Attendee Transportation – Making it Meaningful
Transporting your attendees to and from the site of an event is clearly a very important logistical piece of the puzzle but, unfortunately, it can be viewed as nothing more than a necessary inconvenience.
1. Make it Part of Registration
The registration process can be a mediocre portion of your event in and of itself, so if you can knock out certain elements during some down time, we suggest that you take advantage. If possible, use this opportunity to pass out name badges or any items your attendees will need such as pens and notebooks. You can also have them sign any waivers via iPads or clipboards that are easy to pass around from participant to participant.
Additionally, this is a great opportunity to communicate important pieces of information while you have a captive audience, such as start and end times, the event agenda, any on-site rules or housekeeping reminders, etc. This allows your event to begin on time when you arrive to your destination and minimizes any unnecessary wait times for your participants. However, be sure to have registration services ready and available at the venue for attendees that drive themselves, or for any functions that were not accomplished on the ride over.
2. Generate Excitement for Your Event
If you can get participation from an executive or well-known entity, they can record a welcome message as a nice start to the day. Upbeat and appropriate music playlists are a great way to turn up the energy, too. This is also a great time to play any ice-breaker games with attendees, so they are excited and more familiar with one another at the start of the day. The key here is to get the blood pumping, the brain working, and your attendees ready for what lies ahead.
3. Pamper Your Participants
Our experience proves that sometimes the best event spaces are not in the best of locations (i.e., in the middle of nowhere). If you’re trying to fill a full day of on-site activities, this could mean a super early departure time followed by a lengthy trip. For early morning departures, try to have coffee and water available before your attendees board the shuttle bus or motor coach, along with any grab-and-go snacks they can munch on before breakfast at the venue. Other nice touches include: sleep masks, newspapers, Wi-Fi connection information, soothing music, assorted juices, and brain teasers to get the mind working.
On the ride back from the event location, consider an alcoholic beverage, a movie and headphones (if equipped), or upbeat, fun music if “flashy” evening activities will follow. However, also keep in mind that any transportation activities should not be intrusive or overwhelming to attendees that would like to simply unwind or possibly catch up on work they may have postponed during the day.
To take your events and the attendee experience to the next level, it’s important to consider thoughtful transportation touches that will keep your participants engaged from the beginning of the day all the way to the end. After all, the transportation aspect is potentially the first and last part of event attendees’ experience; in other words, it’s their first and last impression of the event. Those who attend your event will notice the care and attention paid to the transportation portion, and it will make those less than exciting (yet, inevitable) moments in their day that much better.