Change of Hotel/Meeting Site
After eight years of meeting at the Holiday Inn-Mart Plaza, the NAPS Board announces that NAPS will begin meeting at a new hotel starting with our May 2014 annual meeting. Next year, we will meet at the Hyatt Regency, which is located quite near the lakefront and just across the river from the Magnificent Mile. Here is a link to the hotel’s website: http://www.chicagoregency.hyatt.com/en/hotel/home.html.
To explain this change, NAPS’ contract with the Holiday Inn-Mart Plaza was up for renegotiation this year. The renegotiation involved a competitive bidding process between the Holiday Inn and several other hotels in downtown Chicago. We reached out also to university conference centers located downtown; unfortunately, each of those responded they were either unavailable during our conference dates or had insufficient space to accommodate a group of our size. Among the bids received, four hotels were selected for closer review, one of which was the Holiday Inn. In July 2013, NAPS’ President, Robin Jensen, and the Secretary-Treasurer, Brian Matz, conducted a site visit of the four hotels. It was clear from the site visit that the Hyatt Regency was the best option for 2014. To better improve our negotiating position with the hotel, we committed to a contract with them extending through our 2018 annual meeting. At that point, the NAPS Board will have an opportunity either to renew the Hyatt contract or to engage in another site selection process.
Robin and Brian reported that the Hyatt property is more ideal than the Holiday Inn for several reasons, including: (1) slightly cheaper hotel room prices; (2) an abundance of meeting space into which NAPS can continue to grow; (3) that meeting space is located in a separate building and a quiet setting separate from the hotel’s main lobby/reception area; (4) ease of access to the hotel via the CTA; (5) many more restaurant choices in the immediate vicinity, including a food court in the Illinois Center adjacent to the hotel that rivals what is available in the Merchandise Mart; and (6) nearness to many popular attractions in Chicago.
The NAPS Board believes this move to the Hyatt will be a welcome change for most NAPS members, and we look forward to a great meeting there in 2014!
Finally, it should also be noted that this switch to a new hotel corresponds also with NAPS’ decision to conclude its relationship with Summit Meetings as our conference planners. Summit ran into financial and staffing difficulties in late-2012 and those problems affected their ability to support NAPS properly in 2013. Since our contract with Summit also expired in May 2013, the NAPS Board elected to hire a new meeting planning company. We are pleased to announce that Total Event Resources, located in Chicago, will be our meeting planning company through the 2018 annual meeting. You will notice changes almost right away, since the website for submitting your paper proposals will have an entirely different look and feel once it goes live in October. In fact, those changes to the paper proposal submission website will correspond to a number of improvements that will ease the process for your own conference registration later in the Spring. The NAPS Board anticipates you will find our switch to TER seamless and that they will assist us well in creating a delightful meeting.