Summer is over, students are settling in, and that means student conferences are on the horizon. So much goes into planning these events, from renting venues, to booking guest speakers, to stocking up on the essentials (wine and cheese, anyone?). One often-overlooked aspect of student conference organization, however, is transportation. Time and money are rare commodities in the world of higher learning, and students may be looking for cheap and easy ways to get to and from conference venues. Providing charter buses or shuttle transport is a great way for event planners to keep attendance numbers high and to keep things running smoothly!
What kind of bus should you book for your conference?
Many factors come into play when deciding what kind of transportation is needed for a student conference. Is the venue close to the school? Are there several venues? Are there overlapping events? Are you hosting people from out of town? These are just some of the questions that will determine your needs, and once you know what you’re looking for, Bus.com can help you plan a custom itinerary, tailor-made for you and your budget.
For instance, if the conference requires students to remain at one venue for the day, a charter bus might be more your flavor than a shuttle bus fleet. If, however, the event is spread out over several locations, or if the format is one in which students can come and go throughout the day, shuttle buses may be a better option. Shuttles between the airport and hotels near the conference venue are also a great way to add a sense of ease and organization to your event that guests will appreciate, without breaking the bank.
Why should you charter a bus for student conferences?
Relying on students and invited guests to work out their own transportation to your conference can cause unnecessary stress and potentially – eek! – lowered attendance. Having to take a subway and two city buses is not going to make students want to jump out of bed to attend a 9AM lecture, no matter how good the coffee provided may be. Make it easy for them with an easy-on, easy-off, comfortable ride, where students can study, catch up with friends, or even sneak in a quick snooze before a day of learning and networking. Bus.com will work with you to make sure your itinerary is followed to a tee. Want to take the scenic route to wow out-of-towners? No problem. The route is up to you. Last minute schedule changes? We’ve got you. Bus.com provides 24/7 customer service support on and off the road.
Where to begin?
The first step to providing seamless transportation services for your student conference is planning your itinerary. Where will students be picked up? Will there be only one pickup location, or several? Where will they be dropped off? What time do you want students to arrive, and how long does it take to travel to the venue from the pickup location(s)? It’s important to factor in driving time, boarding time, as well as any rest stops you might take. Buses can take up quite a bit of space, so don’t forget to get any permits you might need for parking and loading! Finally, consider whether you need to pick up groups at the airport, shuttle attendees to different venues throughout the day, or transport guests to a hotel at the end of the night.
How to book buses for your conference
You can book with Bus.com anytime. We do recommend, however, that you book 6 months in advance in order to secure the lowest possible prices.
We also understand that budgets for academic events aren’t a self-replenishing well, and money isn’t always available in advance. This is why we have a Book Now, Pay Later option. You only need to pay 21 days in advance of your rental dates, and we’ll even send you a little reminder, so you can just reserve and relax – or get back to planning the rest of the conference!
Booking buses for student conferences
It doesn’t get much easier than booking transportation with Bus.com. First, enter your trip details into the online booking tool. You’ll get quotes for different bus options. Once you review the quotes and accept one, a Bus.com Booking Specialist will get in touch to help you work through any remaining details. We partner with a wide network of over 2,300 bus rental companies across North America to find you the best price for your ride, saving you both time and money.
Stick to the budget
Having a well-thought-out budget can go a long way in helping you determine what kind of bus rental you want to book, and in making sure there are no surprises. Some things to consider: who is footing the bill for transportation, event organizers or the students themselves? Is the driver parking and waiting or simply dropping off? Do you need a permit for parking and loading? Do attendees require on-board bathrooms? How about WiFi? The more you know about you and your attendees’ needs, the better equipped you’ll be to select the best transportation at the best price.
Bus prices range from around $81/hour for a school bus to about $115/hour for a full-size coach. Each quote includes several options to choose from, with a breakdown of amenities, a short description of bus types, as well as a Bus.com score.
How to pick the right bus
There isn’t an enormous difference in price between, say, a minibus and a mini coach bus, as most of the cost goes toward the driver’s time, and so your selection depends mainly on your passengers’ needs. A school bus can be perfect if you’re simply transporting a group from one part of the city to another, for instance, but for longer trips, or if your conference attendees require WiFi and outlets to work in transit, a premium coach bus might be a better fit. Take a peek at Bus.com’s Quick Guide to Bus Types to get an idea of what’s available. Remember, you can save money by going with a school bus, but you might lose time having to accommodate bathroom breaks. In essence, it’s all about finding the right balance between cost and comfort.
A driver is included with each bus rental, so you don’t have to worry about backing a 40-foot coach bus into a parking spot yourself! All of Bus.com’s partners are strictly vetted as well, so you can be sure your driver has the safety and comfort of passengers in mind as much as you do. In fact, 24 hours before your scheduled trip, we will send you your driver’s name, phone number, an emergency number, as well as your trip’s dispatch number. This way, you have complete control over your conference attendees’ transportation, from start to finish.