Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Planning For Conventions: A Guide Pt. 2

Last time, I went over some tips on how to plan for an anime or comic convention. But there's going to be the elephant of the room in booking and managing a hotel room. Everyone wants to stay in a hotel room, but there's more to it and just booking, checking in, enjoying the convention, and checking out. It gets complicated when multiple people stay in your room.

With that, here are some tips when it comes to booking and managing hotel rooms.

  1. Again, budget and research. Know how much the rooms will cost plus tax, know the amenities of each room, and most importantly know all the policies and incidental charges that can occur. Find out if the people that are staying with you can actually afford it.
  2. Create a system that allows you to collect payment of the hotel room from roommates. Notify your roommates how they must pay, either through check or cash up front at the hotel room, or paying in advance through services like PayPal.
  3. Establish ground rules over room etiquette and any other details such as who gets a hotel key or who gets to sleep where. If necessary, provide a handout or have your roommates sign a contract.
  4. On your first night, notify front desk to disable all room service and pay-per-view on the television. You can still order room service, but then the hotel must need your permission to charge. This prevents unintended charges.
  5. Don't get stressed out over the hotel room. There are many risks that I take when booking a hotel room, and sometimes the fear of losing a roommate or having a roommate who cannot pay the night before the convention gets me unnerving even for a convention that I love. Keep your cool, and most of the time you'll find a solution to everything when you can easily think.
  6. Don't be afraid to keep your foot down. It's your money that's on the line for the hotel room and therefore you have the right to take the necessary actions if something or someone fails.
  7. Room-stuffing is a major no-no. Not only you're putting a risk to yourself and your roommates, but also to the hotel and the convention as a whole. Not to mention conventions that are caught room-stuffing are often charger higher rates and fees with some strict bylaw attached. So please do not room stuff; it may be cheaper to fit in twice the occupancy, but at what cost to your safety and eventually your sanity?
Next time, I give tips on how to get to the convention.

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