Event Transportation Management Guide

Putting on an event often requires dealing with many types of vendors from various specialized trades. The display units, equipment, and merchandise needed for the smooth operation of your event may require special event transportation management on account of their size, shape and value.Additionally, some or all of these items may need to be stored on their respective delivery trucks, depending on how they might be affected by inclement weather, or for lack of other storage space. Conveniently, there are companies which provide specialized and insured delivery service for fragile, sensitive or valuable items.However, these types of transportation systems are usually more expensive, due to the risk of liability and effort involved in their successful delivery.One particular tool which might prove useful to your event transportation needs is the GPS vehicle tracking system. It can provide you with real time vehicle tracking and fleet management, with both mapping and reporting.Vehicle tracking reports include valuable information, including vehicle speeds and headings. A GPS tracking system can locate a vehicle from any computer or device with internet access, anytime, anywhere. Such a tool can prevent your transportation company from assessing any unjustifiable charges, and provide you with the peace of mind that comes from the ability to oversee the transport of guest passengers and goods.To own such devices would easily cost you $300-$600 per unit, plus $35-$60 per month for the service. Additionally, you could be obligated to a contract of 6 months or longer. Despite this, it might be well worth it for the peace of mind such a service can provide you.Airport Shuttle TransportationDo you need to look to outside vendors to meet changing demands? Assess your transportation needs and determine who really needs a ride. Determine how often you need your shuttle service to run. Inquire whether the hotel can adjust their shuttle service to accommodate you. Between the hotel courtesy shuttles, the competitively priced national chains, and the local shuttle services, you should be covered.Hotel TransportationIf you have a sudden increase or decrease in participation or attendance, seamless communication with the hotels and vendors could prevent you from wasting money on more shuttles than are necessary, or spare you the embarrassment of inadequate service for your guests.Group TransportationGroup transportation can get real tricky and time consuming with permits and large crowds. Be sure to finalize all your arrangements well in advance, and keep copies of your permits handy, so your attendees don’t hit speed bumps on the road to your event.If you need to transport your guests around town, have fun and be creative. Look for unique transportation options in your area. For example, in England a double decker bus, in the Bahamas, a glass bottom boat.Carting your guests by horse and carriage from the venue to dinner, or a 15 minute ride by yacht to a lively night spot, might be fun ways for your guests to relax before a long day of meetings.Transportation CompaniesExperienced and professional companies have broken down transportion management into five basic components:1) needs analysis2) technical planning3) dispatch4) execution5) post operationsIf you’re using one of the many turn-key companies out there, then this is one module of your project you won’t need to worry about. They will probably even include a meet and greet party with refreshments.If this project is your baby, don’t worry. Whether it’s a car, van, or bus service you’re dealing with, rental companies have personnel to assist you with your reservations and transportation needs.Ground TransportationAirports provide extensive networks of taxicabs, car rentals, shuttle buses, trains, vans and limousines. All of these solutions can provide safe, courteous and efficient transport for passengers and freight. Additionally, there are wheelchair accessible transportation options to and from local public facilities.Although airport ground transportation representatives may not be able to recommend specific services to you, they are there to provide you with transportation options, and put you in touch with them.They can also inform you when your ride has arrived. This built-in support system should lighten the burden of analysis and planning somewhat, and prevent a lot of headaches.Event Transportation ProblemsAlthough it may be impossible to predict every outcome of your operation, there are a few common things which could go wrong. These might be service delays, overcharges, vehicle condition complaints, and complaints about non-compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.Providing your guests with maps, names, and phone numbers of staff members to assist them might help to minimize such occurrences, and insure things run smoothly. Remember to check on your flight arrival times, as they are prone to change, and be sure that your ground transports are on time and clearly visible, so that your attendees can easily spot them.Private TransportationWhen you need to transport your staff to and from locations, sometimes hotel shuttle schedules are insufficient. The earlier you contact transportation providers, the better they can assist you in meeting your needs. Plan well in advance to insure the best availability, and remember to stay within your alloted budget.Limo TransportationWill there be limousines at your event? If so, you will need to determine how many you will need to supply, and how many of your VIP’s will be arriving in their own. Make sure that your limos arrive spotless and on time, and have your drivers’ cell phone numbers handy. Consider how ostentatious you should be with the limos. If the company just underwent a large downsizing, it might be more prudent to park the limos out of sight.Executive TransportationTo cater to top executives and provide them with comfortable and reliable transportation, you will first need to determine their needs: how many are traveling, where and when, etc. Will they be arriving hungry or jet-lagged? Will they be looking for entertainment? Is video conferencing available if necessary?Hors d’oeuvres and cocktails or other appropriate catering should be on time and in place before their arrival. When developing your budget, try to anticipate the special amenities your executives will be expecting. This will help insure that they arrive in a good mood and can hit the ground running.Event transportation management requires meticulous planning and preparation well in advance. It also demands constant periodic updating to stay in step with evolving changes. Good record keeping is a must.Here’s one tip which could potentially save you thousands:Arrange a central meeting point for your attendees, possibly at an airport hotel. Provide a small reception while you await the arrival of other attendees, and then transport everyone in a hired coach simultaneously. This is a prudent tactic for any transportation manager.That’s a wrap!