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From the 127th Annual Meeting column of the September 2012 issue of Perspectives on History

Getting Ready for the 127th Annual Meeting

Sharon K. Tune, September 2012

Photo from the New Orleans Convention and Visitors BureauThe 127th annual meeting of the Association will be held January 3–6, 2013, in New Orleans, at the New Orleans Marriott, the Sheraton New Orleans, the Hotel Monteleone, and the Roosevelt-Waldorf Astoria Hotel.

The Program of the Annual Meeting will be mailed to members in late-October.

With 272 sessions, the program is one of the largest ever assembled by the Program Committee. The AHA has previously met in New Orleans two times, in 1903 and in 1972. More than 1,500 scholars will participate in AHA sessions, and four dozen specialized societies will meet in conjunction with the AHA. William Cronon (Univ. of Wisconsin–Madison) will deliver the presidential address the evening of January 4 during the General Meeting. At the same event, the AHA's book prizes, the Awards for Scholarly Distinction, and other awards will be announced.

AHA annual meeting sessions and events are scheduled in the Sheraton, Marriott, and Roosevelt; affiliated society sessions and events are scheduled in the Sheraton, Marriott, and Monteleone. The AHA has arranged an additional block of rooms at a fifth hotel, the Astor Crowne Plaza. All hotels are located in the French Quarter, and are adjacent or within a few blocks of each other.

Accommodations

The New Orleans Marriott, 555 Canal Street, has a block of 1,200 rooms and will serve as headquarters, housing the AHA exhibit hall and AHA and affiliate events and sessions. The Sheraton New Orleans, 500 Canal Street, with a block of 750 rooms, accommodates the Job Center, the Messaging and Internet Center, and AHA and affiliate sessions. The Hotel Monteleone, 214 Royal Street, with a block of 300 rooms, will house affiliate sessions and events. The Roosevelt New Orleans, a Waldorf Astoria Hotel at 123 Barrone Street, has a block of 300 rooms, and will host AHA events and sessions.

For rates, please see the chart on page 34. All rooms are subject to 13 percent sales tax and $3 city/occupancy tax per room, per night (subject to change without notice). The discounted meeting rates are in effect three days before and after the January 3–6 meeting dates, and are for a limited number of rooms only at each property.

Making a Hotel Reservation

After registering for the annual meeting, attendees can make hotel reservations through the AHA Housing Desk. Registrants will receive an e-mail confirmation that will include information on how to make a standard room or suite reservation.

Reservation requests will be accepted through the following methods (all of which require a credit card):

  • Internet: 24 hours, 7 days per week.

  • Phone: during customer service center hours, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday-Friday.

  • Fax: receiving requests 24 hours, 7 days per week, though processed during customer service center hours noted above.

  • Mail: receiving requests during customer service center hours noted above. Throughout the fall members can consult the AHA's annual meeting web site for frequently updated availability information and details of each property's suite types and rates.

Important details:

  • Supplying credit card guarantee: Credit card information cannot be received within the body of an e-mail or in an e-mail attachment. Any reservation request with a printed credit card number can only be sent via fax or mail, with instructions provided in your meeting registration confirmation e-mail. Credit card information can be supplied via telephone when the reservation is made. Card information can also be submitted via the secured housing web site if making an online reservation.

  • Credit cards accepted: All hotels accept a credit card guarantee to secure a reservation; no deposit is required with this type of guarantee. Major credit cards (MasterCard, Diners Club, Discover, Visa, and American Express) are accepted. Credit cards must be valid through January 31, 2013.

  • Availability: hotel choices are honored based on the requested hotel's availability, so it is important that attendees indicate back-up hotels.

  • Acknowledgements: To be emailed or, if an email address is not provided, sent by fax or mail. Deadline and cancellation policies will be noted on the acknowledgement. A reservation ID number will also be provided for reference. Hotels will NOT send a separate confirmation from their system.

  • Reservation Modifications and Cancellations: Changes and cancellations may be made via web site, telephone, fax, mail, or email through 5:00 p.m. CST on December 6. Reservation revisions after this date can be made directly with the hotel starting December 13.

  • Cutoff Date: The cutoff date for the AHA's official block at all hotels is December 6 (now extended to December 13), 2012. After this date, the 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.
  • Early Departure Fee: Some hotels have an early departure fee. Guests wishing to avoid an early checkout fee should advise the hotel at or before check-in of any change in planned length of stay. Hotels will inform attendees of this potential charge upon check-in.

  • Cancellation fees: Cancellations will be subject to the individual cancellation policy in accordance with each hotel—the information will be noted on your acknowledgement. If a reservation is not cancelled and the individual is a "no show," the hotel will charge one night's room and taxes as a penalty.

Ground Transportation

From the Airport:

The Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport (MSY) is located in Kenner, approximately 15 miles west of downtown. New Orleans shuttle buses, taxis, limos, and public transportation buses run regularly from the downtown and French Quarter areas to the airport.

Taxicab: The flat-rate from the airport to downtown is $33.00 for one or two passengers, and $14.00 per passenger for three or more riders. Pick-up is on the lower level, outside the baggage claim area. There may be an additional charge for extra baggage. A taxi ride within the city costs you $1.20 mile with a $2.50 drop charge and $1.00 charge for each additional passenger.

Shuttle buses: Airport Shuttle is the official ground transportation provider for the airport. It is a shared-ride van service and costs $38.00 per person round trip and $20.00 one way; children under 6 are free. The shuttle runs every 10 minutes until the last flight of the night. Ticket Desks are located across from baggage claim areas 3, 6, and 12. Service is available on a continuous basis with vans departing approximately every 30 minutes.

Public transit: If arriving on a weekday, Jefferson Parish Transit's (JeT) Airport-Downtown Express E-2 provides direct service into the city. The bus picks up passengers outside airport Entrance 7 on the upper level, departing on 10- to 20-minute intervals. The fare is $2.00, and the trip takes approximately 35 minutes. The drop-off point is about two blocks from the French Quarter, with AHA hotels within short walking distance.

On weekdays after 6:00 and on weekends, the E-2 departs the airport at 7:12 p.m., 8:16 p.m. and 9:20 p.m.; however, the bus does not go into New Orleans. Passengers must transfer to a New Orleans Regional Transit bus (RTA). The JeT bus drops passengers at Tulane and Carrollton, with the RTA bus taking passengers from this point to the corner of Canal Street at Elks Place, at the northwest corner of the French Quarter. After hours JeT fare is $1.50 and the RTA fare is $1.25; transfers from the JeT cannot be used as they are two different bus companies.

Amtrak: Amtrak does not provide transportation to or from the airport. Passengers should use public bus or taxi service to reach the station.

From the Amtrak Station:

Amtrak trains and Greyhound buses arrive and depart from Union Station, located at 1001 Loyola Avenue in New Orleans. Three train lines pass through or terminate in the city: the Crescent (to/from New York once daily), the City of New Orleans (to/from Chicago once daily), and the Sunset Limited (to/from Los Angeles three times weekly and Jacksonville/Miami three times weekly).

A taxi ride from Union Station to any of the hotels runs between 10 and 20 minutes and costs less than $10.

General Information

Group Meetings and Reunions: Societies and groups that have not already made arrangements to hold sessions or other meetings should send their requests for room space as soon as possible to Sharon K. Tune, Director, Meetings. Please specify preferred date, inclusive hours, attendance forecast, and any special equipment desired.

Business Meeting: Resolutions for the business meeting signed by 50 members of the Association will be accepted until November 1, 2012, and must be no more than 300 words in length. Resolutions should be sent to the executive director at the AHA office, with a copy to the parliamentarian, Michael Les Benedict, 106 Dulles Hall, Ohio State University, 230 W. 17th Avenue, Columbus, OH 43210.

Location of Offices and Events

The AHA Headquarters Office/Staff Room will be located in Marriott's Mardi Gras Ballroom Salon F and the Local Arrangements Committee office will be in Salon H. Meeting registration counters will be located in the Marriott's Mardi Gras Ballroom. The Job Center will be located in the Sheraton's Napoleon Ballroom Salon A. The Exhibit Hall will occupy the Marriott's Grand Ballroom. The Messaging and Internet Center will be in Sheraton's Napoleon Ballroom. A quiet room will be located in the Sheraton's Maurepas Room.

AHA Registration

Advance Registration: Intending participants are urged to preregister at the reduced rates of $162 members, $212 nonmembers, $75 student members, $115 student nonmembers, $78 retired and unemployed, and $39 precollegiate teachers. The AHA also offers special preregistration rates of $69 for high school teachers, $197 for undergraduate teachers, and $197 for graduate teachers leading groups of up to three students. Advance registration will open on September 18, 2012. Registration rates will change to the onsite rates beginning December 18, 2012.

Please note that preregistration for the 2013 meeting will be handled by a processing service and forms should be sent to the address shown on the form and not the AHA.

Registration at the Meeting: The registration desks at the annual meeting, located in the Mardi Gras Ballroom of the New Orleans Marriott, will be open from noon to 7 p.m. on January 3; from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on January 4, and from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. on January 5. Fees for registering at the meeting will be $190 members, $240 nonmembers, $81 student members, $121 student nonmembers, $83 retired and unemployed, and $44 precollegiate teachers. The special member group rates mentioned previously in the Advanced Registration paragraph will not be available on site.

Admission to all AHA sessions, exhibits, Job Center, and the Messaging and Internet Center requires a 2013 meeting registration badge.

Refund Policy: Advance registrants who are unable to attend the meeting may request a refund of their registration fee. Cancellations and refund requests must be submitted in writing and postmarked (or e-mailed) by December 17, 2012. Refunds will be processed less a $20 administration fee. No refunds will be issued for requests postmarked or e-mailed after December 17, 2012. Refunds will not be given for no-shows. Cancellations and refund requests should be submitted to American Historical Association, Business Office, 400 A St SE, Washington DC 20003 or e-mailed to Tina Wang. Faxed refund requests will not be accepted. Proof of payment—copies of front and back of canceled check or copy of credit card statement—may be required.

Exhibit Hall

The exhibit hall will be open January 3 from 3 to 7 p.m.; January 4 and 5 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and January 6 from 9 a.m. to noon.

Job Center

The Job Center will be open January 3 from 12:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.; January 4 and 5 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and January 5 from 9 a.m. to noon.

Messaging and Internet Center

The Messaging Center, which will facilitate electronic communication among attendees and also make finding them easier, will be located in the Sheraton's Napoleon Ballroom, and will be open the same hours as the Job Center.

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