Following the road already taken -- and written about -- can be a boon for meeting planners when they're scouting sites and venues for events, excursions or activities. Group transportation company GOGO Charters recently sifted through its database to curate a list of its most popular group activities in 2018.
"Some are tried-and-true favorites for group travel -- no-brainers," GOGO reported. "But some of them surprised us." Here is the full list, in reverse order for dramatic effect.
10. NRG Stadium and environs (Houston)
In late June 2018, GOGO transported more than 30,000 teens to the five-day Evangelical Lutheran Church in America Youth Gathering at Houston's NRG Stadium. But the full slate of the city's offerings proved the real prize. As the company stated, "From nose-to-trunk encounters at the Houston Zoo, to strolls among Smither Park's eclectic art pieces, to tours of Space Center Houston's Mission Control and much more, we kept them going until they had to head home."
9. Dodger Stadium (Los Angeles)
In May 2018, GOGO provided transportation to Dodger Stadium for two local branches of MeUndies, a Los Angeles-based maker of underwear and loungewear. Their destination: a Dodgers home game against the Colorado Rockies.
Said GOGO: "With everyone in the same vehicle, they were able to bond throughout the near hour-and-a-half it took to travel 10 miles to the stadium -- thanks, L.A. traffic! We can neither confirm nor deny who cheered the hardest when the Dodgers smoked the Rockies, 3-0, but we can guarantee the MeUndies team had a reliable ride home afterward."
8. AT&T Stadium (Arlington, Texas)
In December 2018, GOGO Charters serviced numerous trips to AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, for the Red River Showdown, an annual college football game between rivals the University of Oklahoma and the University of Texas at Austin -- the Oklahoma Sooners and the Texas Longhorns.
Said GOGO: "Even if these local Longhorn fans groaned their way back to the bus after the Sooners extracted their sweet, sweet revenge -- a comeback from Oklahoma's nail-biting loss at the Red River Showdown -- they found some consolation in the plush comfort a private ride home can provide."
7. Colorado Convention Center (Denver)
Every year, the Colorado Convention Center hosts more than 400 meetings and events, many of which were hosted by groups that utilized transportation from GOGO Charters.
Said GOGO: "We were unable to nail down just one event that generated a majority of the traffic. Instead, we found stops at the convention center peppered throughout multiple Denver trips year-round: a few hotel-to-convention-then-back-again shuttle services in September and October, a trip from the center straight to dinner reservations at Union Station, and a couple rides between here and the Denver Airport, just to name a few."
6. Disneyland (Anaheim, Calif.)
An athletic-centric student leadership program from Henderson, Nev., a senior class from a Las Vegas-based vocational school and a church congregation from Phoenix were among the many groups that GOGO Charters took to Disneyland in 2018. The iconic theme park did not disappoint.
5. Hollywood Walk of Fame (Los Angeles)
In December 2018, GOGO Charters provided transportation to the HTE Dance All-Star Dance Team -- composed of nearly 200 high school performers from across south/central Texas -- while it was in Los Angeles to perform in Pasadena's Tournament of Roses Parade.
Said GOGO: "Not only did we ensure they reached every practice session, rehearsal and even the main event while in town, but we also helped these teens cross off other items from their L.A. bucket list. A group selfie in front of the big globe at Universal Studios Hollywood? Check. Retracing the imprinted steps of countless artists outside the TCL Chinese Theater? Of course! A stroll along the Santa Monica Beach and its iconic pier? Done and done, with a reliable ride back to LAX when it was time to head home."
4. U.S. Capitol Building (Washington, D.C.)
In July 2018, GOGO transported 450 American citizens to the Capitol from New Jersey so they could meet with lawmakers to lobby for affordable housing in the Garden State. Feedback afterward placed this trip on GOGO's list of most popular.
3. Times Square (New York)
In July 2018, travel operator Belo USA hired GOGO Charters to transport nearly 100 foreign exchange students across New York to see famous sights like Times Square. The very nature of a chartered excursion helped make the trip a success.
Said GOGO: "Belo USA knew they had give these kids a taste of the Big Apple before they returned to their host families for the 2018-2019 school year. They also knew that traversing the complex New York City subway and overcrowded pedestrian walkways was not an option. Locals and lone-wolf travelers may have these travel avenues handled, but when you're navigating the city with 99 minors from 15 different countries, many of which have never been to the United States before? Taxicabs and public transportation just won't cut it."
2. Austin Convention Center (Austin, Texas)
In November 2018, GOGO Charters provided transportation to hundreds of women attending the 2018 Texas Conference for Women.
1. Georgia World Congress Center (Atlanta)
In March 2018, GOGO Charters provided transportation to Atlanta's Georgia World Congress Center for Aga Khan IV's Diamond Jubilee, a world tour commemorating the Aga Khan's 60th anniversary as the spiritual leader of Ismaili Muslims.
Said GOGO: "Over the span of four days, [the Aga Khan] addressed 40,000 Ismailis in the halls through intimate private meetings, prayer and lessons in engaged service to local communities. With over 95 shuttle services … we made transportation the least of the [assembly's] worries and helped them reach out to not only their religious leader, but also the rest of the Ismaili community."