I think (and also heard from others) that having the conference in the
hotel was a big part of this. I love our university connections, but I
think we should look for arrangements like this one for future Flocks
It is indeed really convenient to roll out of bed and head downstairs. We've historically used university space because it was free, but we're running out of options (i.e. connections at universities) to be able to do that. On the other hand, hotels can be expensive, especially in cities that people really want to go to. In this case, the hotel space was free, but the lunches and coffee were incredibly expensive. IIRC, this was the only hotel in Rochester that would give us the space for free. So while I also really like the hotel way, I also don't want anyone to rule anything out for their bids, as we do this on an incredibly tight budget compared to other events.