The transportation committee’s primary focus was to effectively transport IMS attendees to and from the Convention Center and hotels within the housing block. In addition, transportation to and from any special events was included in the cope of duties. These events included the Chair’s Dinner. The buses ran into the evening on peak nights merely as convenience should people wish to stay in the Convention Center area and network at the Headquarter hotel or attend the Tuesday evening events (Rump Session, Editor’s Reception or MTT GOLD event) or IMS evening social events.
Some cities will not require transportation for some or all of the transportation between the Convention Center and the hotels within the housing block depending on the distance to walk as well as local transportation facilities that may be available. However buses may be required for special events such as Chair's dinner and other events.
The transportation committee consisted of the Local Arrangements Transportation Chair and the IEEE Local Arrangements contractor. Two people were adequate for this purpose.
June prior to IMS:
· Complete RFQ and sent to four different companies in the convention city
October prior to IMS:
· Acquire references from previous clients of the transportation companies.
· Make phone calls to those previous clients to check out performance
· Down select to 3 companies
· Interview in person the three transportation companies and down select to one company
November prior to IMS and up to IMS
· The process for communicating details to the Transportation Company is ongoing and peaked in April/May, especially after the housing bureau closed.
The proposal process for transportation began in June of the previous IMS date with a complete RFP sent to four different companies in the convention city. A review and “vetting” process was then conducted by acquiring references and making phone calls to those companies’ previous clients. At an October meeting prior to the IMS meeting, the final three companies were interviewed in person and after that meeting a company was chosen. The process for communicating details to the Transportation Company was ongoing and peaked in April/May, especially after the housing bureau closed.
At IMS2009 attendees’ badges were coded to reflect whether or not an attendee was staying in an IMS2009 hotel. If the attendee wishing to ride the bus was not booked at an IMS2009 hotel they were permitted to board the bus until Tuesday afternoon when we assumed all attendees were registered. At this point attendees were required to purchase a “bus pass for $75 at registration. A notice handed out upon entrance to the bus was distributed daily informing them of this process. The transportation company at our request as not to anger anyone did not strictly enforce this process. It was set up merely to encourage attendees to book within the housing block..
There were no major problems associated with transportation
other than confusion as to a pick up point for the Chair’s Dinner. At IMS2009, we were refunded this portion of
transportation as we felt the company failed to effectively assist attendees in
boarding and that the staff were aloof and did not know the area of downtown
The buses were not full most of the time therefore a recommendation would be to scale down the number of vehicles considerably during “down time”. This is difficult due to four-hour minimums. Select transportation companies with a lot of experience in transportation through your city. Keep lines of communications should be open between meeting planner and transportation company. If bus passes are required, keep attendees well informed.
Things went well at IMS2009.