Today's guest post is by Richard Fertig, founder and president of Brilliant Transportation.
Scrupulous attention to detail is essential for any meeting or event, especially when dealing with global transportation and time management, as I learned from experience with a Fortune 100 global board of directors meeting.
With 35 board members from around the world flying in to New Jersey and eventually traveling to Connecticut for a four-day, meeting-filled visit to the entire tri-state area of operations, we set a goal to make each board member feel like the only board member. Here are the three ideas we used to help us rise to the logistics and transportation challenges involved:
• We hired a caterer to measure and create custom gourmet meal trays to serve while driving between states, with the aim of making it feel like an experience one might have aboard a private plane. Once the trays were designed, our hostesses practiced serving the meals in the vans.
• We loaded iPads with meeting-related content for each board member to use during a day of lengthy travel. This enabled the members to have done their “homework” by the time they arrived and resulted in a more productive meeting.
• We provided an extra vehicle staffed with medically trained drivers in case of emergency or mechanical failure. Luckily, no one fell ill and no vehicles broke down, but we were prepared in case something went wrong.
This event had some unique challenges, but then again, most events do. Here are the five core strategies we believe are essential for wowing your participants, whatever the event.
1. Clearly define success and set goals. Start with a purpose and vision, then work backward.
2. Prepare for the “what if” scenarios. You get one chance to knock an unexpected situation out of the park. No matter how experienced you are, you can always practice and learn more.
3. Vet every member of the team. Each vendor needs to represent the highest quality with utmost dedication to the event. You are only as strong as your weakest link, so make sure everyone is committed.
4. Budget appropriately. Instead of spending only on highly visible areas of the event, make sure each vendor has a fair budget.
5. Celebrate success. Send handwritten notes to thank all of the vendors you employ. People who feel appreciated tend to go beyond the call of duty in terms of hours, commitment, and energy. Acknowledge them, and they will line up to work with you.
These strategies are simple, but they have proven effective time and time again — even in the most complex and challenging scenarios.
Richard Fertig, founder and president of Brilliant Transportation, set out to redefine the ground transportation industry with passion and purpose. Richard focuses on partnering with companies and event planners globally to Make Travel Great®. In less than five years, Brilliant Transportation has solved some of the most complex design, production, and transportation challenges for some of the world’s most influential companies.