How to Know Your Event Transportation Needs a Dry Run

September 10, 2015

- Posted by Charles Hurley




Event Transportation - Why It Always Needs A Dry Run

“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” 
~ Ben Franklin


As an event planner you’re well aware that preparation is key to the success of your event. At the same time, transportation seems to be the red-headed stepchild of event planning and often overlooked. If planned and executed correctly, the transportation can be an extension of your event, not a detraction. That’s why having your event transportation vendor perform dry-runs is crucial in many circumstances to the success of your event.

A dry-run doesn't require using all the vehicles needed for your event in some circumstances, although it's recommended. For example, this week a VIP client of ours will be hosting an event in NYC, and the pickoff/drop-off is rather simple. However, to be absolutely certain, our on-site coordinator, Jordan took one of our vehicles (client will be using 9 vehicles) out to the location and I rode along for the purpose of writing this blog. After watching him perform his dry-run and speaking with our sales support specialists I’ve listed these indicators to let you know when a dry-run is necessary for your event.


How to Know Your Event Transportation Needs a Dry Run


One Way In. One Way Out.


Many estates and venues have entrances/exits with enough width for one vehicle at a time. These situations can cause a calamity - ruining the first impression of your event. You’ll certainly need a dry-run with all the vehicles you plan on using during the event, but also an on-site coordinator. The coordinator will be able to communicate on the day of the event with each driver in the fleet so there’s zero confusion. 




  • Each driver will become comfortable with the venue layout and know exactly where they're supposed to be. 
  • The on-site coordinator will completely understand the event logistics and how to direct chauffeurs in and out of the venue in a smooth fashion. 



Unmarked Roads


“Turn right at the 3rd tree.”

Those are actual directions we received for a recent wedding route with unmarked roads. The routing involved driving on tight sidewalks and through a wooded dirt road. Thankfully, the event planner was well aware that a dry-run was needed. We brought our entire fleet of luxury minibuses down to the venue, took measurements, performed dry-runs, and coordinated the flow of vehicles. Without the dry-run the success of this event would’ve been left up for chance. 



Multiple Vehicles, Especially Different Sizes


Most of the time you need the fleet of vehicles to arrive on location at the same time. Well, different vehicles travel at different speeds. There’s many factors that exaggerate this such as frequent stop lights in metropolitan areas, but in general a luxury minibus is going to take longer to reach its destination as opposed to a luxury Sprinter Van. This is another situation where an on-site coordinator is highly recommended. During the trip if the fleet gets separated at any point, the on-site coordinator will be in communication bringing the group back together. In order to get the best idea as to where those situations may occur the drivers and on-site coordinators benefit greatly from a dry-run. 



Venue Has Detailed Pickup/Drop-off Locations


In many cases an address simply won’t cut it. The drivers will need to know how to navigate around the venue for both the pickup and drop-off. As you know, sometimes pickup and drop-off locations are not so obvious and shouldn’t be left up to the driver’s instinct. The best way to get the drivers ready is for them to see the venue in person and have a clear understanding of what they need to do on the big day. 



Strict Timeline


If you ever find yourself saying “We’ll need to go from here to there in under x minutes” then you certainly need a dry run. If not, then your timeline could fall into a domino effect. During the dry run make sure all drivers know the timeline to a t and be sure to calculate load times. Again, a luxury minibus will take longer to reach it’s destination and also to load. These dry runs should be done well in advance of your event. You may find that changes need to be made to either:


  • Your timeline of events
  • Your transportation fleet



In the big picture, the investment made with a dry run is minor compared to consequences of neglecting to do so. Event transportation is one of the few things you can actually prepare for by literally rehearsing. It takes eight positive encounters to overcome a negative first impression. Make sure your event’s first impression is brilliant by planning, preparing, and executing. 

  9 Reasons Why Event Transportation Can Be a Nightmare


Topics: Event Transportation, Event Planners




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The Brilliant Agency LLC
PO Box 9796, Jackson, WY, 83002

Luxury transportation experts focusing on special event transportation using Mercedes Sprinters, luxury mini buses, and coach buses in NYC and LA.