From the 126th Annual Meeting column of the October 2011 issue of Perspectives on History

Some Useful Reminders for Planning a Trip to Chicago for the 126th Annual Meeting

Sharon K. Tune, October 2011

Advance Meeting Registration

Members planning to attend the AHA's 126th Annual Meeting to be held January 5–8, 2012, in Chicago can now preregister online (the easiest and preferred method). Preregistration forms may also be mailed or faxed with the requisite payment, but to the address/fax number on the form and not to the AHA. Advance registration must be received by midnight on Monday, December 19, 2011. Preregistrants will receive an e-mail confirmation with a badge number (which will be needed for making hotel reservations). Badges will be distributed at the meeting.

Refund Policy: Advance registrants who are unable to attend the meeting may request a refund of their registration fee. A written request accompanied by the meeting badge must be postmarked by December 19, 2011 and should include a copy of the preregistration form that was submitted. All refunds are subject to a $20 processing fee. No refunds will be issued for requests postmarked after December 19, 2011.

Accommodations

Blocks of rooms have been reserved at the Sheraton Chicago (headquarters), the Chicago Marriott Downtown (co-headquarters), the Westin Chicago River North, and the Courtyard Chicago Downtown/River North. AHA and affiliated society sessions are scheduled in the Sheraton, Marriott, and Westin, with AHA registration and Exhibit Hall in the Sheraton and the Job Center and the messaging/Internet center at the Marriott. View Hotel rate information and a map of the area.

Reservations for Standard Rooms and Suites

Once preregistered for the Annual Meeting, attendees can make hotel reservations through the AHA Housing Desk. Instructions will be included in each attendee's preregistration confirmation. Individuals will be able to call the housing service directly to check availability and to make a reservation at any of the hotels. Attendees can also make reservations via a customized Web link.

Rates at the Sheraton, Marriott, and Westin are $109 single and $20 for each additional person. Rates at the Courtyard $99 single, $119 double, and $10 for each additional person. Suite rates at hotels vary; check the hotel and rate information on the AHA's web site. All rooms are subject to city and state taxes, currently 15.4 percent. Meeting rates are in effect three days before and after the January 5–8 meeting dates, and are for a limited number of rooms only at each property.

The cutoff date for the AHA's official blocks at all hotels is December 16, 2011. After this date, remaining inventory in each hotel's block will be released and rooms will be available at the AHA's convention rates on a space-available basis at the time of reservation. Meeting attendees can continue to make and modify (depending on availability) or cancel reservations from September 15 through December 16. Between December 17 and 19, the housing service forwards lists of reservations to each hotel, and beginning December 20, attendees may call their selected hotel to make any changes to their reservations. If canceling a reservation, attendees must do so at least 72 hours prior to reserved arrival date or one night's room and taxes will be charged. If a reservation is not cancelled and the individual is a "no show," the hotels will charge one night's room and taxes as a penalty.

Transportation

Association Travel Concepts (ATC) is the official travel agency for the annual meeting. ATC has negotiated discounts with American Airlines (800-433-1790; Fare code 1112BK), United Airlines (800-521-4041; Fare code 510CK), Amtrak (800-872-7245; Convention Fare Code X57H-932), Enterprise (800-593-0505; Fare code 32H7476), and Hertz (800-654-2240; Fare code CV#031C0017) to bring attendees special air, rail, and car rental rates that are lower than those available to the public. Airline discounts apply for travel into O'Hare International Airport (ORD) and Midway International Airport (MDW). All discounts are in effect between January 2 and January 11, 2012. To take advantage of these rates and benefits, e-mail reservations@atcmeetings.com or call 800-458-9383. ATC is available for reservations from 8:30 a.m.–7:00 p.m. EST, Monday through Friday. Attendees can also make reservations online by visiting the AHA's web site, www.historians.org. Attendees may also call their own travel agency or the vendors directly and refer to the ID numbers noted above.

Sharon K. Tune is director, meetings and administrative operations, for the AHA.