How do I budget effectively for my event: Transportation

As with any business expense or undertaking, your budget will determine everything.  However, there are so many moving parts to a corporate meeting or event, that it’s easy to lose track of where you’ll be spending.  The first in a series of articles on this subject, here are some tips for ground transportation budgeting.

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You cannot have an event without attendees, and getting them there is as important as any part of your planning.

  • If attendees will be flying in, will they be making their own arrangements for air travel?
  • If so, will there be reimbursement?  If so, be sure to aside enough budget for all of your attendees.

Once your attendees arrive at the airport, how will they be getting to the meeting site?  Oftentimes, the hotel will have transportation available which may or may not be complementary.

  • Check to see if complementary transportation is available.  (Note: If your budget is tight, this may be something to consider during the contract negotiation phase.)
  • If hotel transportation is not available, are taxicabs or rental cars available?  If so, will attendees be responsible for these costs on their own, or will you be reimbursing them?  If the latter, be sure to build these items into your budget.
  • If attendees are renting cars, is parking available and what are the charges?  Who will be picking up these charges?

Other important pointers:

  • If you are going to use a ground transportation company, try to reserve your transportation as early as possible.  Once reserved, ask your ground transportation carrier about important logistics and get this information to your attendees.
  • As a general rule, if transportation is needed you should expect to spend 5-10% of your budget on transportation.  As with anything, you get what you pay for when it comes to transportation.  A company with a solid reputation will charge more, but is there anything worse than starting an event with transportation issues?
  • How many vehicles?  That depends on how many attendees you have, and how long they are willing to wait.  If you’re event is all VIPs you should plan on more (and nicer) vehicles, as they are not going to want to stand around waiting for shuttles.

Getting your group to the site can be tricky, but if you budget effectively and get started early, you’ll be ahead of the game.

Good luck!