Transportation is often included in meetings. Meeting planners often have the task of making sure that attendees are transferred to their hotel in an efficient yet cost-effective manner. While many delegates consider transportation to be only a small component of the overall meeting, in many cases the transportation budget can be fairly large. Today meeting planners have to find savings while executing a successful meeting. Rather than eliminate transportation as part of your program why not consider a few unique ways to provide transportation yet help save on your budget.
Tip #1 – Consolidate Your Transportation within a Set Period of Time
Delegates arriving for meetings often come from various places throughout the country. That means that meeting planners are dealing with many individual flights arriving at various times to the destination city. If transportation is left open-ended the costs can escalate quickly. Especially if you allow delegates to make changes directly with the transportation company.
As a way to save money, while still effectively providing transportation for the meeting delegates, considering offering transportation on set dates and set times. For example, you might consider offering transportation only on the day prior to the meeting and over a 10 hour period. This tells your delegates that you are still offering the service. Then it’s up to them to decide whether or not they want to take advantage of your offer and book their transportation during that time. Otherwise they know that they’ll be responsible for their own transportation costs.
Tip #2 – Group Multiple Arrivals and Departures on Larger Vehicles
In the world of transportation, sedan vehicle costs can get rather expensive. In the past when I worked with meeting planners who were doing transportation for their group I would often recommend that they use larger equipment (i.e. 10 passenger mini coaches, etc.) to transfer arrivals and departures within a certain timeframe. For example if they had six guests arriving from different cities but they were arriving within a 30 to 45 minute period – rather than schedule 6 separate sedans for the delegates, I would recommend to schedule one minibus. It’s a lot easier to schedule coaches for departures and stagger them a few hours apart for transferring delegates back to the airport. For meeting planners the savings could soon add up into the thousands on transportation alone.
Tip #3 – Assign an Individual to Coordinate Transportation
Rather than thinking that an additional person will increase your budget, consider the savings that meeting planners can achieve if all of the transportation changes are coordinated by one person. This is especially true if you are trying to implement Tip #1 and Tip #2 from above. Meeting planners can direct the transportation coordinator to make changes according to the transportation blocks that they have set aside. They’ll also be able to inform the delegates if this falls within the period that the meeting will pay for or whether or not they’ll have to pay for it on their own. Consider hiring a local expert to assist you with transportation needs if you’re in a city that you’re not familiar with. Local experts understand how things work at the airport (as each airport has their own set of rules and regulations regarding group arrivals and departures) and they also keep abreast of any road construction and traffic issues which may affect your group’s transportation. The cost of this person will more than pay for themselves in the long run.
Meeting planners that are on a tight budget do not necessarily have to rule out transportation for their delegates. There are ways that you can provide transportation for your group without blowing the budget.