Since it’s inception, ride sharing has shaken up the public transportation world. It offers an inexpensive way to navigate new cities and crowded areas at the tip of your fingers. And while it’s had success in many areas of the country serving individuals, these ride sharing services are starting to venture into personal and corporate events.
Imagine being able to give your guests a simple code or ID to access a complimentary ride to or from your event. On top of the fun evening they already have planned, now they don’t have to drive. This has obvious positive impacts outside of your event—like reducing cars on the road for the environment, or reducing congestion in pedestrian-dominant cities. But it can also have significant impact on the success and attendance rate of your events.
Here are five compelling reasons to consider a ride share for your next event. Although we do reference two mainstream ride sharing companies, other options available, like shuttle services.
1. Encourages Guests to Attend
Remember that event you skipped because it was too much work to get to the venue? Maybe it was far away, or the parking situation wasn’t great, and you just didn’t want to deal with the headache. Ride sharing can give your guests a reason to attend your event. In fact, Eventbrite recently surveyed 2,000 people and discovered that a shocking 4 out of 5 people bailed on an event because it was difficult to get there—even if they already bought tickets!
It’s no surprise that your guests want everything to be simple; don’t we all want everything to be simple? But in event planning, “simple” is the difference between your guests attending or not. Offering a ride sharing service removes this attendance obstacle, and starts out the evening on a positive note. Now, your guests can sit back and literally enjoy the ride to your event.
2. Ride Sharing Companies Offer Event Deals
And we’re not just talking group discounts (although they have that, too!). Uber and Lyft are the two biggest ride sharing companies currently, and they both offer similarly competitive packages. For both companies, you create custom passes or codes that you distribute to your guests ahead of time. Guests then use the code to order a ride to and from the event. But don’t worry—you set a maximum budget so you’re not met with a surprise bill at the end of your event. And both services refund the remaining budget if you don’t go over.
Communicating this service to your guests ahead of time is important, as we already saw how transportation affects attendance. Ride sharing will certainly encourage positive RSVPs. We recommend mentioning the service on the invitations. If you’re hosting a ticketed event, include the code on the ticket. But if there’s no ticket or confirmation email, simply include the code right on the printed invite.
3. Cheaper Than Taxis or Parking
Cost of transportation factors into an attendee’s decision to bail, but it can also affect your transportation decision. Certain high-profile events, or events with out-of-towners, require a form of shuttle service. Guests are in a strange place, and they may have spent a lot of money to come to your event. So offering a ride sharing service shows your appreciation—and it also saves you money. Hourly parking adds up quick—especially for long or overnight events. And taxis are definitely not an inexpensive alternative. Coordinate a ride share and drop guests off right at the front door without hurting your wallet.
4. Alcohol Isn’t a Problem
Responsible driving is paramount, no matter what the event. While you don’t want to encourage guests to drink in excess (because that can be disruptive!), you do want everyone to feel comfortable having a drink and socializing or networking. Even with the best intentions, though, sometimes guests indulge a little more than planned. Setting up a ride share means no one has to worry about safe driving—not even you. Even if guests drive themselves to the event, they can still access the ride share on the way home. Give yourself peace of mind, knowing your guests can make it home, so you can focus on day-of event logistics.
5. Unique Way to Network
If it isn’t clear by the name, ride sharing means that passengers, well, share the ride. That means there might be other people picked up along the way if they’re headed in the same direction—like carpooling with strangers. This saves on cost for the passenger while increasing the payout for the driver, because the driver can take on multiple jobs at once.
Don’t panic though—if you set up a ride share for a private event, only fellow guests will be picked up. This gives guests a fun way to network. Instead of sitting at a table with strangers, or walking up to someone in a crowded event, you can casually network on the way. Ride share drives are typically chatty, too, so the conversation will likely be upbeat and casual. Perfect for new acquaintances!
As is human nature, people want things to be easy, and your attendees are people. By making your event transportation safe and easy, you not only increase attendance—you actually create a positive impact before they’ve even reach their destination. And happy guests are actively engaged in their event.
How often do you use a ride share, for business or pleasure? Have you ever attended an event that offered it? Share your experiences below!