Arrangements … Fall 2020
To say that arrangements are challenging this year, is an understatement. Sadly, our 2020 convention didn’t happen due to the Covid Pandemic. We were scheduled for our event at the RIT Convention Center. The guidelines for Monroe county (where RIT is located) did not allow for any gatherings over 25 people at that time. Plus the risk to our ladies is priceless. Through the efforts of Lillian Cabral, we were able to get a full refund from the hotel. That was amazing and we are so grateful for their understanding and willing to work with us on this.
As you all know – the board meeting at Chautauqua Harbor hotel, near Jamestown, was also changed to a virtual event. Although the hotel was able to have guests, the room we had contracted for was the only one available, and could only facilitate 25 people under the current guidelines of Chautauqua county. Meals were also going to be an issue, as all foods must be served – no buffet, which was going to be hard. I was able to convince the hotel that they should transfer our down payment on the board meeting to the convention, which is currently scheduled for April 2021. What will the world look like then? NO IDEA. Our representative at the hotel of course is hoping we can attend, and we will address any changes as we draw nearer to the date. If for some reason, we cannot meet, our recommendation would be to re-schedule for 2022 or 2023.
Moving forward? I have been in contact with a couple of hotels but like us, they have no idea of what they can offer..So entering into a contract does not seem advisable. Being a smaller group now, the options are more available, and I feel certain that once there is a calm in the world; we will be able to find a suitable and enjoyable venue. I do hope that we might consider RIT again, as they were so cooperative when we had to cancel and also, our convention committee is familiar with the facility. If we are not able to meet at Chautauqua Harbor, I would also recommend that we try to re-schedule that location. It is a lovely hotel and we know the women would really enjoy the setting. Some of the convention committee has visited the site and I believe, agree.
I appreciate those who have sent suggestions for hotels. If you are considering sending a suggestion, please verify that they can supply 40-45 rooms, in house food service for 125-175, a general meeting room seating 150 and have at least 6 rooms to be used for workshops and the bookstore. Hotels with an easy to navigate layout is also a plus. Recently, we had decided to attempt to use the same facility for the October board meeting followed by the Annual Convention in April. This is helpful for planning. We welcome your feedback going forward.
It would be great if the convention committee could provide their needs before we write a contract. That would eliminate a lot of stress for both the committee and the hotel. I am very aware that the needs are not always etched in stone a year in advance (or more), but some idea of what direction the committee is taking would be great. This with the understanding that the more we require – the higher the price.
Really wish I could reveal some wonderful hotel waiting for us to visit and fill with our laughter, but for now; please know that we continue to be mindful and will continue to explore new adventures for the ABWM of NYS.
Claudia Little and Lori Little