and a walk through prior to our guest arriving, but we should also make it a point to evaluate the routes we are using to move our guests from venue to venue. Perhaps there is construction, flight delays or train lines down. Prior to the arrival of your guests take a look at all of your routes, along with the weather forecast, to plan ahead and predict any challenges you might face.
8. Think Outside the Box
Transportation doesn’t have to be traditional! Have you ever taken a boat to an event? Or perhaps ridden a bike between venues? Take a look at your location or host city with a critical eye and see what transportation options might be unique and special to your location. These creative methods of transportation will give your guests an interesting experience that they may not have had, and one that they can share with their friends and colleagues who could ultimately become your future clients.
9. Say Goodbye to Boring
If you have a lengthy journey from one location to the next, do you best to create an entertainment opportunity while your guests are traveling. You could bring in a guest speaker or tour guide to provide information on the event topic or the host city.
This experience serves as a bonus to your guests and will take away from the otherwise boring trip. Your guests will enjoy the opportunity to learn and enjoy the travel they are embarking on. Your speakers will also take pride in having the full attention of your guests while they are on this excursion.
10. Evaluate Areas for Improvement
Each year you will learn and improve upon the event transportation you provide. You may find travel companies that are a joy to work with, while others may be a challenge. You should always be seeking out new and creative ways to move your guests between cities and venues, and never be afraid of changing up your transportation to bring a fresh aspect to the event. Ultimately you should be open to new ideas and seek to improve year after year!
Many events have multiple components that involve travel from one venue to the next. Utilizing the steps above will set you apart as a prepared and innovative planner. Most eventprofs dread the transportation aspect of their event, because of the uncertainty. However, through proper communication, follow up and assertiveness you will be moving your event and your guests towards continued success.