Dear Event Doctor: Our event this year will use four hotels for attendees and we’re planning to hire a bus company to help with transportation to the main venue. We’ve had mixed experiences in the past when we’ve had to use buses. Any advice on what to look for when researching transportation companies? —Get on the Bus
Dear Get: Pump the brakes, there, Sparky. Long before thinking about which bus company to hire, you should get into the details of what the ground transportation experience should be like.
Start by determining how many people will be traveling over what periods of time. Develop a schedule of major movements. If a large number of people are being transported at once, motor coaches are the way to go. A common mistake is overreliance on a shuttle system—using the same bus to make repeated trips. This works over short distances, when no significant traffic congestion is expected, and when you have extra capacity to handle an unforeseen vehicle breakdown or delays on the route. But relying on shuttles can be tricky after a stadium or arena event, when outbound traffic is heavy and a large number of people are departing in a short period of time. Some combination of motor coaches, small buses and vans may suit your needs.
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The Event Doctor is sports-event veteran Frank Supovitz, president and chief experience officer of Fast Traffic Events & Entertainment, an event management and consulting firm. From 1992 to 2014, Supovitz served as the senior event executive for the National Football League and National Hockey League. He is also the author of “The Sports Event Management and Marketing Playbook.” Questions for The Event Doctor can be emailed to Frank Supovitz at email@example.com.