As we have talked about many times, event planners wear many hats. One of those hats usually includes transportation logistics. Most times event planners need to transfer their delegates from one location to another. And quite often the transportation involves many different types of vehicles, depending on the event itself. For example, airport transportation can utilize a coach, limousine service or an airport shuttle.
Transportation Can Be a Make or Break Component to Event Planning
As a full service Destination Management Company (DMC) we would often be tasked with booking transportation, in addition to other program components, for event planners. As the years went on, and event planners began to utilize the Internet much more frequently to secure suppliers, I found that they would still hire my company to do the transportation.
Transportation is very local. In other words the companies that an event planner would hire are expected to be experts in their fields. But so much can happen with transportation that is beyond anybody’s control. When it comes to airport transportation, event planners are dependent on the weather, both at the arrival destination as well as the many departure destinations. On top of that, there is local traffic that can throw a wrench into a well organized schedule.
Event planners, how many times have you heard that the coach you are waiting for is stuck in traffic and is just around the corner? I know that when we were organizing transportation for any of our clients, tardiness was a concern. When we would call into the transportation companies dispatch, more times than not, we were told that our vehicle was stuck in traffic and should be at their pickup location in a matter of minutes. Well, those minutes would often end up being 10 or 15. And when you’re standing on a street corner looking for a coach, with your client beside you, 10 or 15 min. can seem like an eternity.
There Are Many Types of Transportation That Event Planners Have To Consider
Quite often a meeting or event can have many transportation components. Some of the more common transportation elements are:
- Airport transportation (involving coach and limousine service)
- Coach shuttles
- Event transfers
- Sightseeing tours
- Valet service
Click here to view our sister site’s, WTTC.com, transportation directory. Here you’ll get a sense as to what questions you need to think about when selecting transportation companies.
For an event planner the goal, when selecting a transportation company, is to work with a service provider that has a solid reputation. My recommendation is to always ask for references. And those references should be from similar groups. Most event planners know that with transportation there will always be situations that arise. But what sets great suppliers apart is how they react to those various situations. I might be a bit biased here but my advice to event planners, especially with regards to transportation, is to hire a local expert.