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Often a conference is marked as successful (or not successful) by the first and last things that touch a delegate. More often than not, that’s convention planning services, and in particular transportation. Generally the conference tone is set by that first impression.
If delegates are offered convention planning services, like an airport meet and greet and transportation, then they are entitled to an expectation of a certain standard of service. And, if right out of the gate something goes awry, then as meeting planners we are already back pedaling to ensure a positive experience for our delegates. There is nothing worse for a meeting planner, and delegates too, then waiting for convention planning services and having them not show up!!
Convention Planning Services – The Right Fit for Pain Free Transportation
Decisions, decisions, decisions. With conference planning and convention planning services and especially transportation, the first decision to make is always “do I coordinate it on my own or hire a service company?” With transportation, a service company can mean working with the transportation company directly or working with an intermediary company that you can hire to worry for you. I have been on both sides of the equation. I find that when I’m working in my home city, I always (always) work directly with the transportation company. As I have all of my tried and true connections at home, I can enhance the transportation with any other convention event planning services I may require including staffing and signage, etc.
When working outside of my home city, I far prefer working with a service company and letting them worry about all the local details I may not be familiar with. Destination Management Companies (DMC) and Convention Planning Companies provide one stop shopping along with a sense of security and knowledge. They know their city, traffic patterns and construction situations and can easily map out the best logistics required.
Convention Planning Services – The Decision has Been Made…Now….
Once you have decided what type and which convention planning services company you will be working with, the next step will be to outline exactly what your expectations are. In fairness, how can a service company provide the level of service you anticipate and deserve if you aren’t willing to share your expectations with them? Be sure you inform them of all the details for the actual transportation. No detail is too small or insignificant if they are going to be able to set up the transportation services to your liking. I can’t say it enough, it is imperative to share your expectations regarding the level of service you expect for your delegates. I know from experience not to make any assumptions, again be sure to share your transportation requirements and expectations. Everyone will then be on the same page and you will hopefully have one less thing to fret about.
In addition, be absolutely certain that the transportation company has contact numbers and information where they can reach you 24/7. And inform them that they are to call if there are any problems, no matter the time. If you don’t tell them, they won’t know. And when we are aware of a situation as it is happening, it’s always a lot easier to come up with a solution that will save the day!