Depending upon the services you are providing ... a clear plan for air and ground transportation can ease the way for your attendees!
Determine air travel budget
Determine method for collecting air travel reservations
Decide whether you will work with a travel agency or directly with the airlines
Determine which airlines serve the destination city
Research if visas and passports are needed for travel
Consider the number of tickets and origination cities that will be covered
Negotiate contracts (or have your travel agency do so) with the airlines. Include group rates, discounts, and free tickets. Here are a few items to negotiate when creating a group travel contract:
Get specific instructions on how to use the discount information or codes
Outline the reservation process and requirements for attendees, and include in the registration materials. Include codes for discounts, websites, phone numbers to call and deadlines.
Be sure to obtain a copy of VIP and speaker travel plans if you are not making them directly
To book VIP, speaker and staff arrangements, do so as far in advance as possible:
After event, follow-up on negotiated agreement and obtain free tickets and concessions earned
Estimate the distance and travel time between the airport and the conference site
Find out if the conference venue provides complimentary transportation to and from the airport. If so, provide attendees with the drop off and pick-up locations, schedule, phone number, online link and route in the registration materials/conference website/event app.
Provide attendees with alternative transportation information including cabs, limousines, public transportation, car rental and onsite parking. Be sure to include phone numbers, web links, schedules, fees, acceptable methods of payment and routes.
Consider providing and paying for private bus/shuttle transportation for attendees
Determine if rideshare is available in the destination city. If so, confirm if any popular rideshare companies (Uber, Lyft, etc.) are allowed or not. If not, provide attendees with options for alternative rideshare companies.
Consider working with rideshare companies (Uber, Lyft, etc.) to obtain a discount code for your attendees to use during your conference. Share information with attendees.
Determine hotel shuttle transportation budget
Determine hotel shuttle schedule. Things to consider:
Consider adding an ADA bus(es) to the route to accommodate any attendees who may need it. Work with the registration vendor to acquire information for any attendees who may need ADA vehicles.
Make sure that the shuttle route information is clearly and fully communicated to attendees. This includes:
Decide what your needs are for intra-event transportation
Figure out how many people will need to be transported and various transport locations
Make a schedule of arrival and departure times and locations
Determine if all attendees will be transported to destination at once, or if a continued shuttle service should be considered
Determine the best round trip route to the destination
Use the guidelines below for hiring and selecting your vendor
Determine ground transportation budget
Research vendor options (obtain references from hotel and Convention and Visitors Bureau)
General information and history of organization
Outline of transportation needs including tentative number of attendees, number of pick-ups and drop-offs, locations, dates, times, etc.
Request for overview of fleet to include:
Other questions to include:
i.e. comp private airport transportation for lead event planner / conference general chair / CEO / other VIP / etc.
Reduced or comp’d program fees
Obtain responses to proposal and bids
Determine the best schedule
Receive and approve final schedule
Exchange contact information with the vendor during shuttle operation
Make any arrangements for signage on shuttles and at pick-up and drop off points
Arrange drop off location at venue. Notify venue of transportation plan including schedule, number & type(s) of vehicle(s), drop-off/pick-up location, etc.
Organize master billing and gratuities
Consider working with rideshare companies (Uber, Lyft, etc.) to obtain a discount code for your attendees to use during your conference. Share information with attendees. Reach out to local shuttle and car services to see if they can offer you a group discount!