Message from ICA Executive Director
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Posted By Kristine L. Rosa, Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Dear ICA members and attendees,

I am happy to announce that Phase Two of the housing solution for ICA’s 68th Annual Conference in Prague is now in progress.

We have already been able to clear a number of attendees from the waitlist, into one of the four original hotels—Hilton Prague (HQ hotel), Hilton Old Town, Jury’s Inn, and the Marriott—and will continue this process as any rooms become available at the original four hotels, either from the hotels releasing more rooms or as other attendees release rooms that were surplus to their needs. Our headquarters hotel has given us full capacity. We have been booking people into rooms at the original four hotels off of the waitlist (in chronological order of when those individuals joined the waitlist) for the past week.

If you receive a confirmation from Experient, please be certain to review all details—including room type, property, and dates of arrival and departure—to ensure that the reservation still meets your needs. If you no longer need the room, or your requirements have changed, please be certain to reply to the email immediately, or log in and amend or cancel the reservation. In this way, we can ensure that you have the reservation that you need, that you are not charged for a room that you no longer require, and that the room can be offered to another attendee.

If you have more rooms than you know you’ll need…
Please do not hold onto rooms that you may end up dropping later on—this harms both your colleagues (who are scrambling for someplace to stay) AND the association; if we sell out on day one but then end up at only 80% capacity at conference time when people drop those extra rooms, ICA has to pay the difference in attrition penalties. It also harms our ability to book future room blocks, because hotels know that our attendees follow this pattern.

A word about AirBnB, and other ways of going outside the block
We have a decades-long problem at ICA of the housing block being, in the words of one attendee, “a bit of a Hunger Games situation.” I understand that. It has created a feeling of true scarcity among our attendees, one I am working hard to correct for future years. HOWEVER, I cannot correct that if a large percentage of our attendees book outside the block. Hotels review our past numbers when they decide how many rooms to give us. We have a conference of 3000 attendees and only realize, in the end, approximately 1200-1500 rooms, after cancellations from attendees who found other deals. In addition, AirBnB is, as I’ve said, a bit spotty in terms of reliability—I have personally had to assist conference attendees in San Diego and Fukuoka who booked AirBnBs only to arrive in town and find no key to enter the property, who found themselves suddenly without a place to stay for the week. Proceed with caution. I am working hard to ensure that in future years, no one will have to panic about having a place to stay at ICA.

NOW BACK TO PHASE TWO: Three new hotels added
Please note that in addition to the original four hotels, we have also contracted three additional, smaller hotels in Old Town, all of which are less than a 10-minute walk to the Hilton Prague. Phase Two will now officially begin, with these new hotels added.

What if I don’t want one of these new hotels?
Rest assured you will not be booked automatically into one of the new hotels, as we know there are numerous factors influencing your interest in each of those properties. The details of the properties—including a link to view photographs, locations, room types, and amenities—will be included in the email sent to waitlisted parties. They are at a range of prices, but all have signed lowest-rate clauses so that, just as with the original hotels, the discounted rate you get through ICA is the absolute best bargain for that property for these dates.

How Phase Two works
Wednesday morning, 31 January, we will start the process of offering these new rooms to people on the waitlist, in the order that they joined the list. If you are already on the list, please be on the lookout for an email from Anthony Stewart from Experient. His email will detail for you all the new hotel options and provide instructions on how to secure a room. Please be sure to reply to provide your preferences to him as quickly as possible. There will not be a link. You will communicate your preferences to him via email.

Where is the link?
Again: no new link is included in the email you are reading, because Phase Two is being administered via the housing block wait list. An actual human being is going down the list in the order of wait list signup, to provide rooms to those who have been waiting. We are adopting this approach to ensure fairness, so that attendees have the opportunity to secure rooms in the strict order that they joined the waitlist. The emails will go out in batches of 25 with a set time to reply before moving on to the next batch.

Again, no new link will be sent out to the general population until everyone on the waitlist has been helped. The waitlist is the only way to be connected with a booking. If you have not yet joined the wait list but still need a room, please click here to get on the waitlist now.

Thank you for your patience. I look forward to seeing all of you in Prague!

Laura Sawyer
Executive Director

Tags:  #ica18  Conference  Housing  Prague 

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