It’s getting close to NamesCon time and many of us have realized we forgot to book our hotels or flights. If you’re like me, you probably were trying to find a shirt that fits, some business cards, and deciding whether to cut your hair now and let it grow in, or cut it right before you go. Or maybe that’s just me. When it comes to a hotel there there are some great advantages to staying at the hotel that is hosting the conference.
1. The most obvious is proximity. Between talks you can go up and relax. Forget something? You can just go up the elevator. I forget my badge 1/2 the time I leave for the conference. You also get a little extra time to sleep because you don’t have to do anything but take the elevator down. It is so nice just to be able to go up and down in 5 minutes.
2. It’s cheaper. People spend $300 or more a the clubs but won’t spend $50 extra on a good hotel. People think they can save money going off site to another hotel but often that’s not the case. The conferences always work out a special deal for the attendees. I find that I can upgrade to a better room for equal or less than it would cost for a regular room. You won’t have to look at the air conditioner units like I seem to get at most of my hotel rooms.
3. When you’re drunk you’re home. I can attest that the craziest and maybe the most dangerous time in Vegas is walking on the strip drunk late in the evening or morning. You can hail cab but people don’t make the greatest decisions after drinking and often try and walk a few blocks. I’ve walked a few blocks and had a group of women tell me what they’re going to do to me. I’m pretty sure that a few of those things are illegal in most states. Even if you partied at another place, number one will come into place. You can sleep it off a little longer. PS Drink Pedialite and Hammer Gel tablets before you go out and especially before you go to bed and you’ll never have a hangover.
4. You want to support the organizers of the conference. How many people stay at the hotel effects the financials of the conference one way or another. Every conference is different but usually the number of rooms booked is either guaranteed or a piece of the sales is taken off the tab. One way or another, staying at the hotel helps the conference.
5. Free Wifi. Wifi is only a problem if you don’t have it. $20 a day is nothing for most people that are going to a conference but it’s always nice when its on the house.
6. The best networking is always done at the conference hotel bar late at night. My best conversations have been after midnight at the bar at the hotel. Lips get looser, stories go deeper when there is a little alcohol and a smaller crowd involved. Braden Pollock, Morgan Linton and I have had some hilarious and informative conversations at 3 am at the Tropicana Bar.
7. It makes you feel part of the conference. It sounds silly but when you walk to another hotel and come back you feel like a visitor to the conference, not an active part. This is especially important for first time attendees. You may not know as many people and hanging around the lobby and the conference area is a great way to meet people.
8. You can catch dinner with someone. A lot of the dinners are private but many attendees don’t have someone to go to dinner with. Most people meet in the lobby of the hotel and I’ve found that when I didn’t have someone to eat with I just invited myself to a group of people that looked like a social dinner and not business. I’m not looking for a free meal I was looking for good conversation. When you stay at the hotel you can just go down to the lobby and find a dinner party.
9. If you stay at a hotel away from the conference you may miss some events because it’s too difficult to coordinate with people staying all over Vegas. Getting back to being a part of the conference. More than one occasion I went to dinner with a group and they want to meet at the conference hotel and go from there. When you ask to meet them at the restaurant or club they are never exactly sure when to tell you because plans change so quickly in Vegas. You end not getting texted or called and left out. It happens. Or maybe it was just me and I was ditched.
10. In the case of NamesCon, the Tropicana hotel is much improved. The rooms have been redone and are some of the best rates in Vegas. The Suites are very nice and as good as any on the strip. And as I said above, with the discounted rates you can upgrade to the nicest rooms for the same rate as the basic room at other hotels.
Whatever you do, wherever you stay, make sure to say hello if you see me at NamesCon. Always nice to see everyone in person.