Conference site selection

I was out of the office Wednesday – Friday (actually Sunday) for a site visit to a potential conference venue for a future NASIG. What an enlightening and fun experience! If you have ever been on a local arrangements or conference planning committee, you know the work that goes into finding the right location, working out the details of rooms, of meeting space, of Internet connectivity, of food. You know the cost involved. If you haven’t been involved in conference planning, I highly recommend it! (Don’t want to do that? Okay, if you’re at an academic institution, call the Union catering office and find out how much a gallon of coffee goes for? What about a dozen brownies?)

I was thrilled to discover that the upscale hotel I stayed at had free – yes, free – wireless access in my hotel room.  (Way to go, Omni!)  I’m really tired of the hotels that charge $9.95/day when their poorer cousins have free Internet access.  I hope that more of the Hiltons & Marriotts of the world follow Omni’s lead.

Oh yes… back to site selection.  Get on those committees!  See what it’s like to be treated like a VIP.  I was wined and dined and escorted to numerous venues like museums, botanical gardens, and historical sites.   The convention and visitors bureaus we’ve worked with (in 2 cities I’ve seen) do a fabulous job of selling their cities, including arranging meetings with sales reps at several hotels that might serve as the conference hotel.

I know you’re wondering what cities we’re looking at but I can’t divulge that information yet!  There’s still negotiations ahead while we try to secure the best deal for our members.  So stay tuned!


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