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CHI Friday - Companion gathering to Chicago TI World Faire

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I am currently working on block bookings against conference rooms at three of the hotels in Evanston. I will pitch them to Hal for the entire event or we can take them on as a second day event. I will post more after all have responded. The idea was discussed last year with Little Hal (heheheh) but of course like every year communication breaks down after the event until the next.

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I am currently working on block bookings against conference rooms at three of the hotels in Evanston. I will pitch them to Hal for the entire event or we can take them on as a second day event. I will post more after all have responded. The idea was discussed last year with Little Hal (heheheh) but of course like every year communication breaks down after the event until the next.

 

Hal historically has not been terribly receptive to the idea for some reason. We don't get really started till about 10am Saturday and we have to pack up by 4:30pm. Too short in my view. Matt's suggestion makes perfect sense, and I would even vote for a full day Friday as well. That way we can spread out the presentations and have more networking time.

Count me in.

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I'll throw this out again, it might stick one year. Charge people something like $20 admission and use the money to rent a conference room at a hotel. You could probably also get a block-rate since everyone coming from out of town have to get rooms anyway. We could get access Friday night for setup and anyone who wanted to start early. Then we would have all day on Saturday, 8am to 8pm or later. No interruptions, no other groups sharing the room, no shutting down at 4:30pm, etc. For a bonus, charge a little more (or maybe not necessary, depends on the number of people), and have the room until something like noon on Sunday too.

 

I would easily pay $30 or $40 for attendance to a retro-computer event that started Friday night and went all day Saturday and possibly half a day on Sunday. Some people travel literally thousands of miles to come, and the current one-day limited-hours event is way too short.

 

Just my opinion.

 

I am currently working on block bookings against conference rooms at three of the hotels in Evanston. I will pitch them to Hal for the entire event or we can take them on as a second day event. I will post more after all have responded. The idea was discussed last year with Little Hal (heheheh) but of course like every year communication breaks down after the event until the next.

 

Hal historically has not been terribly receptive to the idea for some reason. We don't get really started till about 10am Saturday and we have to pack up by 4:30pm. Too short in my view. Matt's suggestion makes perfect sense, and I would even vote for a full day Friday as well. That way we can spread out the presentations and have more networking time.

Count me in.

 

I’m in!

 

...lee

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Bear in mind two things: first, since the event would still fall under the guise of the CTICUG Saturday would still have to run the same way it does now with exhibits and presentations at conflict, second Hal may still want to have the Saturday meeting at the library. Either way, if I can land Friday for pre-game I will make sure we have it for the entire day into the evening.

 

The question is, however, if I can get a conference room (or two) for the Friday or Saturday it will be leveraged against a block of rooms. Right now one of the locations in question is the Orringtion which is offering a good block rate but I know some here have aversion to it so I would need to make sure I have at least 10 committals for the block.

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Bear in mind two things: first, since the event would still fall under the guise of the CTICUG Saturday would still have to run the same way it does now with exhibits and presentations at conflict, second Hal may still want to have the Saturday meeting at the library. Either way, if I can land Friday for pre-game I will make sure we have it for the entire day into the evening.

 

The question is, however, if I can get a conference room (or two) for the Friday or Saturday it will be leveraged against a block of rooms. Right now one of the locations in question is the Orringtion which is offering a good block rate but I know some here have aversion to it so I would need to make sure I have at least 10 committals for the block.

 

The last time I stayed at the Orrington they refused to honor the Bookings.com rate I got, so I'm not too keen on giving them my business again. I'll do it if we have no other option but it would definitely not be my first choice. How about the Holiday Inn?

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The last time I stayed at the Orrington they refused to honor the Bookings.com rate I got, so I'm not too keen on giving them my business again. I'll do it if we have no other option but it would definitely not be my first choice. How about the Holiday Inn?

 

Working them, too. The Orrington is offering a block rate so there will not be a problem with third-party pricing. BTW, did you ever contact Hilton corporate about that nonsense? I would have been on the phone with corporate before I left.

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Originally the Orringtion was the expensive option, so we stayed down the street at the... Best Western? Can't remember. Then that hotel became more expensive and the Orringtion seemed to be more reasonable. As long as the rate is reasonable, then I would go with that.

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Originally the Orringtion was the expensive option, so we stayed down the street at the... Best Western? Can't remember. Then that hotel became more expensive and the Orringtion seemed to be more reasonable. As long as the rate is reasonable, then I would go with that.

 

I will let you know what I determine. I am trying to play the three against each other. Right now, believe it or not, all three hotels are telling me they have bookings for that weekend. I will be speaking with sales teams from each again tomorrow.

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Bookings.com refunded me the difference and I left a scathing review for the Orrington on several sites. I don't have the time or patience to go through the corporate maze...

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Bookings.com refunded me the difference and I left a scathing review for the Orrington on several sites. I don't have the time or patience to go through the corporate maze...

 

I see that as good enough. I will advise the Orrington during negotiations how they screwed over one of our colleagues. Could be worth some leverage.

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Holiday Inn has not responded to my inquiries. Here is what is being offered:

 

Orrington

 

Sleeping rooms: $135/night, Thursday through Sunday (currently block of 10 rooms)

Meeting rooms, Friday:

James Room- $350 per day (discounted from $700) 1075sq.ft.
Holgate Room- $250 per day (discounted from $500) 560sq.ft.

 

Hilton Garden Inn (1818 Maple Ave.)

 

Sleeping rooms: $132/night, King sized, Thursday through Sunday (currently block of 10 rooms)

Meeting room, Friday 8am to 11pm:

North Shore Salon C, 934 Square Feet, $250 per day, no setup

Following concessions:

  • Complimentary Breakfast included daily rate for up to two people per room per day
  • Complimentary Parking included daily for all of the attendees
  • Complimentary Internet Access throughout the hotel and in the meeting room
  • 15% discount off of banquet Menus and in-house Audio Visual services
  • No additional fees to bring in our Audio Visual

 

I am leaning toward the Hilton Garden Inn. I stayed there last year. It is nice and in general all of the Hilton Gardens are nice.

 

Of course none of the prices include taxes and lodging fees (roughly 15%.) For the 10 room block I am hoping that having an extra day, especially this long of a day, would be a draw for more people as we could have Friday for tinkering, building, breaking, programming, whatever, then Saturday at the library will be the standard Faire with presentations and gathering. I am hoping that Jon can help convince Hal this is a Good Thing.

 

Anyone who is down for Friday let me know. The more I we get to commit and attend the better... heck, even if people just want to take advantage of the block -- last year I paid $900 for my four-day stay (2x $204, 2x$196, plus taxes,) and that was the least expensive I could book.

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I'm in! I will contribute whatever you want to assess for the meeting room. Parking would be $40+ for 3 days without the package and even just 10 people at $25 per would cover it. So—yeah—I am definitely in.

 

It would certainly be nice to get Hal’s imprimatur, but I do not need it to participate if you get the commitments you need. We could call it the “CTIWF Prolegomenon” or whatever other scintillating title you can imagine. :grin:

 

...lee

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I live in Chicago.. i'm 37.. and I'm quite poor... but I'm willing to contribute whatever I can... since I don't have to worry about travel expenses.

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Count me in. I agree the Hilton is a much better deal. It will end up costing around $500 per person for 3 nights (Thu, Fri, Sat) and the split conference room fee including taxes and such. That makes 3 of us. We need 7 more...

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I also want to make clear with the hotel that our rooms would be arrive Thursday, depart Sunday morning, correct?

 

The proposal has Friday through Monday (she based it upon my planned stay -- I hate traveling on Sunday.)

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They have sent me the final contract for the conference room and room block. Right now I have four hard commitments, including myself, and one offer to put in toward the room. With the 22% room tax (thanks, Illinois) that makes $61 per person to cover the room.

 

Of course we need more people! I have a couple of days before I sign the contract. WE NEED MORE PEEPS!!

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They have sent me the final contract for the conference room and room block. Right now I have four hard commitments, including myself, and one offer to put in toward the room. With the 22% room tax (thanks, Illinois) that makes $61 per person to cover the room.

 

Of course we need more people! I have a couple of days before I sign the contract. WE NEED MORE PEEPS!!

 

I am still in—even with only four of us committed to it. Have Klaus (@kl99) and @Berry weighed in?

 

...lee

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I am still in—even with only four of us committed to it. Have Klaus (@kl99) and @Berry weighed in?

 

...lee

 

I threw the line out to Klaus in the 99/2 thread. I have not yet contacted Berry but I have his email address here somewhere; I will also try via AA.

 

BTW: Even if we do not get 10 people into the conference room the block will be available for any who want to attend. Just PM me for the details. The goal is to get as many people involved as possible. I will be charged for the conference room on October 8th. At that point we are locked into the conference room and room block. Anyone who has not committed or chipped in for the room will still be welcome.

 

Once I sign and return the contract I will put up a link to help pay for the conference room. I am really excited about this and while I am not certain we could get Hal out to check out the venue I am far more confident about getting John out. I would love to see several tables of people programming, soldering, tinkering, and just having a good time. Remember, we will have the room from 8am until 11pm, so there is PLENTY of time.

 

Also, this is obviously NOT an official CTIUG joint and I do not want it to be confused as such -- this is an extra event to provide a gather of people to participate in activities which do not otherwise jive with the normal schedule of the Faire. I would love nothing more than to hand it over next year to be included in the official Faire schedule.

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Thanks for getting this done Alan! We've been talking about this for years! Did you check with Tursi?

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Thanks for getting this done Alan! We've been talking about this for years! Did you check with Tursi?

Yup, he got in touch with me. He is a fifth contributor!

 

Holiday Inn JUST called me. The person who handles it locally is "no longer with the company," so I got a call from corporate. She will have a proposal to me tomorrow, but I seriously doubt she can match what we have with Hilton Garden.

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If anyone wants to get a two bed room (or a bed and couch bed), I’m up for splitting costs.

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Okay, so Holiday Inn just dropped their proposal:

 

$115 per night, $12 parking per day, breakfast not included. That potentially puts the rooms at the same rate as the Hilton Garden Inn. They do, however, offer a complimentary shuttle within a 3-mile radius.

 

The conference room is the Ridgeville, $175 for 720 sq ft, 42' x 22'.

 

I have not committed to a contract yet, and it took Holiday Inn over a week to get back to me. Meh. What do you guys think? You guys have stayed at the Holiday Inn, I have stayed at the Hilton Garden. Maybe I need to make a poll :)

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So, as I understand it, the Chicago Faire will NOT be at the Evanston Library but at one of the hotels and run from Thursday through Sunday. What does Hal say about this? Is he still in the picture? I haven't seen any input from him or Vic about these recent arrangements. Let me know when there is something a bit more concrete.

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