When it comes to event transportation, many may not realize how transportation planning and execution can impact the success of a meeting. If attendees are not transported efficiently and on time, this could lead to delays at registration, delays in meeting programming and can negatively alter the mind-set of people who need to be ready to engage and learn when they arrive at a meeting venue.
That’s why it’s best to hand over this critical part of meeting planning to an experienced transportation management company. And today, with all the recent additional pressures and responsibilities of planning a successful meeting, it’s not ideal for planners to try to manage this piece of the puzzle without an expert by their side.
The four-part check list below will help you evaluate whether a transportation management company has the depth of knowledge and expertise to take on this mission-critical piece of your meeting plan.
An initial review of a potential transportation management partner should include questions about the following:
- Years in operation and experience of on-site operations staff
- National, in-depth knowledge of and experience in hiring top-tier bus equipment providers
- Thorough understanding of how to vet bus vendors to ensure they employ experienced drivers and meet all federal and state operational and safety requirements
- Current customers with meetings similar in size and scope
- Industry engagement and reputation
- Ability to offer one-stop shop of comprehensive transportation services (meeting shuttles, airport transfers, VIP and special event transportation)
Mission-critical Planning Details
Qualified transportation partners should be including the following in their suite of services:
- Traffic flow analysis and route planning
- Consultation on hotel selections to make transportation routes more efficient and cost effective
- Coordination with local authorities to request necessary permits and police assistance for special events
- Development of emergency contingency plans
- Budget planning with cost-saving recommendations
- Design and printing of shuttle schedules (if requested by client) and placement at hotels and the meeting venue
Staffing and Execution
Experienced transportation management professionals are the key to success. Your transportation management company should provide:
- Professional, experienced staff, trained to respond to a variety of situations such as last-minute bus or route changes, road closings, and emergencies
- One point of contact for all your transportation needs (coordination with bus vendors, drivers, attendees, special event planners and staff)
- Onsite staff 24/7 during your event or meeting
- A hotline for attendee inquiries, requests and onsite needs
It’s important to dig a little deeper for a company’s “special sauce.” What sets one company apart from others? How do they address top meeting planner concerns such as safety, efficiency and cost controls?
Find out if your potential transportation partner offers the following:
- Employment of technology to track buses and provide attendees with an app that provides real-time pick-up information
- Advertising services to capitalize on transportation as “vehicles” for generating revenue to offset the cost of transportation
For additional guidance in selecting an experienced and qualified transportation partner for your meeting or event, download our Transportation RFP template.
About Event Transportation Systems (ETS)
Event Transportation Systems (ETS) is a trusted, nationwide, full-service ground transportation company providing customized and reliable transportation planning and management services delivered by professionals with more than 35 years of industry experience.
ETS provides the experience and professionalism that our clients can rely on time and time again to support successful events and meetings. Contact us for a free consultation.