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San Marcos 2023 Embassy Suites Room Block...


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Gil,

I respectfully disagree with your position that more could have been done by me or my staff. We can agree to disagree, but I am not revisiting the room block management by my staff or even Hilton/Embassy Suites.

Now on to the bigger issue:

If you need to alert me to something or if you have a true complaint, please contact me via my e-mail – chair.nats2023@gmail. This e-mail I have made readily available in the past month or two and have posted it here on the forum. Complaining to me personally via a public forum is not conducive to healthy, constructive and professional communication. I do not know you personally and you do not know me personally. Therefore, all communication that I could potentially have with you will be professional. In past forum posts you have used explicit language in a post(s) directed at me. In light of my desire to use professional language with those I do not know, this crossed a line. I am not in any way offended by harsh language in general, but I do not use it with those I do not know personally. Those who use it with me, or even directed at me, I tend to “zero-out” as toxic persons. I have made a habit in my life to not fight with toxic people, I just walk away.

What concerns me the most, however, is the overall health of IPMS/USA. There are many other members who read the posts on this forum, yours included. When you continue to badger the host committee with things outside their control, I believe it makes members think twice about volunteering to lead such a large and complex event as a national convention. After being in a leadership role for this upcoming convention for a few years now, I have much regard and respect for those that came before me, and hopefully many more that will come after me. The kind of language and pointed accusations you make in this forum, in my opinion, do not help in the recruiting of future volunteers to help execute an event that is literally the pinnacle of our society. People are members because of our convention. I ask that if you have opinions or complaints about how a person or team is doing their job, use private communication first. Doing so is in the best interest and health of our fantastic organization, IPMS/USA.

Respectfully,

Len Pilhofer

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To those who tried to add Tuesday and had issues, I do not know what happened to your reservation but for me  it worked and the entire process was the easiest process in all the nationals that I have been too.

To Len you did a great job!

Mike

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Where is the beef? For many years it has been a simple fact that to get a room at the convention hotel, you must be johnny on the spot. With the numbers Nick posted, it is obvious even with two to a room, our expected numbers we would sell out the available rooms. And when you consider there will be members bringing their significant other, it should be no surprise things sold out quickly.

Yes, If I had not gotten a room, I would be grinching and calling for heads to roll, but only in a comical hyperbole. In fact, I was a bit surprised I actually got a room. The discussion at our club meeting that night was about the chances of getting through and we were putting good money on it. I like to gamble in casinos, so I have learned to accept disappointment, from time to time. Time to bury this dead horse.

Dak

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I had made my Tuesday registration Friday afternoon in case I couldn’t add it when the block opened ( and I couldn’t) so it didn’t matter. That some people  ( good for them) were able to do it only reinforces my opinion of computers and organizations: they are far from infallible or trustworthy, however unintentional. One should always have a back-up plan, plan B, exit strategy, etc. etc. 

As Lord Salisbury said:  “ Don’t put your faith in the experts.” 
 

Nick

 

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Len, I also tried to book 2-5, not 6th, and the system wouldn't let me. I've gone backtwice to change the date to a Saturday checkout (not Sunday) and it still won't allow me to change it.

I figure this is a Hilton issue dealing with the room block, they need to be a little more flexible - just like they were in 19 when I book for the cancelled 20 event.

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Len: You'll need to be specific about what language you're referring to. I've never in ANY communication here or on FB have referred to you, your staff or ANYONE in any vulgar way.

On the other hand, if you didn't like my reference to the SYTEM being a "CF" on the previous page....I'll stick by that personal opinion. If YOU had gone through the hoops I tried to jump through, had the useless and roundabout conversations with the reservations people that I did; YOU would feel the same way about the HILTON SYSTEM.

I have no problem to agree to disagree. You say you did all you could, and I think you dropped the ball. However, IF I'd desired to personally insult you or your staff, I'd have done so in my previous replies, AND HAVE NOT DONE SO.

And yes, I'll KEEP it public here.....because here my every reply can be seen to NOT insult you, but merely to bring to light the problems I encountered, offer my opinion, offer a suggestion or two going forward, and even some encouragement at the end; which you have conveniently overlooked. 

Gil :cool:

Edited by ghodges
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Yes DAK... as "designed" it worked.... in that as being designed to ONLY accept reservations for the 2-5th. Considering EVERY previous convention registration system allowed people to designate the dates they wanted to reserve, AND the actual HILTON system allowed you to manipulate the dates of the reservations on their page (despite being designed NOT to accept ANY variations), the "design" was flawed. So, saying it worked as designed didn't allow for anyone who wanted to reserve Tuesday the 1rst (almost every vendor) as well as many regular attendees who just want to be there when the vendors open on Wednesday.

There's nothing basically wrong with that "design".....BUT.....the knowledge that that option of changing the dates was NOT going to be accepted in the system was a crucial piece of information that was missed, and that led to the failure of reservations for many regular attendees, and especially vendors.

I too "played" with the reservation page ahead of time to be sure I was familiar with the process, but unlike Nick and others, missed the fact that changing dates would lead to failure. So despite "practicing", it didn't help me; and I was NOT alone.

My contention is that had Len and his staff been more diligent in questioning the Hilton reservation people, and if they'd performed "Beta tests" to see where failures could happen, AND then passed along those warnings to us (as requested by me here on the DF weeks ahead of time); perhaps much of this could have been avoided.

Len says this was beyond his and his host group's control. I contend it was a problem that was avoidable. We'll simply agree to disagree there. But for you to say "the system work as designed" is misleading and a whitewashing of what actually occurred.

 

Gil :cool:

Edited by ghodges
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It’s a dead horse, Gil. Time to move on.

At first, I had sympathy for you and felt you were correct in pointing out s glitch in the system. But now you are just coming a cross as bitter, petty, and rude. At least a couple hundred people had no problems and are happy. Others, got rooms with no problems with the overflow hotels with no problems. You are making it sound like the whole system was a miserable failure, which it was not. 
 

Dak

Edited by Dakimbrell
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I ran into the same problem that Gil and  few others had. At the stroke of 1 Am EDT, I logged into the website and tried to book my room. As I needed to be in San Marcos to help set up registration on Tuesday, I wanted to add an extra day in front of the main conference block. I kept getting the message that there were no rooms available. Like others, I did not notice that you could only book the main convention dates. After 10 minutes of trying, I called the reservation number and after about 15 minutes, they were of little help. I was told to call back later this week as the rooms were not yet available to book. So much for me following to recommended process and trying to book a room as suggested. It would have helped greatly to know that we were not allowed to book a room prior to Wednesday using the website.

To cap it all off, I needed to be up at 5:00 Am EDT on Saturday for an event that I was volunteering at so I spent the rest of Saturday bummed and exhausted with only a few hours of sleep and no room for the convention. 

With that said, have fun modeling!

Mike

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While I sympathize with those who were not able to book a room, I also have to agree that the system worked as advertised. I was able to book a room for the August 2-5 block shortly after midnight on the 2nd. It took me less than a minute, and most of that time was taken by my fumbling for my credit card! I did not try to add additional rooms, however.

Now, the question I have is: Does the hotel have a shuttle to/from the Amtrak station in San Marcos? I’m not fighting the traffic on I-35!

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Embassy does not have a shuttle for the Amtrak station. Your best bet is UBER, a cab, or similar transportation system.

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The simple answer to this issue is to stop booking these events in way undersized venues.   We need 100,000 square feet and 700 plus room venues. Embassy suites have nice facilities but will never be large enough.  Have you all forgotten about our vendors who have to pull out early on Saturday so we can convert the vendor room to a banquet room.  We need to grow up folks and realize these facilities may seem priced right but DO NOT meet the needs of our convention.  And I will say it $55 for convention registration is like the national minimum wage.  It is not keeping up with the times and severely hampers our ability to enter other larger convention markets.

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Well, we are a niche market.

Bigger venues cost more money, which will be passed on to those attending. Personally, I thought the Marriott at Columbus really sucked as a hotel. The Rio has plenty of space, but that was a heck of a long walk down the hall. Chattanooga was ok, but still a long walk every day. I prefer Embassy Suites over all of them.

Even with more rooms it doesn’t mean people will get what you want. Some of the rooms are only going to have one king bed.
 

For those coming from a long way by car, trying doing what we did in 2019  instead of booking an extra, expensive, room there, we stopped about fifty miles out and got a cheap room. The drive the next morning was beautiful and we were well rested.

Perfection is not an option.

Dak

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49 minutes ago, josephporche said:

... undersized venues.   ... Embassy suites have nice facilities but will never be large enough.  ....  these facilities may seem priced right but DO NOT meet the needs of our convention. 

As I have pointed out elsewhere, $225 for a room is what my wife is paying for a quilting convention this year.  And registration for another convention I just attended was a flat $100 ... plus additional fees for classes and such.  I don't know if IPMS members are truly cheap bastards, or it they haven't kept up with the reality elsewhere. 

In my mind, the ES breakfast is the biggest attraction -- it would cost about $30 for DW and myself ... or more ... if we had to purchase it separately.

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On 9/8/2022 at 9:00 PM, Highlander said:

As I have pointed out elsewhere, $225 for a room is what my wife is paying for a quilting convention this year.  And registration for another convention I just attended was a flat $100 ... plus additional fees for classes and such.  I don't know if IPMS members are truly cheap bastards, or it they haven't kept up with the reality elsewhere. 

In my mind, the ES breakfast is the biggest attraction -- it would cost about $30 for DW and myself ... or more ... if we had to purchase it separately.

Yes on both counts.

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