By Jorge Sanchez
One of the biggest hurdles of planning a meeting from afar is the inability to see things first hand. You may be able to choose a venue and hotel from across the country based on photographs and trusted advice, but what about everything that your attendees will experience in between? Do you know the best way for them to get from point A to point B? Will it be on foot? What if snow or rain is in the forecast? Arranging transportation for your attendees can relieve stress, as well as enhance their overall experience of the event.
- Transportation is an attendee’s first and last impression of the meeting. From the moment an attendee lands at the airport, almost everything they do for the next few days has been coordinated by you, so why shouldn’t there be someone there at the airport to greet them, escort them to baggage claim, and get them to their destination? It immediately sets the tone for the entire event, ensuring that every detail has been considered, and makes them feel special, too.
- Pre-arranged transportation gets attendees where they need to be safely and on time. On a map, the hotel where attendees are staying may look close to the event venue, but there might be obstacles you didn’t plan for. Do attendees need to cross a highway? How much is cab fare? Will weather play a role in how they get there? Colorado is especially beautiful in the winter months, but weather can be severe. You don’t want your attendees attempting to rent a car and drive in that. Setting up shuttle service from the hotel to the meeting venue solves all of these problems. Shuttles can run every half hour leading up to the first session’s start time. Early risers can take advantage and get their seats up front, and those who overslept won’t have to hail a cab and rush to the venue in traffic. You might even find another benefit you didn’t expect: networking opportunities. Attendees will find themselves on the shuttle with people they’ve never met and can strike up a conversation and potentially a new business connection. The sense of camaraderie—one of the reasons we plan meetings in the first place—will be at an all-time high, reaffirming an attendee’s decision for going to the event.
- Professional transportation companies can be affordable. Just like you’re an expert planner when it comes to meetings, ground transportation companies are experts in their field as well. Many of them have personnel dedicated to managing group event transportation. Whether your group requires smaller passenger shuttles or buses to fit 50 or more, they can work with any budget and determine the best options for your destination and attendees. As your partner, they will work in concert with you, communicating travel details like vehicles, pick up and drop off times, chauffeur contact information and more. You’ll likely have one person dedicated to your group and you’ll have direct access to them for any questions or concerns that may arise before or during the event.
In this arena, a little extra effort pays dividends in the benefits to attendees.
Jorge Sanchez is President for Denver-based Hermes Worldwide, Inc., which was named Destination Colorado’s Company of the Year in 2014. Hermes provides service in the Denver Metro area, Colorado Springs, Vail and Aspen.