Often left as an afterthought in the run-up to events, Nadia Hutcheson, Event Connect’s UK Manager implores event planners to carefully consider their transportation plans.
Established in 2016, Event Connect, part of the Abellio Group, has fast become one of the UK’s leading event transport providers. Specialists in delivering event transport solutions Event Connect has a UK wide network of road transport partners and vehicles ranging from; coaches, luxury minibuses and executive cars, to support and deliver transport solutions for all types of events across the UK from stadium events, conferences, excursions, tours and festivals.
Event Connect has worked with a plethora of global brands, tour operators, DMOs and event managers across the country and has extensive experience in delivering national and global sporting events such as IAAF and Solheim Cup 2019.
Led by Event Connect’s UK Manager Nadia Hutcheson, who brings with her years of experience in the events industry having worked in conferences, events venues and campuses as well as major sporting events, Nadia’s innovative, customer-centric approach and dedication to the events industry is a key driver behind the successful growth of Event Connect.
Her strong foothold in the events sector means that Nadia knows all too well that event transport is usually the last piece of the jigsaw in event management and seen as the least attractive part of event planning! For any event, whether it’s an excursion, conference or sports tournament by the time the ‘big idea’ has been developed, the venue has been secured, the speakers/ performers have been booked and the ticket management has been sorted, the last thing on the list is logistics and even then transport is normally way down the pecking order.
Nadia observes that many event planners probably practice ‘if it’s not broke don’t fix it’:
“We get it, you know the teams, you know the level of service to expect, there’s no real reason to move is there? You might think there are a few things that could be done better, but let’s face it, your endless list of jobs to turn your event from an on-paper plan to a live production is increasing by the day, so you’ll happily let a few ‘small’ things slide, just to get your event across the line, right?
“We’ve all done it, the thought of having to change suppliers is daunting and feels like a hugely time-consuming task to add to the to-do list. But the reality is that changing supplier can significantly improve efficiencies in the long run. Not only can you save on cost, but you can save on time.”
Nadia and the Event Connect team are keen to buck this trend by encouraging potential suppliers to involve them as early as possible in the event planning process. There are huge benefits to this for everyone involved from time resource to budget savings.
However, Nadia has noticed that there is a growing trend within the events industry whereby event teams continue to stay with the same suppliers and fail to retender for annual events even when they are unhappy with their service provision: “Money is usually a key motivator for change and if you’ve been using the same transport supplier for years you may not have taken the time to realise how much money you could be saving by going elsewhere!
“When was the last time you competitively quoted for the transport services for your event? It might be as long as a year or two, or it may even only have been a few months ago, but it’s always a good idea to keep things competitive. With frequent changes in the market place you could be saving hundreds if not thousands on each event.”
The key thing is to make sure you’ve got the right team by your side to make sure everything runs smoothly. No two events are the same, so it’s important to use an event transport company that never treats them like they are: “We’ll work with you from the very start to scope out the best transport solution for your event, identifying issues and opportunities to ensure cost savings and delivery of the best possible services for you and your attendees. We value preparation and often work as an extension of your in-house team, taking the time to understand what works for you and what doesn’t.”
Nadia concludes with a piece of advice that could applied to all parts of event planning: “Be brave, challenge yourself to find out how you can further enhance you’re the success of your event with a competitive and tangible transport solution for your event.”