So you’re managing a high profile event.
You trust your team to deliver excellence, after all you trained them yourself. But there are some things they can’t do, like providing a chauffeured car service for your 50 incoming VIP guests.
Get this wrong and your event is sunk before it’s even started. So you need to choose your car service provider very, very carefully.
Here are our six top tips for avoiding career-shortening disappointment:
1. Engage your car company early
Choose early and right and your car company can do much of the hard work for you, starting with a site recce. They will view a site differently to you, especially if you’re planning to use coaches, and can also establish:
- Travel times and contingencies
- Parking and staging areas
- Vehicle loading and call down
2. Agree how bookings will be made and confirmed
Do you want to coordinate all the transport arrangements or prefer delegates to book directly with the car company? There are pros and cons to both, so choose a company that can provide a reliable booking system and then discuss with them which is preferable for your event. If you go with the company, they should appoint a project manager to take responsibility for all live bookings, with experienced back up when they’re not available.
No matter how well planned your event will be, there will be changes, so ensure your car company has the infrastructure in place to support these and keep track of what is booked for whom and when.
3. Agree the service levels available to your delegates
Getting your delegates to engage directly with the car service can make a lot of logistical sense, as long as everyone is absolutely clear about the level of service being provided. Otherwise, watch your costs spiral out of control. Discuss budgets early with the car company, agree what’s in and what’s out and minimise the options on offer to delegates. Even so, the company should also calculate a budget contingency to deal with unexpected requirements.
4. Control the variables at your live event
As soon as delegates start travelling to your event, things can sometimes get interesting because of issues beyond your control. Your car company must be monitoring the situation constantly and reacting appropriately. It’s important to have contingencies in place if roads are closed. Drivers need to be held back in the case of airport delays until they know when the flight will land.
These can be fluid situations, so you must have confidence in the on-site car company staff to resolve them effectively. Agree in advance who is responsible for what actions and the lines of reporting. Make sure you understand the capabilities and limitations of their technology. A reputable car company will be able to interact with their booking system on-site and so fully manage cars and passengers during the event.
In many cases, especially for event agencies, quick and clear invoicing is vital, post-event. Agree timelines beforehand and make your car company aware of any additional information to be included (e.g. cost centre, budget reference number), so this can also be referenced at the booking and confirmation stages
6. Post-event review
A common mistake is to only hold post-event reviews when there’s been a problem. They’re equally important if the occasion has gone well, and that’s not about getting a free lunch. Your car company will have learned a great deal about how to manage your events and can give you pointers on how to improve arrangements in future. It is also a chance to build the relationship if you need cars regularly.
How do we know all this? Because Driven has over 17 years’ experience of providing cars for all kinds of events, large and small. If you’re planning an event and want to talk about ground transport and logistics, just get in touch.