5 Tips For Managing Travel for Events
Planning event travel can be such a laborious task that many organizations have entire positions or departments dedicated to the task. If you are planning an event or are helping someone who is and you need to ensure that everyone arrives on time and has a great place to stay, then you know how overwhelming the to-do list can be.
Even if you’ve checked all the other boxes – caterer, AV company, custodial services, volunteers, etc. – it can be daunting to think about all of the complications that can arise when planning travel for your guests, speakers, or VIPs. These five tips will help minimize the amount of stress that can come with travel planning and will put you in a place where you can pull off a great event and make sure that everyone is there in time and in good spirits.
Five Tips for Managing Travel
Tip #1 – Include booking options from the beginning.
If you are planning an event where people need to register ahead of time, then the optimal way to plan their travel is to provide booking options during the registration process. You can provide the hotel and transportation options right in the registration process or directly after so that your attendees or guests can simply take care of their own accommodations.
Even if you are planning a wedding or other event that doesn’t necessarily require registration you can still give hotel or transportation options during the RSVP process. Whether it’s all digital on a website or even the old-fashioned way on paper, you can let them know what their options are and what you recommend well ahead of time.
Tip #2 – Have low-budget options available.
Not everyone can stay at a high-end hotel. If you are having your event at a hotel and conference center combo, then those rates can tend to get quite high as well since demand will far outpace supply. Though some will always opt for the more expensive options, whether because of convenience or preference, you don’t want lack of affordable accommodations to deter any potential attendees.
When you are searching for room blocks, make sure you pick a couple of options are that more affordable. However, be sure to do your research first. Make sure the hotel is in a safe area and that it has easy access to transportation that will get them to the event location. You can also recommend using house or room renting services or hostels if the city has them. If you are planning a wedding or other personal event, get creative. Perhaps suggest a campground or other unique place to stay.
Tip #3 – Work with trusted third party providers.
If your event is in a city you are unfamiliar with or you simply do not have enough hours in the day to get everything done, then you could consider working with a 3rd party provider, such as a Destination Management Company (DMC). A professional DMC such as Red Velvet Events in Austin, Texas is a sure bet and can also provide you a single point of contact to coordinate success on unfamiliar ground. You already trust a 3rd party AV service and a 3rd party catering service, so it makes sense that you would bring in a 3rd party travel partner as well.
Be sure to do your research and work with organizations that have a lot of experience with the specific type of event you are planning. The hotel or conference center may have someone available for hire that can do this as well.
Tip #4 – Don’t forget about transportation.
It’s not all about the hotel room. If people are coming in from out of town for your event, you should also have some options ready for them for getting to and from the city, to and from the event venue, and to and from their hotel. Let your attendees or guests know the easiest and cheapest ways to get around your city. Whether it’s a ride-share service, bus, or train, make sure they have all of the info they need to get around town.
Tip #5 – Track all of your travel data.
Event planning may seem like a one and done deal, but many times the information you can collect during this process can be invaluable to future events or for your own business purposes. Track where everyone is coming from, where everyone will stay, which hotels had the best rates, which were the easiest to work with, etc. You can even do post-event surveys that will help you better prepare for the next event you plan.
While booking and planning travel for your event can be an epic task, it can also be a fun one, too. The satisfaction you’ll get from knowing that your guest and attendees are set up to have a unique and seamless experience is like no other. And even if you only do it once, it’s a great way to experience an event from all sides – your knowledge will help you know exactly how to make the event better the next time around!
If you have any questions about travel, catering, or other on-the-ground services, please contact ATX Event Systems. We partner with only the best DMC’s and travel partners in Dallas, Houston & Austin / San Antonio. We look forward to hearing from you.