Transportation and Transfers | CEME

Uploaded by BizTraining on 09.10.2011

Event Transportation and Transfers By-in-large, the term “transportation”
in event planning refers to all the methods used to get people to and from the destination
and venue. The term “transfer” typically refers to the methods used to move people
from one event venue to another, or session-to-session while the event is in progress. As a strategic
event planner, you are responsible for making both transportation and transfers efficient,
affordable and stress-free. In this video module, we’ll look at transportation and
how they can be utilized and managed to achieve your goals and enhance the experience of your
attendees. Mechanized Travel
Conventional ways of travel deserve a second look when you are an event planner because
you are working with a budget and often quite a lot of people coming from a variety of locations.
Many of these folks may have specific requirements that you need to address as well, such as
special transportation and accessibility needs, travel restrictions because of health concerns
and some may be too young to rent cars once they arrive at the destination.
When planning any event, take a very close look at your demographic and design your transportation
and transfer plan around the needs and limitations of the majority of your attendee base. For
example, it’s safe to assume that 20% or more of your attendees will have some type
of special needs when travelling be it wheelchair transportation, oxygen use, or qualities that
make it impossible for them to drive themselves or use self-propelled travel modes. If you
can, as every registrant if they have any travel requirements , that way you can put
together your master transportation and transfer program and have all the vehicles in place
to accommodate attendees with special needs. With these issues in mind, let’s take a
look at: Air Travel: When using airline to transport
attendees to a destination, one of your biggest concerns is doing whatever you can to control
costs for them. There are some basic rules of thumb for reducing air travel costs—use
an in-house or contracted travel planner to book all attendee flights as far in advance
as you can, have them identify your event to the airlines as a business event to leverage
generally available group business travel and planner discounts, and if your attendees
will be renting cars, use the strategic alliances between airlines and car rental companies
to further reduce the rates of each. If you don’t have the luxury of a travel planner,
contact the airlines for promo cards or other vouchers; most airlines are happy to give
discount vouchers to attendees. In some cases—corporate retreats for example—all
your attendees may be departing the same destination or there may be large groups departing from
multiple destinations. In these situations, consider chartering commercial aircraft. The
Air Charter Association of North America, for example, can connect you with companies
and airlines that offer charters; some airlines offer deep discounts when you fill an entire
jet with you attendees. If your event is very high-end and big-budget, charter private jets
and give your guests the ultimate VIP treatment. You may also want to consider using air travel
for transfers if the location warrants it. For example, if your event is a teambuilding
conference and retreat based from a wilderness lodge, consider adding the extra thrill of
using float planes or helicopters to transfer attendees from the base lodge or camp to a
more remote survival training location. Rail Travel: There are all types of passenger
trains for distance and inner-city travel and scenic-travel transportation. Much like
airlines, the rail travel industry offers many group and season discounts; to avail
yourself of these on behalf of your attendees, plan early. If you have the opportunity to
transport or transfer your attendees by rail, all at the same time, make the trip special
by booking an onboard catering and bartending service, and maybe even entertainment or interpretive
guides. In many places in the world, high-speed rail
travel is available between major cities and inherently affordable. If your event takes
place at a destination that has trolley or cog-train transportation, use it. Make sure
you give your attendees precise instructions about stop locations and schedules so they
can really enjoy the experience without the stresses of getting on the wrong train or
missing the last one scheduled. This rule goes for inter-city rail travel of all types,
subway travel for example; it’s absolutely fine to use public rail transport for your
events, just make sure you take all of the guesswork out of it so it’s stress-free
and enjoyable. Before you choose a destination for any event
at which you want to utilize rail transport, talk with your destination management point
person or do an internet search to determine what’s available and what might add value
to your event and help your budget. The following terms will return diverse and exciting rail
travel opportunities: atmospheric railways, monorails, high-speed railways, maglev, rubber-tired
underground, funicular, cog railways, bogies, steam locomotive, high-speed rail, bullet
train, commuter rail, rapid transit, tram, trolley, light rail, subway and heritage railway.
Automobile Travel: This category encompasses everything from private cars to limousines
and vans to busses. Some events just work best if you allow everyone to use their chosen
transportation—their personal cars for instance—but most events require some type of mass transport
at some point, and there are often VIP travel considerations. Here’s a look at some of
the reasons meeting planners make the choices they do:
* Cars and Trucks—Personal or rental vehicles work very well for events that are spread
out in multiple venues or have many features or activities not all of which will be attended
by everyone registered for the entire event. If your event uses personal vehicles, remember
to do a thorough job of arranging ample parking for attendees. If many or all will be renting
vehicles, work with the rental companies ahead of time to ensure they will have enough vehicles
at the pick-up site, and they provide discounts to your guests.
* Busses, Coaches and Vans—These vehicles work great for any event where you’ll be
moving large groups of people from one place to the next at the same time. Remember to
assign team members to make sure that everyone who needs to be on a bus at any given time
is on that bus; the only potential shortcoming of bus transport is those people who slip
through the cracks and miss their bus. This can be avoided by assigning certain groups
to certain busses and having a bus monitor who keeps track of the group and doesn’t
allow the bus to roll until everyone is accounted for.
* Car-sharing or Carpooling—If personal or rental cars are used, encourage your attendees
to share them. This will cut down on their expenses as well as fuel use and emissions.
Make sure you give all attendees the contact information for a taxi service so they can
obtain their own transportation efficiently and affordably if they miss their car-share
or are forgotten by other members of the car pool.
* Limousines—Limousines come in all sizes and styles and give your guests the value-added
of being pampered by traveling in luxury. Today’s limos frequently accommodate up
to 25 people, so look into them as a classier approach to van and coach travel. You may
find the prices comparable. Conversely, don’t hire the super-stretch vehicles for your VIPs.
They should travel in small private groups in tastefully appointed cars.
* Motorcycles and Scooters—Because of liability issues, you may not want to book these modes
of transport for your event. However, they are a viable option for anyone who wants to
use or rent their own. If your event type attracts attendees who will be likely to use
these modes of transportation, make sure to provide adequate and secure parking for them.
* Taxicabs—Taxis are especially suited to events where attendees are on their own for
dinner and evening entertainment pursuits or all the guests will be delivered to the
and all-inclusive venue from the airport or rail/bus terminals, stay there until it’s
over, and go straight back to the airport or terminal. Most cab companies can arrange
vouchers that you can give to your attendees so they don’t have to pay for their own
transfers. Water Travel: If your event takes place on
an island, for example, consider giving your attendees the value added of a ferry ride,
complete with a bar and music or entertainment. You may even want to charter a private sail
or power yacht to transfer guests to a venue. While most people find water travel very enjoyable
and frequently both relaxing and festive, others suffer from mal de mer or seasickness.
Give your guests another option if you can, just in case they get sick or are terrified
of water. If on-the-water travel is the only option, give those who are scared the opportunity
to join the crew for orientation and provide anti-seasick medicine and devices.
Self-propelled and Human-powered Travel If your attendees are local to the venue,
encourage self-propelled travel to it and transfers within it. There are many benefits
to self-propelled travel including reduced vehicle and maintenance cost, minimizing vehicle
traffic on the road which improves safety, improving everyone’s health thus reducing
chance of medical emergencies such as heart attacks, increased feeling of wellbeing which
improves attentiveness and attendees knowledge from and enjoyment of the event, and reduced
stress which improves overall effectiveness of the event. Furthermore, not only is human-powered
travel much less expensive than vehicle travel, it has very positive effect on the environment
by reducing greenhouse gas emissions and toxic run-off and water pollution, as will as diminishing
noise pollution. The major consideration for you, as the event
planner, is to allow enough time for people to travel to and from the event and move around
during without the speed advantage or mechanized transport. If you don’t allow enough time,
the health benefits of reduced stress will be eliminated and your sessions will be interrupted
by breathless latecomers. You may also have to arrange for secure storage
for equipment and liability insurance for the people who use it. Following are some
of the types of self-propelled or human-powered transportation or transfer you may want to
include in your next event plan: * Walking
* Canoeing/kayaking/rowing * Cross-country skiing/snowshoeing
* Cycling/hand-cycling * Skating/skateboarding
* Rickshaws Animal-powered Travel
If feasible, add an element of entertainment to your event’s transportation and transfers
by including animal transportation. Cautionary note: before you book any animal transport
services, please do due diligence to research this mode of transportation and suppliers
of it; some types of animal transport and business are cruel and injurious to the animals.
If you employ the services of reputable companies and individuals who treat their animals well,
provide all of the necessary requirements like water and shade and don’t overwork
them, you may find that any one of the following can really add to your event’s character
and impact: * Dog carts/sleds
* Elephant rides * Exotic animals (i.e. llama, ostrich, yak)
* Horse and carriage or sleigh * Horseback
* Reindeer Transportation and transfers are essential
elements of every event. As a planner, don’t look at them as just a necessity; look at
them creatively. You may very well find that you can incorporate them as a feature or activity
of the event that your attendees will enjoy, appreciate and remember.