Today, using large and often comfortable shuttle buses to assist with attendees reaching special events have certainly grown in popularity over the past few years. As the number of convention centers increase so does their size and also the various venue options making the likelihood of guests having to travel between their hotel and the event is very good. So, in order to keep everyone happy and also to avoid last minute arrivals it makes sense to use a shuttle transportation service or shuttle bus as it is called. However, coordinating with a shuttle service can turn out to be a pretty difficult job which is why planning and fine tuning the plan is of utmost importance prior to contacting a provider. It is important to know the event itinerary, estimated number of riders and partner hotels prior to soliciting bids. The vast majority of shuttle bus services will calculate their total fee based on the overall number of vehicles and the length of time that they are used for. So, it can often be difficult to solicit an exact bid unless the basic parameters are known. Below are a few tips that will help you with choosing the right shuttle bus.
What size will you need?
Obviously, the size of the shuttle bus you will need is going to be based on the number of people that you want to transport at a time. The most flexible and often the most cost effective option is to run the shuttle continuously. In order to do this smaller vehicles will need to be used which ends up costing less on an hourly basis. You can also extend the reception and registration times in order to give your guests a much wider window for them to arrive this will prevent everyone from getting on the same bus. Then the added bonus of this extended registration time is that it helps to reduce the often long lines and stress on your staff.
Plan the route
The other very essential task is route planning in order to ensure that the route is predictable for all the attendees. Ideally, if you are using a shuttle bus to transport people to and from the venue a circular route should be mapped out in a way which avoids traffic congestion. Google Maps can be used to come up with a few options, prior to driving on those routes yourself taking note of the time. However, all test drives of the routes need to be done at the same time that the shuttle buses need to be run in order to get a good idea of traffic conditions, plus there needs to be five to ten minutes given to the bus for both loading and unloading.
Easily recognizable signage
Almost all of your buses will quire signage which is easily recognizable in order to attract your riders who are otherwise distracted with their cell phones or their computers. It would perhaps be a good idea to hire shuttle buses that have programmable sign board but most, smaller shuttles do not have these.
Have a staff member in the bus
Regardless of what shuttle bus you settle for it’s always a good idea to have a member of the staff ride in the shuttle bus. The reason being that shuttle bus drivers are not qualified to answer questions about your event or a conference whichever may be the case and it’s not their job to begin with so this is something your staff members can handle. The other good thing about having staff members is that they can solve problems right away.
A shuttle bus can make a big difference
Adding a shuttle bus service to any event according to S&M Shuttle Services is always a good idea since it adds more value for your attendees. Even if you have a fair majority of the attendees staying on site you still want to consider offering them shuttle excursions to various tourist attractions and nightlife destinations. That said the above tips also apply to private events where a limited or predefined number of people are expected.
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Mark is an event planner who specializes in planning large corporate events. His years of experience in the event planning industry have earned him a reputation for being extremely thorough. He often shares his experience via blog posts and articles in magazines aimed at people who are planning their own events.