Many meetings involve arranging airport transportation for delegates. This is especially true of corporate meetings. Quite often attendance at these types of meetings is crucial to its success. My company did a lot of pharmaceutical event planning and airport transportation with airport meet and greet event staff was always included in the proposal.
I recently wrote an article about the importance of meet and greet staff and why I believe that it’s crucial to not eliminate these event staff from a budget. You can read that article here. In this post I’m outlining the job tasks involved with this position to help further demonstrate their overall importance to airport transfers.
Airport Meet and Greet Event Staff Job Tasks
Meet and greet staff are typically the first contact attendees see upon arrival. So it’s important that, on top of excellent organizational skills, these individuals also have the personalities to act as ambassadors. After all, they are welcoming people to their cities.
The duties of meet and greet staff include:
- Coordinating and updating flight manifests.
- Communicating with the car/limousine company dispatchers.
- Communicating updates and changes to meeting planners.
In a nutshell airport meet and greet staff keep information and communications up to date. Some people, including some planners, don’t see the value of all the behind-the-scenes coordination involved with airport transportation. It’s truly one of those components of a meeting or event where Murphy’s Law reigns supreme – if something can go wrong, it most likely will with airport transportation.
Here is a general outline of what occurs when an attendee/delegate arrives for a meeting (procedures may vary by airport):
- The meet and greet staff are stationed just outside of the secured zones with the passenger’s name on a board.
- Once the delegate and the meet and greet staff connect, he/she will escort the delegate to an area in the airport known as prearranged transportation pickup.
- Once at the prearranged area, the meet and greet staff will ask the airport commissioner (assigned to the prearranged transportation area) for the limousine to approach the curb to pick up the passenger. Note it is the policy of most major airports that the car is not permitted to be called up to the curb until the designated passenger is present.
- The car approaches, the meet and greet staff introduces the delegate to the driver and off they go to the hotel.
Sounds pretty straight forward enough, doesn’t it? Well that’s in a perfect world. Here are some of the elements involved that require quick thinking from the airport meet and greet staff:
- Many times flights are delayed. The meet and greet staff will communicate with the limousine dispatcher to ensure that the car remains on standby and is not released because of timing.
- Or if the flight is canceled or a predetermined amount of time has passed without the passenger approaching the meet and greet staff, he or she will release the car to prevent further charges from being incurred.
- Weather plays an important role with airport transportation and is quite often involved with flight delays and/or changes.
- The delegate arrives at the airport and is often confused about where prearranged transportation is located. When meet and greet staff are at the airport, the delegates sees their name and gets a sense of relief knowing that someone is there to escort them to the proper area.
- Quite often the meeting planner will have several flight changes. It’s important that someone communicates with the limousine company to ensure the cars are on standby for the correct flights and not the original flights. This can save a bundle in standby charges alone.
Employment for airport meet and greet event staff is usually handled by Destination Management Companies, DMC’s, or by transportation companies. Nowadays there are companies solely devoted to providing airport meet and greet staff. Meeting planners will often get references from their hotel contacts or the CVB (Convention and Visitors Bureau).