I just started to do some research on my flight and hotel for NamesCon in Austin. After a date change was announced, NamesCon Global 2020 will be held from January 29-February 1, 2020. Conference organizers also announced a special conference discount is available for the Omni Austin Hotel Downtown (not to be confused with the similarly named Omni Austin Hotel at Southpark):
“The Omni Austin Hotel Downtown is giving attendees a special NamesCon rate—$200 off their average price— from January 27-February 1, so you’ve got leeway to arrive a bit early and enjoy Austin before getting down to business at NamesCon. Book soon, though, since this block of accommodations will fill up quickly!”
I looked up the hotel rates on the NamesCon website, and for someone who arrives on January 28 and leaves on February 1, the cost will be just a bit more than $1,050 after taxes for the least expensive room at the hotel for four nights. Last year for NamesCon, I paid a total of $754 for my entire trip ($626 package cost plus $168 resort fees). This included non-stop airfare from Boston to Las Vegas and four nights at the MGM. Including the relatively inexpensive non-stop airfare on JetBlue, the cost for me to attend will be about $500 more expensive this year than last year. I am sure others will probably see an even larger price increase.
It would be helpful if NamesCon offers some alternative hotel recommendations for people who are on a budget and don’t know Austin very well. The city is quite large, and without knowing the layout or traffic situation, someone might end up paying a lot of money for Ubers or cabs to get to their desired locations if they book a hotel room in the wrong part of Austin.
I have never been to Austin, and others who haven’t might find it helpful to know of alternative hotels in the vicinity. I am most likely traveling with my family, and it looks like VRBO has some very good options in the area for those who want larger accommodations.
There’s something to be said about staying at the conference hotel. It tends to be more convenient and it is always great running into people who I might miss otherwise. Some people prefer to save money over the convenience of a conference hotel, and it would be great for NamesCon to offer up some more affordable alternatives so more people can attend.