Transmission ID: 00008
Operation: Hotel Update
First off, we are just so grateful to all of our supporters for what has been an incredible 18 months! It has been heartening for us to see the ever-growing support of the entire TFNation family (attendees, traders, guests, volunteers and crew from all walks of TF fandom) coming together to share their passion.
One of the results of this union has been a markedly increased demand for this years’ convention-rate rooms at the Hilton Metropole. Due to this demand, the remaining allocation has become limited and, naturally, we have received a lot of questions regarding the remaining rooms. We therefore want to take this opportunity to answer some of these points, provide some information and keep everyone up to date. So let's begin with...
1. ARE ALL OF THE DISCOUNTED ROOMS SOLD OUT?
No. Although some room dates/types have sold out, there are some still free to book. At the time of posting, the following options are still available.
- Wednesday 9th – Single Deluxe, Twin Deluxe, Queen Family
- Thursday 10th - No rooms available at our discounted rate
- Friday 11th –Single Deluxe, Queen Deluxe (extremely limited), Queen Executive Rooms
- Saturday 12th – Single Deluxe
- Sunday 13th - No rooms available at our discounted rate
- Monday 14th – Twin Deluxe, Queen Family
- Tuesday 15th – Twin Deluxe, Queen Family
2. WILL TFNATION RECEIVE ANY OTHER DISCOUNTED ROOMS?
We have already liaised with the hotel and it is very unlikely that we will be afforded any more rooms at the convention-rate, as they have to cater for multiple events within the Hilton complex, as well as demand from “Quiltcon” which expects over 25,000 visitors that weekend. With this in mind, we encourage you to make look into alternatives now, if you are unable to secure your first choice room.
3. WHAT TO DO IF YOUR ROOM CHOICES ARE UNAVAILABLE
There are multiple ways you can book alternative accommodation, so stay calm, and start planning your hotel options now. Remember, this is where you will sleep AFTER enjoying all the convention's events. While staying outside of the main hotel may add extra time when returning to your room, it will not impact the jokes in the bar, the workshops we will announce shortly, the panels, the guests or your friends who you will no doubt meet that weekend.
Below, we will list the options you can take now, to assist your search. We advise you to take prompt action as holding out for your preferred room to become available again may only further reduce your options.
4. BOOK WHAT YOU CAN
As noted above; there are some Hilton options left. If you can book one or two nights at the discount rate, you may have more flexibility, financially, to book other nights either at the Hilton or elsewhere.
5. FIND A ROOMMATE
We will shortly open a thread on our Facebook page for people looking for roommates. If there is a spare bed in your room, please consider assisting a fellow fan. We will be monitoring the group to ensure the process runs fair.
6. THE HILTON WEBSITE
Although the convention rate rooms are selling quickly, the Hilton, like most hotels, reserves a portion of rooms for public sale.
Please check out their site at http://bit.ly/1RMUtdF for standard room rates. If you already have some nights booked at the Hilton, booking a further night, directly, will allow you to remain at the venue for longer. After purchase, we advise you to phone the hotel and enquire if they can “stitch” the two bookings together. NOTE: this does not mean the Hilton can amend prices.
7. THIRD PARTY HILTON ROOM WEBSITES
Third party websites also sell some of the publicly available rooms at the Hilton. While some bookings will be cheaper than the Hilton's own website, payment dates and breakfast options may vary - always read the terms. We suggest you try the following:
8. OTHER HOTELS
Shortly, will update our website to provide you with a FULL list of alternative accommodation in the area as there are several options within walking distance, or a short commute. To assist folks looking now, we suggest four of the most popular alternative hotels are worth checking out;
- Hotel Ibis Styles Birmingham Airport NEC
- Hotel Novotel Birmingham Airport
- Hotel Ibis Budget Birmingham Airport
- Hotel Ibis Birmingham Airport
All four options can be researched by going to their official group page at http://www.accorhotels.com/gb/united-kingdom/index.shtml
9. WHAT NOT TO DO
In previous years, a small number of people have called the Hilton directly and have been less than polite to reception staff. This serves little purpose but to damage TFNation's relationship with the Hilton and may, in fact, impact future years' allocations. We strongly urge our attendees not to do this - reception staff do not have the authority to give you additional discounted rooms, or change booked rates, and do not deserve to be treated badly during their day job.
In addition, we know our core team is quite visible and friendly, but messaging them directly to resolve your issues will only cause you extra delays. The TFNation crew will be looking at queries received through the main TFN Facebook page, Twitter, email, and prioritising them as they come in, to ensure attendees are treated fairly – thank you for your understanding here.
Finally, please do not attempt to book rooms at full rate, only to request a switch to the convention rate nearer the date. It does not work... especially when people write on our page about their intent to try it.
10. THE ALLOCATION PROCESS EXPLAINED
We have received a lot of questions along the lines of “why doesn’t the hotel give us all of the rooms – surely it is better for them to sell them all?”. We want to address this point, rather than try do dodge it.
Throughout the year, regular rooms at the Hilton can sell for anywhere between £100.00 and £300.00 per night, depending on how busy the NEC is that weekend. (Try a few searches on the website – you’ll see what we mean!) Now consider how cheap the TFNation rate is in comparison to this.
When putting the two figures side by side, it is quite easy to see that the Hilton sells our attendees rooms at a massive discount. And Transformers conventions at the Hilton have usually shared the weekend with at least two other events, which also receive discounted rates. All of a sudden, those numbers become super important. To keep their business viable that weekend, the Hilton therefore has to maintain a percentage of rooms to sell at the public rates – effectively, to pay for the loss they make in catering for a hoard of happy robot fans.
This is why, as much as we would love to, we can’t guarantee you all 790 rooms. Some go to a couple of other events; some go to special NEC affiliate events; and some go to the general public to help to pay for us lot. This is common practice at all hotel convention venues.
Some attendees may not be aware, but previous TF events at the Hilton (and the Holiday Inn, for you veterans) have sold out of their discounted rooms, with many attendees sourcing alternate accommodation. If you have not been in this position before, it is natural to be a little nervous. It is, however, important to remember that nothing has gone wrong - the truth is that a large amount of our TF community have booked straight away and taken up many of the options available. With the options listed above (and more to come) we hope we can make your convention booking process as easy as possible.
We hope this update has been helpful and we thank you for your understanding. We know booking hotel rooms can be a stressful time. Whether or not you get your first choice room, we hope as many of you as possible will join us at the convention.
Further transmissions to follow.
Where All Are One