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Guidelines for Booking Ground Transportation

January 12, 2016

Often the most overlooked and many times the last element booked for conferences or events, ground transportation is a crucial component to any meeting or conference. In order to ensure a safe, comfortable and stress-free transfer, there are several questions meeting planners should ask transportation providers. Top considerations are safety, promptness, vehicle conditions, staff knowledge and availability. Here are some guidelines for booking ground transportation for your next meeting:

5 tips for booking ground transportation
1. Proven Track Record: With all the effort that goes into to planning and managing an event or conference, the last thing anyone would want to worry about is the transportation. Choose a company with a proven track record, one that is familiar with the level of service your group expects. Select a local company with a fully staffed, 24/7 reservations department, professionally trained drivers, a clean, well-maintained fleet and real-time tracking. Look for a transportation partner that will help simplify transportation and make you shine.

2. Round-the-Clock Support: No matter how organized you may be, when it comes to events there always seems to be last minute changes. It’s vital to the success of any event that your ground transportation company is responsive and available, can handle last minute reservations, prepare a manifest, assist with ground logistics and can quickly deal with changes.

3. Extensive Fleet Options: Look for a company that owns its vehicles. Doing so will give you the assurance that all vehicles meet safety standards, are regularly inspected, well maintained and have a staff familiar with the fleet. Choose a company that offers an extensive fleet of sedans, limousines, executive vans, mini and motor coaches; professional chauffeurs with area knowledge; 24-hour support staff and the ability to manage your group’s transportation needs.

4. Customization: Choose a transportation provider that will work with you to deliver services based on your needs and budget. For example, can you use shuttles rather than one-way transfers? Do you need a few sedans on stand by for VIPs or only for transfers? Does your entire group need to be transported at once to an off-site venue or can event arrivals and departures be staggered? Look for a ground transportation company that specializes in corporate events or large group moves and one that can provide reliable, efficient service.

5. Worldwide Availability: Finding a dependable and professional transportation partner takes time, so why would you want to start the process again just because your event is in another location? Look for a transportation company with offices or affiliate partnerships worldwide. Choosing a transportation provider that can deliver consistent service regardless of where your group is headed can be as important as the event itself.

Questions to ask when booking ground transportation
Knowing the answers to the following questions will help you choose a transportation provider that can give you a peace-of-mind travel experience.

➢ What is the company’s specialty? (Large group transfers, airport transfers, local charters, special events)
➢ What type and how many vehicles does the company own?
➢ Do they outsource?
➢ Do the vehicles meet ADA requirements?
➢ Is the company available 24 hours a day?
➢ Can they prepare a manifest?
➢ Do they provide meet & greet services?
➢ Are drivers familiar with the area?
➢ Is there an emergency contact within the company?
➢ Are gratuities added to the bill, or are they considered optional?
➢ Does the company have insurance and safety guidelines to follow?
➢ What is the company’s cancellation policy?

As a meeting planner you have a huge responsibility to ensure attendees have a fantastic, safe and memorable event. Doing your due diligence and asking some pertinent questions can mean the difference between transportation nightmares and transportation bliss. Start by asking the local experts for recommendations. Whether you need help booking ground transportation or finding the best property for your next group meeting, the local DMO has comprehensive supplier and area knowledge. In Newport Beach, CA that DMO is Visit Newport Beach, as a destination specialist and partner, Visit Newport Beach offers meeting planner incentives and sponsorships that can extend your meeting budget.

Written by Visit Newport Beach Meetings

As a not-for-profit Destination Marketing Organization (DMO), Visit Newport Beach provides destination expertise, customized site visits, strong partnerships and resources tailored specifically to the needs of meeting planners and their clients.

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