We all know that booking transportation is a massive hurdle for event planners. And the hurdle only gets bigger as the event grows. It’s a challenge that doesn’t end until the last guest is delivered to their doorstep. Problems sometimes don’t present themselves until they become emergencies. The following tips and tricks will alleviate these problems and make the transportation hurdle a little easier to jump over. We’ll also suggest some playful ways to make your transportation (almost) as fun as your event.
1. Style your Bus to Match your Theme
Incorporate the theme of your event into your transportation. (Yes, you can decorate your bus!) Take your event’s colours onto the bus with a string of flags, put up a banner with your company logo, or hang your frat’s Greek letters from the seats. There are as many ways to decorate your bus as there are themes. Just be sure that the decor you choose doesn’t obstruct the driver’s sight lines. Also, many charter bus rentals will give you access to the speakers. Create a themed playlist with suggestions for songs generated from a social media campaign.
2. Be Aware of Charter Bus Availability and Book in Advance
Generally, we recommend booking your bus six months in advance, but if your event is between April and June, book even earlier so as not to compete with prom season. If you’re driving through an area ravaged by blizzards, give your passengers some extra time on the road. Finally, look into major events in your city that may impede traffic, like Hockey Playoffs in Montreal or Pride week in San Francisco.
3. Use your Charter Bus as part of your Sponsorship Package
As you put together your sponsorship package, you’ll consider all the ways your sponsors can benefit from supporting your event. For instance, you can put their logo in your program, OR you can go big and wrap your bus in a giant ode to your sponsors. Ask your booking specialists about bus wrapping options.
4. Reserve a Coach Bus Rental with WiFi
Wifi is becoming increasingly common on coach buses, but you have to ask for it. Many of your passengers, especially if you’re planning a hackathon or trade show, will expect it. If you have swag bags on the bus, place the wifi password inside. Caution: If you’re travelling through rural areas, your wifi connection might get spotty at times. Manage expectations by warning your passengers, and provide reading materials like trade magazines. Your passengers might even appreciate a little break from their screens.
5. Train Some of your Volunteers to Help Coordinate the Bus(es)
It’s important to have a bus captain for every bus. They will take attendance, get passengers settled, answer questions, and communicate with other buses. This is a perfect position for an eager volunteer. If you’re organizing shuttle service or have multiple buses bringing in attendees from multiple locations, you’ll want to train someone to oversee all bus captains. Communication is key when you’re organizing transportation for large events, and nothing works better than a well-trained volunteer team.
6. Make your Sign-In Process Easy for Attendees and Staff
Checking your passengers onto the charter bus can be the first step in the sign-in process for the entire event. Many attendees will transport themselves and need to sign in at the venue, but you can alleviate the on-location sign-in crowd by integrating bus check-in and event sign-in. Just make sure that you clearly define this process, use the most accessible management apps, train your staff in the procedure, and communicate to your passengers that they have signed into the event when they checked onto the bus.
7. Go the Extra Mile with Food
It goes without saying that meals will be available at your event, but snacks on the bus can pleasantly surprise your attendees. Their mood when they get off the bus can affect the rest of their experience, so make sure it’s a good mood. When selecting snacks, be sure to include vegan and allergy-friendly options, as well as both healthy and sinful treats.
8. Pay Attention to Parking Needs and Loading Zones when Selecting your Venue
If you’re chartering multiple buses, you’ll need to select a venue that can accommodate bus traffic. Don’t worry. Many large-scale event spaces are well-acquainted with parking needs. Most will have clear information on their websites about where to park your bus. You may even want to consider setting up a check-in desk in the parking area to process large groups of attendees arriving at the same time. If you have any questions about parking logistics, speak with your venue manager and your Bus.com booking specialist.
9. Provide Shuttle Buses from Hotels
Don’t forget to plan transportation to your venue from your hotel. Many of your attendees will expect you to provide hotel shuttles. Hotels often provide some form of transportation, but it’s dependent on their schedule and their preferred destinations. With a charter bus, you can organize a route that goes directly from hotel to venue on a schedule that suits your needs.
10. Use your Charter Bus Rental to Make your Event more Inclusive
By planning charter bus routes from a number of different locations, you’ll be helping more people get to your event who might not otherwise have the means to attend. But don’t just plan routes from major city centres. Choose a few smaller towns from which to transport attendees. We understand that you can’t plan routes from every small town, but you can strategically select towns that are easily accessible. Bus.com has a North America-wide network of charter bus companies that we can access to organize your transportation.
Take Advantage of Bus.com’s Expertise
Over the years, Bus.com has worked with many organizations to throw some very successful events. We’ve provided charter buses for festivals, conferences, hackathons, and so much more! Whether you’re an experienced event planner or this is your first go-around, we’re here to help. Our booking specialists are excited to nerd-out on logistics. All you have to do is ask.