Tips for Booking your Hotel Room for Conference

To understand how ACS works to secure discounted rooms for Conference attendees each year, see Executive Director Nora Weiser’s Heads on Beds letter in the May 2016 issue of CheeseBytes. To understand how you can secure the room you’d like in Denver, read on!

Often times, attendees book the entire Conference week at a hotel, but ultimately drop a night at the last minute. This can lead to others having difficulty securing a room that night, and perhaps even choosing to book at another property. Below are some tips that can help you secure the room you want, ensure that other members are not inconvenienced by last minute room changes, and help ACS meet its contractual obligations to the hotel(s). This will give everyone the best experience, and will allow ACS to continue to negotiate attractive hotel rates for Conference attendees.

  • Book only the nights you need – and as soon as your flights and plans are finalized, update your reservation right away. This frees up rooms for others, offers the most accurate booking record to hotels, and eliminates the risk of rooms remaining unfilled at the last minute.
  • If you can’t book all of the nights you’d like at one property, ask the hotel what the rate would be to add nights at their normal rate. This rate is likely higher than the ACS-negotiated rate. However, if you secure a room at that rate, you can contact the hotel a few weeks before Conference to see if a discounted room may have opened up. If it hasn’t, even paying a higher rate for one night might still lead to an overall stay cost that is lower than you’ll find at another property.
  • Based on room availability, and your own sense of adventure, consider splitting your stay among properties with discounted rates. For example, you might spend 2 nights at one hotel and 3 nights at another.
  • Double up. We know many of our members share a room – if you find yourself without a room, want to save on costs, or just want the camaraderie of a roommate, see if a friend wants to split with you.

All associations struggle with finding the right number of rooms for Conference attendees. With the growth of AirBnB and other services, some attendees even book outside the official block – thus adding to the complexity of contracting the right number of rooms to accommodate attendees. With 1,200 attendees and a peak night of 560 rooms booked in 2016, it is pretty clear that not all of our members are choosing to stay in ACS’s negotiated hotel block.  We’ll be asking some questions about this on our post-Conference survey, and we hope you’ll respond to help us ensure that we stay up on the trends of where you’re staying, why, and how we can best house our group each year.


Originally published 5/26/2016, updated 4/26/2017