Ridesharing, The New VIP Event Transportation Experience
When crafting a VIP event experience, it's important to make sure the attendee has an elevated experience from the moment they walk out the door. Luckily, the advent of ridesharing technology has made premium, stress-free transportation an achievable reality.
Guest post by Rachel Grate from the Eventbrite blog
A crowded, sweaty subway ride or a hair-raising fight through traffic don’t exactly create stellar memories for your VIP guests. And let’s face it: The VIP event experience starts the moment attendees head to your venue.
With so many events to choose from today, yours has to be superior from start to finish. Every attendee expects an elevated experience throughout, but your VIP attendees demand it. Asking them to settle for slow shuttle rides or a parking lot a mile from your venue will derail their experience. This is true for all critical stakeholders: VIP guests, sponsors, special guests, and influencers whose mood is often shared immediately on social media.
Your most valuable guests deserve better: a deluxe, stress-free, VIP transportation experience. Ridesharing makes for friction-free transit to and from events. And harnessing this mode of transportation is within easy reach for event creators.
Amanda McDermott, Event Marketing Manager at Lyft, has inside insight into the importance of transportation to events. “Attendees only use provided chartered buses 20% of the time,” she confides, “because they make attendees stick to a schedule that they might not want to be bound to. When you are traveling to an event, you want to have the freedom to go and leave when you please.”
Yes, your VIP attendees could take it upon themselves to call a Lyft, and often will, bypassing any slower option you’re offering. But leaving transportation up to them is risky. For one thing, people are not afraid to bail if there’s a barrier to entry. Four out of five people have no problem flaking on an event they’ve bought tickets to if they don’t feel motivated to get there.
For another, “figure it out yourself” is not exactly a VIP-friendly message. For this reason, proactive rideshare options are quickly becoming the new norm for event creators. By partnering with a rideshare company like Lyft, you can easily make rideshare the convenient go-to option for your VIP attendees.
How to harness rideshare for an elevated VIP experience
Create a VIP transportation experience by establishing:
- Designated pickup and dropoff spots so attendees know exactly where to go. Particularly within a large venue or one located in a busy urban area, this step ensures a steady traffic flow and prevents bottlenecks. For bigger events, you might even establish multiple spots.
- A mapped venue location within the rideshare app so that the pickup and dropoff locations are easy for both riders and drivers to find.
- Rideshare ambassadors assigned to pick up and dropoff stations to help facilitate the experience for your VIP attendees.
- Clear digital communication and onsite signage so everyone knows exactly where to go and what to do.
Of course, there’s one more thing you can do to encourage your VIP attendees to choose the rideshare option: include it in their ticket price.
Enable VIP transportation options with promo codes
Every day, McDermott works with companies who use the Lyft Events portal to set up smooth rides for VIP attendees. “This year, we saw a major uptick in transportation funded by the companies,” she says. “We think this increased event ROI for our customers, since it enabled their attendees to get to and from in a more convenient way.”
Using Lyft Events, a self-service option on the Lyft site, you can create up to 500 “ride codes” that last for a week. It’s up to you how much of each ride you’d like to subsidize. For instance, you might offer VIP attendees a $15 discount off any ride, or you might choose to pay for the whole ride.
To ensure that your VIPs are only using the codes for event-related rides, specify the start and end dates that the codes can be used. You can also limit the pickup and dropoff locations with geotagging.
Ride the wave of rideshare into your event’s future
With rideshare options, you can take care of your VIP attendees from the moment they step out their door to the moment they arrive back home. But why stop there? Rideshare can turn all of your attendees’ experience into a VIP experience.
You can take charge of the transportation experience of every single one of your event attendees. For more ideas, download the free guide The Future of Event Transportation: An Inside Look From the Lyft Business Team.
Rachel Grate is a writer for Eventbrite, where she regularly interviews organizers of the country's most popular events, from massive music festivals to small food & drink gatherings. She's a live music lover, a foodie, and a big fan of smiles.