Planning a corporate event can be a full-time job on its own — and we tip our hats off to all those who make it look easy! From organizing guest speakers, to coordinating with hotels and catering services, corporate planning is a daunting task to pull off. Securing safe and reliable group transportation, however, should be the least of your worries. Whether you’re traveling out-of-town for a business conference, or have a quick inter-city trip to a corporate offsite, there’s a charter bus rental that’s suited for your travel needs and budget.
This guide to corporate bus rentals will take you through all the different types of buses, the ways in which buses can benefit your company, and finally how to book your bus transportation for your next corporate event.
When it comes to corporate trips, the five most commonly rented vehicle types are: school buses, coach buses, mini coach buses, minibuses, and passenger vans. Each vehicle comes with its own unique set of advantages and amenities as well as a vetted and experienced driver. However, if your group is looking to keep costs low by driving the vehicle yourselves, passenger van rentals typically do not need a driver, and would be an option to keep in mind. As a rule of thumb, when determining which bus type is best for your group transportation, you’d typically first look at the size of your group as well s driving time. Let’s dive into what makes each of these bus types stand out from one another:
School bus rentals are a great option for transporting large groups of people over shorter distances. Depending on the exact bus model, a school bus can typically fit up to 47 people, but may not features as many amenities as their other bus counterparts. Despite their standard set of available comforts (which actually help keep costs as streamlined as possible), school buses nonetheless come equipped with spacious and fitted cushioned seats. While storage is limited on these types of vehicles, a little creativity can go a long way. Simply set aside seats in the front or back of the bus to store all your personal belongings. Keep in mind that this will take away a few passenger seats! If your group is travelling longer distances to an out-of-town corporate retreat, for example, we recommend renting a coach bus instead as the latter has a few more amenities, such as an on-board restroom making a longer trip more comfortable.
The coach bus, also known as the “motor coach,” is the most luxurious and comfortable of bus rentals, offering your company a plethora of modern amenities. This vehicle is ideal for transporting larger groups of people safely over longer distances. The coach bus can easily accommodate up to 55 people and comes equipped with a number of amenities other bus rentals don’t offer, such as audiovisual equipment, WiFi, power outlets, and onboard bathrooms. As extra options, the hotspot WiFi and power outlets are especially appealing if your corporate group is looking to get some work done and stay productive while en route to your destination.
Bus.com currently offers four different coach bus rentals, including the Prevost H3-45, Van Hool, MCI, and the Prevost H3-41. Simply determine your group size and contact one of our booking specialists to get started on your bus rental.
Mini Coach Bus
The mini coach bus is often used to travel shorter distances, but can also be rented for longer trips. This type of bus typically seats up to 31 people at a time, striking a perfect balance between the minibus and a full-sized coach bus. Its compact nature and practicality makes the mini coach bus one of the most popular bus rentals for corporations as it can easily be driven through crowded downtown areas and clustered cities. This vehicle offers many of the same amenities as the coach bus, albeit in a more compact format. Similarly to the latter, the mini coach bus comes equipped with hi-speed WiFi, power outlets, and vehicle-wide air conditioning. It also offers both undercarriage and overhead storage, allowing passengers to comfortably store their baggage.
Corporate event planners will often turn to minibus rentalsfor their transportation needs. This vehicle is perfect for trips over shorter distances that may require multiple pit stops. The minibus can seat and shuttle up to 21 people at a time, boasting a similar build to a full-sized school bus. In terms of amenities, this bus type comes equipped with air conditioning, ample baggage storage, and an experienced driver. Since it’s designed with efficiency and economy in mind, this compact vehicle offers corporations a more budget-friendly bus rental option. However, keep in mind that it’s drive time on the road that will have the biggest impact on your final rental price.
Corporate Bus Rentals: Use Cases
Corporations rent buses for a number of different reasons, ranging from small local gatherings to full-fledged events that’ll have you crossing over to another state. For each of these occasions, there exists a bus type that will satisfy all of your transportation needs. Let’s take a look at some of the most common uses for corporate bus rentals.
Corporate retreats are a great way to reward your staff’s hard work and let them disconnect from their daily routine. Whether your event involves an out-of-town excursion, or perhaps something closer to headquarters, a corporate bus rental will make sure your team has a safe way to get there altogether. Plus, it beats having to sort out individual car transportation for each employee! An experienced bus driver will be there to pick your team up and navigate the roads, so you don’t have to. And not only is renting a bus more cost-efficient, it also creates a unique opportunity for team bonding outside of the office. Just take it easy, get to know your colleagues, and enjoy the ride.
Holiday parties are the perfect opportunities for your employees to get to know each other outside the regular confines of work. When it comes to corporate celebrations, safe and reliable transportation is key — especially when alcohol may be involved. Rather than going though the hassle of finding a designated driver in your group, rely on a trusted and experience bus driver to get everyone safely home. Shuttle services are usually recommended for holiday parties, and can be arranged to fulfill a multi-spot itinerary to drop off employees at their respective homes.
Team-building exercises can take many different forms, ranging from winter ski trips, to tubing, or even trivia night. These activities help your team unwind after a long day of work while offering them a unique occasion to spend time with their co-workers. These types of events are important to sprinkle into your onboarding process or corporate culture to help boost the workplace morale and foster long-lasting relationships. Why not also extend that bonding time to their route to destination? A charter bus rental allows you to do just that!
Conferences, Conventions, and Trade Shows
Out-of-town conferences, conventions, and trade shows are great opportunities for your company to showcase your brand (you can even wrap a bus to make a splash!) and for your team to make new professional connections. While you focus on your game plan and how to make the most out of your time at the conference, figuring out group transportation should be the least of your worries. A charter bus rental takes the hassle and stress out of group travel, with certain bus companies giving you flexibility with route modifications and cancellations along the way.
Training in a group setting is the most cost-efficient way of ensuring you can onboard new employees all at once. In some cases, this requires organizing offsite training experiences at a remote location where transportation can be a challenge.Organizing a shuttle service or chartering a bus is the best way to get your new employees to the training location on time. Relying on public transportation may not guarantee that everyone arrives on schedule, whereas, when chartering a bus, you can work around a set schedule and even create your own personalized itinerary.
Corporate Shuttle Service
Corporations will regularly turn to bus rentals to set up shuttle services to-and-from their headquarters — especially if the latter happens to be in a remote location or is too big to navigate by foot. This is often the case with government groups, construction workers, and military groups. To facilitate easier transit and give your staff a reliable way to travel between work and home, shuttle services can be organized for both the short and long term. Since a charter bus route can be personalized to your unique group travel needs, you can set up a convenient pick-up location for your employees where an experienced bus driver will be able to shuttle them straight to the office.
How to Book a Corporate Bus Rental
Now that you are aware of the most common bus types rented for corporate events, and the different ways how buses can be used, let’s take a look at four simple steps on how to book your bus rental.
1. Set an Itinerary
Before even beginning to think about which bus to rent, you must first set a clear itinerary. Start by calculating travel time to-and-from your destination and factor in any pit stops your group might want to make along the way.
A streamlined itinerary could result in big savings for your group, as drive time impacts your rental price the most. While you should double check with your bus company’s policies, some may provide more flexibility with route changes or cancellations. However, try to keep modifications to your itinerary minimal as there’s usually a small fee associated with them.
Pro tip: Getting everyone seated and onboard takes longer than you might think. Factor this into your itinerary by setting aside some extra time as a bumper.
2. Select a Bus Type
Selecting a bus type for your corporate event is the next step, and arguably the most important. From full-sized coach buses to compact minibuses, there’s a wide range of charter bus options available. Determining the size of your group and how long you expect to be on the road will help you with your selection.
Keep in mind that a coach bus or a mini coach bus is better suited for trips over three hours (they offer more comfortable amenities such as onboard bathrooms!), while a minibus or school bus is perfect for shorter hops. Our quick guide on choosing a bus type provides more detail on how to select the best bus for your trip.
3. Book Your Bus
With a set itinerary and a bus type selected, it’s time to book! Our convenient online booking system is easy to use and will allow you to get a quote in less than two minutes. Not quite ready to book yet? There’s no pressure to book right away! Once the system generates your estimate, you are under no obligation to action it as your quote will be good for three days. If your quote expires, simply contact our customer service to request a new quote.
It’s recommended to book your bus rental well in advance to ensure you get the best price possible. Even if you confirm your booking nine months before departure, you only have to pay your rental 21 days before your travel date with our Book Now, Pay Later policy.
4. Share Your Itinerary with the Group
Once your booking is confirmed, a booking specialist will be in contact with you and your bus provider to iron out any final details. The final step is to get your entire team on the same page. We recommend that you create a shareable spreadsheet that can be accessed on a mobile device with a clearly defined itinerary. The latter should highlight pick-up and drop-off locations, pit stops, and of course, arrival and departure times.
Pro tip: Include a link to your itinerary in all office memos leading up to the trip, or post it near the office microwave.
Corporate Bus Rental 101
The day of your corporate event is finally here, and you want to ensure everything goes smoothly. After all, transportation plays an important role in the overall experience. Whether your group rents one bus or a fleet of them, you will want your team to have the best time — whether that’s at your event, or on their way there. Here are two bonus tips to make sure that happens:
Communicate with Your Group
Opening an easy and convenient line of communication for your entire group can make a world of difference. Slack chats are commonly used in offices and can even serve as your event’s communication hub. Simply create a Slack channel for the event with all those involved, and designate a ‘bus captain’ for each vehicle that has been rented. The captain can share any urgent messages or voice concerns in the channel, ensuring your bus rental goes without a hitch. Turn on Slack notifications and hit the road!
Make your Bus Part of the Experience
There are many different things you can do to make your trip is a memorable one. To truly standout, you can wrap your bus with your corporation’s logo to make it part of the experience. More importantly, keep how long you’ll be traveling in mind. For those longer trips, you’ll want your group to travel as comfortably as possible.
A coach or mini coach bus comes with a set of amenities that will help with that: onboard restrooms, ample storage space as well as optional hotspot WiFi and power outlets, should some people wish to keep up with their regular work activities. However, if employees prefer a break away from their screens, instead put the laptops away and play a team-building game on the road.
Pro tip: Equip your bus rental with water bottles and your employees’ favourite snacks! They’ll thank you later.