How does outdoor gathering space with lush landscaping sound? What about little nooks with benches amongst gardens, and blue sparkling pools? Sand volleyball anyone? Basketball courts? Almost reminds me of some of the college campuses where NASIG conferences were held in past years. Oh yeah, bring your golf clubs! The club house is a short walk or golf cart ride from the front door. (Hmm… I don’t remember golf courses at our campus sites.) The Site Selection committee has seen these things (and more) at 8 resorts we’ve visited in 2 different cities as part of our task to find a host city/site for future conferences. We are excited to announce the location for NASIG’s 23rd Annual Conference in 2008:
TAPATIO CLIFFS RESORT IN PHOENIX, ARIZONA!
JUNE 5-8, 2008
Why a resort? Because you asked us to look at resorts, cruises, and conference centers, in addition to hotels. First a little background on the site selection process. What an eye opening experience! I started attending NASIG board meetings in 2002, so I’ve long been aware of conference attendees’ concerns, needs and expectations. I’m also familiar with costs (and learning more details now) associated with setting up an international meeting. Food and beverage, meeting rooms (rounds? theatre or classroom style?), A/V, Internet access…. Don’t worry. We’re serialists – we know about negotiating! About that cruise idea: I believe this was mentioned at the Denver conference in some discussion, but I’ll repeat it here for those who weren’t there. I hate to tell you, folks, the cruise option just won’t work. Try explaining that request to the library administrator who approves funding for professional development at your organization. “You’re attending a conference on a cruise ship sailing to [name your destination]? Yeah, right.” We actually did investigate the cruise option. Bottom line: ships don’t have enough meeting space to accommodate a group our size unless we want to book passage on the Queen Mary II. But since we’re trying to keep attendees’ costs reasonable, I think we’ll have to write that one off.
The Site Selection Committee received 49 proposals from cities across the U.S. and Canada. We were most interested in cities in the east or the west since the middle U.S. has hosted us for several years. The committee looks at certain minimum requirements (including things like room rates, number of available rooms, dates, nearby airports, support from local convention and visitor bureaus) before pursuing further discussions with a site.
A number of hotels and resorts met our minimums in Phoenix. Their Convention and Visitors Bureau was extremely enthusiastic about NASIG bringing a conference to their city, so we decided to take a closer look. We visited 6 sites in Phoenix, hotels and resorts, and were very impressed with all their facilities. Resorts became a real option for this city and were absolutely beautiful. The board agreed to experiment with a resort setting for 2008. While we will no doubt be back in a hotel environment for a future site, this was the perfect opportunity to try a new venue.
You are going to love Tapatio Cliffs. The sleeping rooms are all suites, each with their own separate sitting area. Many of the meeting rooms have windows and/or doors that open to lovely courtyards or garden areas. We know conference attendees will enjoy the amenities: a golf course, several pools, gardens, great views, a four-diamond restaurant, a taco place! I could go on and on. You’ll hear much more about it and the wonderful entertainment and recreation options in Arizona in the coming months. Denise & I highly recommend the desert tour!