Hotel Liaison and Department
- Visiting Hotels
- Contract / Negotiation
- Function Space setup
- Sleeping Room setup
- Room Allocation
- Keys, Locking & unlocking
Visit different hotels with Function Space. Ideally, visit a hotel during a convention and understand the layout and how that convention uses the space. If that is not available, work with conventions that have been in that hotel and ask for a copy of their convention "map" to get that understanding. Tour the Function Space, see an average sleeping room, see at least 1 of the suites. Think about where different activities will be, where can ConSuite / Member Lounge and the Bar be located. Is there inaccessible space and where are the elevators? Where would a good place for Party Rooms be? What are the hotel's policies on alcohol, food, and corkage?
Get it in writing! Handshake agreements are great, but what if?
The contract needs to have
- Room Nights / Room Block / Costs for different types rooms
- Function space costs
- Force Majeure (thanks COVID for making this part all too real)
- Rules for Common Space (lights on in the Garden Court/Atrium)
- Audio Visual
- Service Fees & Minimums
- So much other stuff. Expect to read at least 12 pages at least 5 times.
What to negotiate on
- Room night costs
- Room block attrition rate
- Function space costs
- Alcohol Policies
- Common space policies
- Noise policies
- Table, stage, chair costs & allocations (what setup is included in Function Space and what is not)
- Setup dates / times (when will we have access to rooms)
- Tear down dates / times (when do we need our stuff out of rooms)
- Room Function (for digital signage)
- Setup and Tear down dates/times
- Room layout (tables, chairs, stage, physical arrangements, A/V)
- Services - water stations, pitchers & glasses for panelists, large garbage / extra recycling
This section will focus on Sleeping Rooms used for convention activities. Party Rooms & allocation in general will be covered elsewhere. Sleeping Rooms are frequently used for:
- Bar & Bar Annex
- Green Room
- Teen Room
- GPS Auction
- Check-in / Check-out - much like function space, this will dictate when we have access to move-in and when we need to move-out
- Bed Removal
- Television Removal
- Adding Tables & Chairs
- Water Stations, Large garbage / Recycling
In the past, we have allocated the Garden Court (RadishTree) and Atrium (Park Place) rooms. Other sleeping rooms have been left to the hotel by design. We look at Sleeping Room as convention space (Bar, ConSuite), accessibility, distance to function, need for Double beds, Parties, GoH needs, and requests from ConCom and Members in order to build a layout for the specified areas. That includes Atrium Space, Parlor rooms, Suites, etc.
For Minicon 57, the hotel has requested that we approach this differently. In the past, we have had people book "regular" rooms, then move them to the allocated space. For 2024, the hotel would like those people to go through Minicon and not get their own room. Once we provide a full Atrium layout, the hotel will generate the room Confirmation numbers for those folks.
Sample Language from 2020:
Do you want a hotel room for Minicon? Here is that information.
Single or double occupancy rates are as follows - Regular rooms are $92 per night, Suites (near the pool) are $122 per night, Whirlpool rooms (very limited quantity) $122, Executive Level Rooms on 14th floor (Near Consuite) $112.
The cut off date for these rates is Thursday, March 19, 2020 . PLEASE get your hotel registration in before March 19. Expect to pay a higher rate if your hotel room is not reserved by March 19.
Parties will be located in the suites facing the pool.
For any desired room type, go to the DoubleTree website and book a regular room. If you'd another type of room (party room, suite, executive level room), after booking the regular room, do one of the following: If you’d like to host a party, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. If you’d like a suite or an executive level room, please contact email@example.com.
In your email, please state in the first sentence of the email body what type of room you want. If you have a detailed explanation about why, that's fine, but include that information AFTER the description of your need.
We are in the process of determining how many rooms need to be set aside for Minicon (green room, teen room, parties, other). You may not hear that you have a non-regular room immediately, but someone should contact you within a week to let you know that your request was received.
Important information about the suites - Suites will be allocated by Minicon’s hotel department in a way that makes sense. In order to fulfill our arrangement to make noise in our gaming space at night, we must fill the suites. Parties and Minicon functional rooms will have priority.
It may happen that we have more or fewer requests for suites than we have available. If you’re flexible about reserving a suite (willing to take a suite, but also willing to take a regular room as needed), we love you a little more than we love everyone else. Please let the Hotel department know that you are entitled to EXTRA love. If you'd strongly prefer to have a suite, please also let Hotel know, and understand that you still may not get a suite if they’re already assigned to other uses.
So many keys.
In the Hotel Liaison role, it generally means you need to check into all of the "Master account" sleeping rooms and get the key cards and distribute them. I recommend keeping one copy of each so that if a department head is not available, you can still let people into that room (this happens more often that you would think). Further, I use the Blue Painter tape (the One True Tape) to label them so they are easy to find. Avoid room numbers and use function name ("Bar", "Grn", etc.). In addition, at least at the DoubleTree Park-Place, we get at least one copy of the Function Space Master (physical) key, to lock/unlock function space. Generally we can be more responsive than the hotel in opening and closing rooms. Many of the double tree rooms can be open & locked, so that when the team is done with that room, they only need to shut the door (we did this often during M56 for BBT and Science). For much of the function space, since there is equipment or merchandise, try to be close in time with the department heads in opening the doors.