Episcopal Zion Church
The ideal scenario for us for transportation from the airport would be proven use by groups of vans, taxis, rail, and bus. Distance from the airport to downtown is a factor as well. Some airports are very far out. And accessibility from the interstate is important for attendees who are driving.
It's important that the area offer restaurants, attractions, and adequate parking. I've gone to places where the restaurants were saturated with locals in the daytime but were closed at night.
Baltimore is a city that has worked well for us, as well as Atlanta, which is very user-friendly for pedestrian traffic, and the taxi rates are great. Philadelphia was a good location, too. The historic value was great, as was the way the properties interact with the convention bureau.
I also like to go where the local business community is supportive of meetings. Atlanta and Charlotte, for example, are very supportive.
North American Professors of Christian Education
Cost is always a primary consideration, and that's something that can be difficult to negotiate with downtown properties.
A high degree of safety is important for attendees if and when they want to leave the building. Area attractions, such as theater or other entertainment activities, that are nearby are also important.
And the ease of transportation to and from the airport always is important to our meetings.
Editor, Communications, Special Events
Church of the Nazarene
Kansas City, Mo.
We do meetings with international attendees, and proximity to a major airport is critical. Most of our meetings are multiple nights, and people come in from out of town, so good accommodations and plenty of them is important. If there's some downtime, we like to be in a location where there's good sightseeing and possibly some music options.
We also like to be in an area where we have a large Nazarene constituency. It also helps if the meeting is centrally located. We've had several things in Nashville and Indianapolis. We've kept going back because the service has been good.
Mary Beth Nowak
Meeting Management and Travel
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America Chicago
Proximity of hotels to the convention center is important. Proximity to places of worship can be important, too. We held a worship meeting in Chicago, and we used five different churches.
Cost is always an issue. Sometimes city hotels are more expensive, but we're not seeing that as much right now. I find that the cities that aren't getting the really big conventions are willing to do so much for us.
Sometimes at meetings there's a focus on urban ministry, so access to local ministries is important. Proximity to public transport is important, and we like cities where it's easy to get around by walking. We like cities that are alive and vibrant. And safety is an issue everywhere now. Everybody is concerned about security, because of the times we live in. As an aside, I like to use the city's suppliers, to have a positive impact on the economy.
Angela Janssen Keenan
Seminary Consortium for Urban Pastoral Education
Proximity to public transportation is vital. We just finished a conference at the Palmer House Hilton in Chicago, which is down the street from three Chicago “L” lines. We like locations where it's easy for attendees to see the city without having to be on buses. Price, of course, is important.
We're a little different because our ministry is urban. We would prefer a place that's close to an authentic urban experience, not necessarily where tourists go. We want attendees to have a good sense of the city, not just glamour.