After all these years of organizing meetings and conferences I have planned and executed more event transportation scenarios then I can count. For a minute or two I was even “known” for executing near flawless transportation and shuttle programs. Back in the day, nothing and I do mean nothing fazed me when it came to planning and coordinating transportation. Not the marathon that cut right through my opening ceremonies and opening reception shuttle for 6000, not the hurricane like storm that destroyed my really VIP group transportation and not even that crazy bus driver that pulled over on the highway with a coach full of passengers and then refused to move.
Meeting and Event Transportation – Getting it Right!
When knee deep into the organizing and arranging of all things meeting and conference, there truly are so many essential bits and pieces to include. And transportation is an important part of the planning process and really it can be a make or break situation. Most times transportation is the initial point of contact for delegates and is the very first time they start to shape their conference opinion. All the more reason to ensure everything runs picture perfect and as smooth as possible.
No matter what the size of your meeting or event, big or small, when it comes to arranging and executing manageable, stress free and successful transportation it takes a whole lot of planning, planning, planning. And when it comes to successful planning it is the unanticipated and unexpected that become the trickiest. For example, when the city rerouted the marathon on that fall day due to unforeseen circumstances I followed suit and went to Plan B and rerouted the shuttle. And when the weather took a shot at my VIP’s perfect night, there I was soaking wet directing traffic and ensuring all the guests arrived, though a tad damp, where they had to be.
Meeting and Event Transportation – Whatever it Takes!
When it comes to event transportation, from the early stages of planning right through to the logistical implementation, it is imperative to create a solid transportation blueprint to ensure everyone gets where they need to be by the time they need to be there. And like with any planning, it turns out, everything you plan is a direct reflection of you and your company. In addition to the oh so important vehicles and bookings all planners check and double check; routes, signage, staff and staff positioning, plan b of detour routes, off duty police, traffic flows, weather reports and crowd control. And WHY you ask; to ensure the delegates reach their endpoint in the most timely way possible.
My number one objective and goal is and continues to be to provide delegates with a seamless and outstanding experience. Recently a planner friend was spearheading a huge program from start to finish, the program included transportation for just over 7000 delegates and she had never worked on a program of that size. She asked if I would fly in and join her team and manage the transportation and of course I jumped at the chance. All in all it was a great experience and in the end I was exhausted, filthy and armed with new friends and new lessons.
Meeting and Event Transportation – Never too Old to Learn Something New!
I always describe myself as an old dog new tricks kind of gal meaning I am somewhat stuck in my ways. Though I am open to new experiences and with every new program I hope to learn something new. And working on this rather large program I did picked up a new tip or two.
My number one takeaway from this experience was when you have more coaches then you can keep up with the answer is an empty parking lot. Transporting 7000 plus delegates all at once translates into a truck load of coaches and all at the same time. Instead of coaches reporting to the various pick up points for dispatch we rented a local parking lot and had all the coaches report at once. We then had a driver meeting providing all the required information including signage, schedules, routing and maps. By taking this extra step all the drivers received the same instructions and information. And while we did incur a bit of additional costs it was well worth it. In the end when the day and week was done and it all went as smooth as possible, it truly was a thing of beauty.