Facing the challenges of ground transportation

Let’s face it, ground transportation can be a headache. Constantly changing itineraries, one hundred points of contact from touch down to hotel arrival, unreliable drivers, unpredictable traffic, road blocks, impatient guests and players-the list goes on.

Event planners and team managers are tasked with making sure every person is accounted for at all times from the moment they leave their homes to the moment they return to their warm beds.

We know about the headaches that come with the logistics and execution of ground transportation, so we’ve put together some helpful reminders to help you get a better night’s sleep.

SHARED DOCUMENTS

Tracking players and guests, their itineraries, making updates and sharing that information with everyone who needs it can be a challenge. Sending fifty emails back and forth with edits to an excel spreadsheet in the span of a week is stressful and inefficient. Cloud-based services like Google Docs allow multiple people to make updates to documents in real time on a single shared file. What a dream! Here’s who should be touching this document:

  • Ground transportation company dispatcher (tracks and logs flight arrivals, cancellations and delays)
  • Ground transportation company on-site staff (logs pickups at the airport and arrivals at host venue)
  • Ground transportation lead for event staff

Always take into consideration the privacy and protection of your traveler’s data. Make sure that whatever platform you use is secure and approved by all parties involved.

GREETERS

We can’t stress this enough. (But we can try). DO NOT SKIMP ON GREETERS. Imagine you’ve arrived for the experience of a lifetime at the Masters-gigantic golf bag in tow. You look for the person holding a sign with your name. Nothing. You look for your company’s logo. Nothing. You call your admin because you forgot to save the number for your onsite contact in your phone. No answer. Your driver is patiently waiting for you outside in the parking garage, but you have no idea because – you guessed it – there was no one there to greet and direct you!  Stress ensues. All because the event planner didn’t hire a greeter to make sure everyone had a direct point of contact upon arrival. Have greeters at the airport. It depends on the size of your group, but we suggest having at least two in all baggage claim areas and at least one at the hotel/host venue to welcome guests.

SECURITY AND CONTINGENCY PLAN

Ensure you have a clear and thorough plan for both security measures and contingency for your ground transport. Make sure that the transportation company you are using has direct contact with city and event organizers so you can develop a plan that is approved by and understood by officials, especially important for high profile sporting events where you might need their support.

VIPs + COMMUNICATION

The perk of being flagged as a VIP is receiving the most turnkey of travel experiences, allowing the guest or player to relax during the commute to the event, game or hotel. What can ruin that experience is call after call to and from your driver to confirm pick up, communicate ETA, give updates, etc. Interruptions and background noise take the relaxation out of the equation and diminishes the VIP experience. When it comes to your most important guests, have the driver and event planner communicate directly. The event planner can then communicate to other staff members on the back end. Better yet, ask your vendor if they utilize GPS Vehicle Tracking Software that will allow you to track drivers, much like when you are waiting for an Uber driver.

MOBILE APPS

Take advantage of the technology available to you. Have a mobile app that speaks with your registration technology so you can easily push notifications when guests arrive, depart and make inevitable changes to their schedules. No more slipping a purple note under the door and calling it a departure slip! There are some great new tools such as TripSource, to help you organize and manage the attendee experience. This robust trip management tool was exclusively designed to give BCD clients more control over their travel experience. The mobile app can be accessed through any device and allows travelers to manage flights and itineraries, receive travel notifications and updates in real time, book their organization’s preferred hotels, and stay informed with tips and reminders throughout their trip. Tools like this give your travelers uninhibited access to their trip details for a smooth experience and give event planners peace of mind in knowing that clients have everything they’ll need in the palm of their hands.

Getting people to where they need to be doesn’t have to keep you up at night. Utilize best practice techniques to alleviate headaches and prevent challenges before they arise. By preparing your attendees and staff with the tools they need, you can ensure that travelers rest easy and enjoy an experience that’s a dream come true. Learn more about how BCD Sports can help.


by Ashley Brueck, Senior Event Manager at BCD Meetings & Events

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